You may have noted that the Labour Party has a new leader, Mr. Edward Miliband. He's a bright guy, a little goofy, and desperate to bring on the dictatorship of the proletariat and start swinging the bodies of small businessmen from the lamp-posts.
Well, that's what Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and the Conservative press seem to think - they took to calling this affable career politician 'Red Ed', despite his impeccable New Labour (ugh) credentials, and despite their deep knowledge of Labour history. Foot wasn't red, Atlee wasn't red, there's never been a 'red' leader: all Labour Party bosses have been moderate to the point of chained to the middle ground (except for Blair, who was well to the right). The Communist Party in the 'Class Against Class' period (mid-1930s) used to describe the Labour Party as 'social fascist' because they wanted to direct the working class, rather than be directed by it: the label was slightly unfair then, but suited New Labour perfectly. The nation - despite huge positive achievements instituted by the Labour Party - came to feel excluded from politics, and under constant surveillance. It's time to start consulting a little more.
Ben supported David Miliband, on the reasonable grounds that David's electable in the eyes of the Great British Public. I wasn't keen on any of the candidates, but gave Ed my first preference simply because he sounded a little more thoughtful, and unlike his brother, didn't spend the past three years in the Foreign Office resisting court demands for clarity on his awareness of War on Terror torture. He'd have been OK as leader, but he's still young, and Ed might have a massive heart attack.
Sorry - I watched The Manchurian Candidate last night.