The Labour Party’s arch-Blairites rallied at Manchester’s Comedy Store last Sunday—but there were more tears than laughter after David Miliband’s defeat in the Labour leadership election.
“I sense there’s a subdued atmosphere at the moment,” Ben Bradshaw MP told the hushed crowd. “I think it’s still sinking in for some people.”
This was supposed to be a Labour Party conference fringe event hosted by the Progress “thinktank”—a hard neoliberal faction within the party.
But it seemed more like a wake for David Miliband’s leadership campaign.
“I was one of David’s co-chairs of his campaign,” said Jim Murphy MP, almost choking on the words.
“You said in your kind introduction that I’m a good organiser… but clearly I wasn’t good enough.”
By the time failed London mayoral candidate Oona King took to the stage, there was an inescapable feeling that power had finally drained away from the Blairites.
“We had a bruising leadership campaign. The result was a difficult moment,” she said, her voice breaking.
Going on to speak about her mayoral campaign, she added, “I really, really learned who my friends are—and it turned out that most of them are in this room.”
By then the room was half-empty.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Oh, what a beautiful mourning
This delicious article from SW is worth savouring: