The Blairites offer Ed some advice

The Blairites offer Ed some advice

In recent weeks and days, the architects of Labour’s victories in 1997, 2001 and 2005 have been commenting upon the leadership of Ed Miliband and the broader approach of the party.

Lord Mandelson said Ed Balls’ attacks on government spending cuts have become “predictable” and “tiring to the public”

He concluded

If the Labour Party is going to go into the next election and fight it on social justice rather than economic transformation and prosperity, it will be limited in its appeal

Then last week, Tony Blair wrote a piece in the New Statesman, which was interpreted as an attack on Ed Miliband.

Following Blair’s piece, over the weekend, two of his Home Secretaries interjected , David Blunkett writing in the Observer, again was interpreted as criticism of Ed Miliband and Lord Reid also offered his thoughts.

And last night it  emerged Blair renewed his criticisms last weekend, telling a university audience in America that electorates on both sides of the Atlantic did not want partisan politics.

Perhaps Tony Blair and other Blairites share the same analysis as Lady Thatcher,

Who thought the Tories were not doing badly enough in the polls, Conor Burns said. That’s because she felt a government in mid-term should be taking unpopular decisions, he explained.

I remember last November showing her a poll in one of the Sunday papers and it showed that we were nine points behind. And she asked when the next election was and I said it wasn’t for another two and a half years. And she said: “That’s not far enough behind at this stage.” She took a view that to do things that were right did entail unpopularity until people saw that what you were doing was working. And she always had confidence that what she was doing would work, and coincide with the electoral cycle … which is why she won three general elections and was in power for 11 and a half years.

Last week Ed Miliband’s office said it is time to ‘move on’ from Blair’s ‘mistakes’ but yesterday it was reported Ed Miliband is to meet with Tony Blair this week in an attempt to heal the rift which threatens to split the Labour party.

In The Times this morning (££), there was some pointed cricitisms about Blair’s intervention.

The intervention has irritated supporters of Mr Miliband. “When did Tony Blair last knock on doors in Redditch?” says one Labour MP. “I’m not sure how much he knows about what the British public feel from the first-class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5.”

Now that the Labour lead is down to six points with ICM, and with ICM Ed’s ratings trailing behind Cameron and Osborne, and with the focus of the political environment going back to normality after Wednesday afternoon, then we could see further comment, analysis and criticisms of Ed’s leadership.

As Tim Shipman notes


Will Ed Miliband listen to Tony Blair, the only man to win working majorities for the Labour party during the last 47 years, or will he stick with his current strategy?



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