Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Far Advanced Are Miliband's Plans?

PR Week's David Singleton has a cracking STORY about David Miliband's supposed leadership campaign. It alleges that he has already recruited a putative Director of Communications in the affable D-J Collins, who currently performs the same role for Google in the UK. Not only that, Singleton also names the six people who are advising Miliband on any leadership bid. The story looks very well sourced, I must say.
The Foreign Secretary is keen to have D-J Collins, European communications director at Google, as his director of communications should be become PM. It is not known whether Collins has agreed to the plan. Miliband would also find a place in the team for Jonathan Kestenbaum, the well-connected chief executive of Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). Kestenbaum is said to have told friends he would take chief of staff.

Miliband is also believed to have a campaign manager in place. Alan Donnelly, chairman of the lobbying firm Sovereign Strategy, has been asked to perform the role. The three men are part of a six-strong inner circle already providing discreet help to Miliband in a personal capacity. Other members of the inner circle are former Downing Street head of policy Matthew Taylor and Miliband's current top special advisers Sarah Schaefer and Madlin Sadler.

There's not much going on in political news at the moment so expect the Westminster lobby to be on to this like a rat at a trap. Miliband and his spokespeople will of course indulge in plausible denial, and it may well be that discussions haven't gone quite as far as this. But even if Miliband himself has not been present at any meetings, I would be very surprised this band of helpers hadn't met to discuss a few 'what if' scenarios at the very least. That's what happens in advance of leadership campaigns. But one of them has committed a cardinal sin. They have leaked.

38 comments:

Robert said...

Who is paying for their time at present. Also Spads doing political work-isn't that against the rules?

Blue Eyes said...

If Miliband thinks he will be supported by the electorate he is madder than Brown.

Dick the Prick said...

Agree with Blue Eyes - the what if's should be 'what if Millipede is completely unelectable?' to which the obvious answer is - don't give up your day jobs lads.

It's like choosing which way you wanna die - yeah, guess a bullet in the brain is preferable to torture - d'oh.

Anonymous said...

Has one of the Millipedes merry band leaked the info, or has someone else been listening in, and released the information as a spoiler?

Either way, he's nuked.

Newmania said...

I do not agree that Milliband is unelectable he is just unknown , he has to be an improvement and I do not believe Brown is going to make it to the next election.

Blue Eyes said...

Newmania, I know enough about him to know that Brown is infinitely preferable. Did you see his Green-wiki? He is even more of a statist than Brown, he is even more left-wing that Brown, he is even more deluded than Brown.

Anonymous said...

Newmania - why does he "have to be an improvement" Is it not perfectly plausible that he is as far up his own arse as it is possible to get?
The whole bloody lot of them are as deluded as the next, Milliband and Balls in particular.
What in the name of God qualifies them to be PM, they've never worked, Milliband hasn't even bought a house (one from daddy and one from the state and no doubt one from us the gullible taxpayers too!)
Lord help us if Milliband is the next unelected PM.

Anonymous said...

"Spads doing political work-isn't that against the rules?"

No. That is explicitly what they are paid to do. Only if there was an actual leadership campaign would they be required to take leave in order to work on it.

canvas said...

I would much rather have David Miliband as PM than Gordon Brown. Miliband just needs to learn how to be a little bit more relaxed (especially on camera). He's too 'nervous' at the moment to instill confidence.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

You say: "One of them has committed a cardinal sin. They have leaked". The interesting question is, who leaked it?

The clue is in the fact that it appeared in PR Week. Who is chief special adviser to Brown? Stephen Carter, ex-CEO of PR company Brunswick. Who is his head of political strategy? David Muir, formerly of PR giant WPP. The article also contains gossip about Jonathan Kestenbaum. And his old boss? Gordon's mate Ronnie Cohen.

This has all the hallmarks of a Number Ten hatchet job. No one else in government uses PR Week as a mouthpiece.

Anonymous said...

Canvas, Why? Can someone give a properly rational reason why David Milliband would be a better PM than GB?
The polls show it makes not a jot of difference, so why?
Why would a party cause a leadership contest that will further alienate the electorate, precipitate the need for an early election and bring forward the loss of jobs for hundreds of labour MPs?
The whole thing beggars belief!

Anonymous said...

No mention of Miliband's other SPAD, Ravi Gurumurthy - so presumably it was him who fed this line to PR week.

Anonymous said...

Could be some of the shortest appointments ever - the electorate and media won't stand for another shoe-in PM without an election in Spring 2009 and then of course the whole shower will be turfed out - Good riddance to the lot of 'em

canvas said...

Anon asks why "The polls show it makes not a jot of difference, so why? "

Anon - There could not be a more useless, ineffectual, unsuccessful, uninspiring and feeble PM than Gordon Brown. I think it would be refreshing to have the brainy and youthful David Miliband to 'take over' the drivers seat.

Then - let the country decide. It would make the next general election a real contest.

Anonymous said...

To Canvas at 2:28 PM -

'brainy and youthful David Miliband'

Ha ha. Self serving and seriously deluded more like.

I had the misfortune to listen to him slating the Russians on Radio 4 this morning - he's dangerous.

canvas said...

Anon- I agree with you regarding Miliband's stance with the Russians. But my point is - Is it better to have a PM who hides away in the bunker - or a PM who takes a chance and makes a stand (albeit a rather dodgy stand)?

Gordon Brown serves NO purpose.

What's the point of having Gordon Brown as PM?

That's why I say maybe give David Miliband a chance.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.16pm: Why on earth would Team Miliband want to give this story to PR Week? It makes him look like a twat, which is precisely what it was intended to.

Two words for who gave this story to PR Week: Number Ten.

All they've done is to package up a load of recycled gossip which PR Week have faithfully reported. They are trying to shaft him.

Anonymous said...

Canvas, the Tories had a brainy and youthful leader once - William Hague, and where did that get them? The worst result in their history.
Don't be sucked in by the Milliband press.
I do not dispute what you say about GB, but that does not convince me that Milliband is the man to take over.
He lacks judgement, is convinced of his own brilliance and is where he is because of one Tony Blair. Remind you of anyone?

Anonymous said...

To Canvas at 2:41 PM -

'or a PM who takes a chance and makes a stand (albeit a rather dodgy stand)?'

Takes a chance against whom? The Russians? Personally I'd prefer to entrust my safety and wellbeing to someone who's a bit more savvy than Millipede. It's OK for him - he can retreat to the safety of nice bunker somewhere when the 'canned sunshine' is flying towards us.

'Gordon Brown serves NO purpose.'

True. Let's get rid of him.

'What's the point of having Gordon Brown as PM?'

None. See above.

'That's why I say maybe give David Miliband a chance.'

No. Give the electorate a chance to decide who's in charge. It's time to dissolve Parliament and call an election.

canvas said...

anon - I agree it's time for a general election. But with Gordon Brown as Labour leader - there is no real contest. There's no choice. Gordon sucks. He's clueless and he's useless.

While that fact might suit DC and the Tories it doesn't suit me. I'm not convinced that I want to vote for DC and the Conservative Party - no matter how much I despise Gordon Brown and his government.

I want a better choice. A real choice. I want a serious debate. Gordon Brown offers nothing.


Maybe Vince Cable could get in on the action? At least then there would a serious dialogue. Cross the floor, Vince!

:)

CityUnslicker said...

bring it on, bring it on....

Dick the Prick said...

You've got to admire their pluck I guess. Whereas everyone else knows that they're gonna lose bad (maybe even die) they still believe that it's something to desire. Utterly crazy.

CityUnslicker said...

canvas you are Vince cable's spad and I claim my £5.

Anonymous said...

Well sourced? it looks like trash to me. "Kestenbaum is said to have told friends" ie it's not even third hand. And the stuff that says Hoon, Watson and co have defected to Miliband suggest that it was planted by someone in the whips office with an axe to grind. I wonder who that might be?

Newmania said...

I did not mean that I like Millipede yeeeeesh ! I can`t stand him .I dislike him more than I do Brown. He was Blair`s little Rooney and then Browns shoe shiner , some CV .. He is also the heir to a long line of left-ish intellectuals soi disant. The Guardian had a letter where someone had noticed Pére Milliband was being reviewed by Polly Toynbee’s Auntie (or some Toynbee) in the 50s with approval . His claim to be an ordinary Comprehensive schooled chap is sheer testes .
No its not that , but when they polled Labour votes with a Milliband leadership he did as well as Brown and when you discount for publicity that’s not bad. His personal popularity could not be worse than the great Awks.
I only meant that drowning unemployable Blair babes will grasp any floating turd nearby. Voila le Milliband. That’s my prediction. Milliband will go into the next election

Is this ,even electorally, a good idea? My personal view is that a second attempt to avoid culpability for a regime that was , let us not forget ,already hated prior to Brown , will be even worse than sticking with Brown and arguing the case. You get what appears a new start but in doing so you admit the last ten years have been a mistake. It look s dishonest and will be punished, but they will still do it.

If you wish to be a super model and require help in vomiting I recommend reading his smarmy apple for teacher essays in the New Statesman. “How I can Give arse to the left whilst blowing the right “ ...is the general theme,( the tenth way or something. )

So I hope you have all got that Dale says Brown will hand on Newmania says not. We shall see who is right

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.42pm: "'Kestenbaum is said to have told friends' ie it's not even third hand."

Quite so! In other words, Kestenbaum saw Ronnie Cohen. Ronnie suspected Kestenbaum was up to something and told Gordon. Gordon told Stephen Carter. And Stephen Carter told his mates on PR Week. Heavily embellished along the way, no doubt.

This is all part of a strategy being run out of Downing Street to paint Miliband (a) as an uber-Blairite and (b) as presumptuously behaving as though he is in Number Ten before there has even been a leadership election.

Neither of those things are true. It only provides further evidence of the brutal factionalism that the Brownites have consistently displayed during 11 years in office. Anyone Brown identifies as an enemy he seeks to destroy. This story is just evidence that the guns are now trailed on Miliband.

Newmania said...

Maybe Vince Cable could get in on the action? At least then there would a serious dialogue. Cross the floor, Vince!
Not the Cable man.The BBC may hang upon his lips but he was the he who said the Rock should be ours and then ooopsee looks like we bought a crock.
Anyone who was not an over exposed doddering should -be antique dealer could have seen that coming.
Anyway I can`t stand Liberals who make free market low tax noises when they spent the 90s criticising Brown`s regime (as it was) FROM THE LEFT

trevorsden said...

Milliband a better PM?

Who cares.

Has everybody missed the point?

Inflation out of control, currency tumbling, government borrowing soaring, car sales in 'nosedive' (Stop Press - Toyota slashed production in Derby), house price slump, mortgage famine, retail sales 25% down, 3 million live in an unemployed household. A recession inevitable - if not here already. The Treasury not seemingly talking to No10 - no one in charge apparently.

The country is in deep shit - whose fault is that -- er... ITS THE LABOUR PARTY ! Hello! Knock, knock ... Anybody home ??

Does anybody in their right mind think the electorate are going to reward the said Labour party with another term of office?

Brown is toast ... what worries me is that we are all going to be joining him - big time.

Methinks you are blogging on the wrong subject.

Anonymous said...

Milliband delivered a dismal performance on the Today Programme this morning, even against an ineffectual John Humphries. Vacuous, glib and ignorant, he is a worthy successor to Blair and Brown, and equally incapable of dealing with the problems that his government has bequeathed.

Rohan said...

We really have come to a pretty pass when Milliband is touted as the next PM. What exactly qualifies him? His career, as a party-political hack? His charisma, i.e. that of an Oxfam store detective with a schoolboy's haircut? His manifest lack of success in office? Or even the lack of the detailed vision and policies to steer this country through the looming economic downturn and turbulence in international relations?

We need a proper leader not a boy scout. Aspiration and ambition are not enough to be Prime Minister. We people like this are touted I really do fear for the future.

Anonymous said...

It's comforting to know that whilst "the Caucasus" goes belly up our Foreign Secretary and our Prime Minister are jockeying for who has the pre-eminent position within the Labour Party

Anonymous said...

Miliband running round like a maniac trying to position himself as a statesman,Brown bunkered in Scotland trying to win an election,who is running the country which is going to hell in a handcart?It's time someone,anyone did something for Britain instead of for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Miliband has the one thing that John Major had when he took over from Thatcher - he is not really known by the general public. Hence is not (yet) hated as is Gordo. Hence, he is, in the short term, more likely to win a general election.

What he is really like, out from under the shadow of Gordon, is another matter of course.

Arkangel said...

canvas said...


Gordon Brown serves NO purpose.

Agreed

What's the point of having Gordon Brown as PM?

None whatsoever.

That's why I say maybe give David Miliband a chance.

Are you barking mad?

Anonymous said...

The story looks very well sourced, I must say.

Maybe Gordon's been making some more early-morning phone calls - long-distance from Glenrothes.

norman said...

Borrowing Rumsfeld words ( he would not mind I think!), teenager Miliband is a known unknown! Labour will be replacing a known known with a known unknown!

Auntie Flo' said...

canvas said...

Miliband just needs to learn how to be a little bit more relaxed (especially on camera). He's too 'nervous' at the moment to instill confidence.



Nervous? More like trigger happy. He's a Blair clone without the charisma and more of a warmonger than even Blair was. For that reason alone millionaire Miliband will never get to be PM. The people of UK have had enough of warmongers and commie millionaires and will see this one coming a mile off.

trevorsden said...

Pardon me ladies and gentlemen but I think Alistair Darling's latest interview to The Guardian rather makes my previous point for me.

We all have far more important things to worry about than who is going to be the next leader of the labour Party.

But just to join in the spirit of things -- What we should also perhaps remember is that this interview was apparently given at his weekend/holiday cottage on the Isle of Lewis. It rather emphasises the Scottish Mafia running Britain today and if Glenroths does fall it cannot help but put more burnt edges on Brown's toast.