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Daily Mirror

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Daily Mirror
#1
[Image: daily-mirror-logo.jpg]

A daily tabloid paper, The Mirror has support Labour in every election since 1945.
Josh
Media | Home Office
Infrastructure, Energy & Environment | Chief Whips
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#2
1997 election endorsement: Labour
Josh
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Infrastructure, Energy & Environment | Chief Whips
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#3
The Mirror’s View: John Smith was the best we ever had – please don’t quash his legacy. 

The country and the Labour Party are in mourning. John Smith was the best we ever, and now never, had: he was humble, dignified and principled, stuck to Labour’s values while successfully adapting them to a modern age, got the party back in government and saw a successful tenure as Prime Minister. The economy and our finances are in strong shape (hopefully soon strong enough to give our public services the cash they need). Crime is down. Fairness is coming back to society, and the day of £1 an hour wages and the plight of mass family poverty looks like it may be far behind us. Our tenuous relationship with Europe is being repaired and Britain once again feels like a global leader. 

That the Tories have picked their battle on a single issue – the euro – and other meaningless controversies like the Millennium Dome speaks volumes. 

One thing is clear: John Smith is adored by the country as well as the Labour Party. Why would the Labour Party and country want a sudden shift brought about by unexpected tragedy? 

It is clear Margaret Beckett, as Deputy Prime Minister and currently acting Prime Minister, would have been the best natural successor for the Smith agenda. But she has ruled herself out of frontline politics altogether. So now there, sadly, is anxiety that sudden change is very well on the horizon. 

The Mirror refuses to take any view on the leadership race in its primacy, and holds respect for those who are running for leader: Elizabeth Tanner has been loyal to John Smith and a stellar public servant. Ben Maulty has similarly had a history of dedicating himself to social justice. Even Harri Pollitt, despite his views being so niche they may not be able to get him on the ballot, has always been a reliable and loyal ally to Unions, to farmers and to the Welsh people. 

But Mr. Pollitt would be clearly pushing for change and undoubtedly would have found Smith’s pragmatism and consideration something to be criticised, not celebrated. The economic policies of the 1970’s are not something Britain, and even the British left, want: there are safer and more effective routes to achieving the kind of social justice Mr. Pollitt clearly wants. John Smith made that clear.

And where does that leave the two candidates who have made the ballot? The simple answer is we really don’t know, but we have an idea: both candidates are aligned with ‘Progress’, the Labour faction that had dedicated the party to modernisation following frustration at John Smith’s attempts and failures to reform the party. Their rhetoric will likely be eerily similar, and will leave members unsure how to differentiate them, but as the race goes on it is very likely we’ll see some stark differences. 

In fact, the Mirror, and many others in the press and in the Labour Party, has received a copy of Maulty’s drafted manifesto and have read it for ourselves. The first question is the most obvious: Labour’s 1997 manifesto has already been granted a significant mandate from the British people, why would we want another one? If Maulty’s vision is so distinct it is deserving of its own manifesto, it should probably be put to the British people over just Labour members. 

But the document may serve a strategic purpose – it is designed with rhetoric that can win over some in Progress, but with policy that could also win over the soft left that has significant influence of the party as well as gain a supplementary vote from the hard left of the party who are likely to have to pick between what they view as the lesser of two evils. John Smith successfully did this and united all wings of the party in 1992. Instead of disavowing his old leader, Maulty would do well to look to him for inspiration if he wishes to be a lynchpin that keeps the Labour Party together. 

But the document may be a double edged sword: when you have a manifesto that has Labour right taxation promises and soft left to often explicitly socialist spending promises, eyebrows are going to be raised and elements of the right wing media are already sneering. Ben Maulty may unite the whole party, but not in the way he wants: all wings of the party may find him disingenuous, if anything. 

What does this mean for Elizabeth Tanner, who has been interestingly tight lipped coming up to and following her leadership bid? If her words in the press are anything to go by, she may be the continuity candidate – and that is in itself the view the Mirror and most likely Labour members can get behind. 

The issue is, as both candidates are from the Progress wing, Tanner is likely going to need to form her own specific vision. And the Mirror makes it clear that such a vision must be the vision John Smith gave us in 1997 – perhaps, with a renewed mandate from the party (though of course government matters must come first) she could even promise to complete the modernisation of the Labour Party Smith couldn’t deliver. 

But she must not be tempted to push herself too far to the centre in order to be distinct: Smith’s brand of modernisation was a consensus one that won elections but without a doubt stuck to Labour Party principles. Some prominent Labour politicians, such as the Home Secretary Tony Blair, are rumoured to be dissatisfied and feel the party didn’t go quite centre enough. 

That vision is one that probably has to be rejected as much as the cries for Labour to go leftwards: John Smith’s view that Labour must not bow to the altar of nationalisation should not lead to Tony Blair’s one of us bowing to privatisation. And while there is a case for public sector reform, it should not be done with the kind of glee we would expect from the Tories – neither should it clash with Labour values. Elizabeth Tanner should probably remember that going forward. 

Who best follows John Smith's legacy may be best reflected in the bloc of Labour MPs and voters who come from the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM) wing of the party, the wing Smith most strongly identified with and thanks to his influence was elevated from a niche group to a significant influencer of the party, not just in their numbers but in their ideological flexibility: within the CSM you will find views that will range from being so socialist they'll make Dennis Skinner gasp to views that could make some Tories blush. 

But overall, they work together as a functional bloc and bring their Christian views to a neat consensus. There is a chance they could change everything, and both of the current leadership candidates have acknowledged that: Elizabeth Tanner has been nominated and will likely find a supporter in CSM member and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Sean Manning, and Ben Maulty is running on a joint ticket with the CSM's resident firebrand Belinda MacDonald - she is going for Deputy Leader. It is not just right to pledge a continuity of John Smith's legacy for this reason, but due to the CSM's increased influence it may be the best way to get the party on board. 

That is the Mirror’s view. It might not be sexy, but it electorally appealing to the party and the country. John Smith may be dead, but his strong legacy must be kept alive and preserved at any cost. Whoever can promise that has our vote.
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Admin Responsible for the Houses of Parliament. (Also Cabinet&PM stuff).
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“In politics, guts is all.” - Barbara Castle.


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#4
EXCLUSIVE: LABOUR LEADERSHIP WAR CONTINUES

The war inside the Labour Party continues. A senior source has reached out to the Daily Mirror to hit back on accusations published elsewhere regarding the Tanner campaign, essentially saying its normal practice. 

The source tells us:

Quote:Despite media rumours about the Tanner campaign offering roles or concessions for votes it is actually the Maulty campaign doing this. From a conversation a prominent MP had with Mr Maulty "Is there anything that you would specifically look for to gain your support?" The idea that policy is open to bidders or even cabinet positions is abhorrent and should be discussed wider. Also important is for people to understand it isn't just one leadership contender taking part in this behaviour but is systematic and deeply concerning. 

With the Labour results expected soon, it seems that the Labour Party can barely hold itself together. While senior sources inside the party are content to leak against each other, the result might be an unfortunate one: a Tory government.
Josh
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#5
Safety No Longer A Priority In A Privatised Age.
Op-Ed by John McDonnell MP.

The privatisation of the railways has been an unmitigated disaster for everyone but the shareholders. Complaints about high fares, late trains, and poor service abound. But we may be about to add a further, more terrifying, complaint to the privatised railways: a lack of safety, jeopardising passenger safety.

Last month, we saw the devastating accident involving a GNER train travelling from London to Leeds at a speed of around 115 mph coming off the rails near Hatfield. Subsequent investigation suggests the possibility of a broken rail as the cause of the crash: should that prove to be the case, then we must have a discussion about the role of Railtrack.

Whatever the cause of the crash is, we must not forget that this is the third major crash in three years, following Southall and Paddington. Hatfield joins Southall and Paddington in highlighting the gross deficiencies in rail safety.

At Southall a driver passed through a red signal; the safety devices on his train which could have prevented the accident were not working. At Paddington, a poorly trained driver passed through a red signal; he was unfamiliar with the key section of line outside one of Britain's biggest stations. How can it be right that private companies are putting the safety of hundreds of passengers in the hands of ill-trained individuals?

And the lack of focus on public safety resulting from privatisation is not just a concern in the railway industry. The bus sector too has been affected by claims that cut-throat competition and pursuit of profit at all costs have endangered the health of passengers.

It is clear that we need greater investment and regulation of the transport security to ensure passenger safety and security. A lack of both has put the public in danger. Second-best safety equipment, ageing rollingstock and a poorly maintained track expose the frailties of the system as a rising number of passengers use it.

We owe it to the victims of three railway crashes in three years to not take the tenants of privatisation as fact. It is time to investigate the role private profit has in causing declining public safety and service. Maybe the only way we can keep people safe is by injecting public ethics back into our transport system?
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Admin for Foreign & Defence, Health & Social Security, and Local Government, Regions and Devolution. 

“If socialism is a matter of total abstinence and a good filing cabinet, some of us will fall by the wayside.” - Anthony Crosland.
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#6
Same Old Story, Same Old Tories

Saxon's Team Neglects Child Poverty Debate

[Image: children_0_xxffed_q0zlgg.jpg]

Harold Saxon has tried to pain himself as a moderate candidate, and no doubt in future as people look at the disastrous Tory governments of past and the poverty, recession and unemployment that came with them they will want something new. If Harold Saxon was smart he'd know the Tories would need a major rebrand. Thankfully, we know he either isn't very smart or he's shown his true stripes much too early.

We're not talking about his disastrous Newsnight interview where he promised to strip poor University students of their hard earned cash or to flog our ambulance services off to the highest bidder, we're talking about an important piece of legislation the government introduced.

The Chancellor, Sean Manning, made it clear that enough was enough of the Tory mantra of past: no longer would kids go to school hungry, no longer would their prospects be determined by the government's failure to act, child poverty should be a thing of the past within a generation. And The Mirror commends them for this.

What was the Tories' response? Maybe we would expect them to pretend to care, like Saxon flimsily did during the paternity and maternity leave debate. Maybe we'd at least expect them to show their true blue Tory colours and question how the government would do this, which is insidious but at least shows pretence of holding the government to account - and whatever your view of child poverty, to contribute to the debate you must care a little.

We had nothing. Nothing from the Leader of the Opposition. Nothing from the Shadow Chancellor. Nothing from a single Tory.

Because we know what they think: if the child isn't theirs, cooped up in Eton, it isn't worth the time, energy or money to feed, clothe, nurse or educate. It's the same old story and the same old Tories - lets make sure they never get into government and rehash their disastrous tenure again. 
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Admin Responsible for the Houses of Parliament. (Also Cabinet&PM stuff).
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“In politics, guts is all.” - Barbara Castle.


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