Friday, September 15, 2006

When will Milburn cross the floor?

I know Alan Milburn is always mentioned as a Blairite outrider but I have to say I nearly fell off my seat on the bus when I read his latest comments in the Telegraph this morning. Speaking at the Institute of Directors yesterday he said, and I quote:

"Ownership works. It enhances responsibility. After all, nobody ever washed a rental car. For these reasons I believe both employee share ownership and home ownership need to be extended far further, driven in party by tax breaks."

Obviously some think this is part of a game by the ultra-Blairites in the Labour Party to force Brown's hand on his reform agenda. There are others who think this is part of Milburn's own leadership bid as well. But let's be honest, few in the Labour Party appear interested in supporting such a sound agenda as the above remarks implies.

Hell - dare I even say it - but, it sounds more like Milburn is preparing the way for a Damascene conversion of Woodwardian proportions. The way the Labour party is navel-gazing at the moment, and the way "renewal" appears to be code for "regression", it's unlikely to feel a very homely for people like Milburn in the not too distant future.

The above has been submitted to LabourHome here.


leon said...
15 Sep 2006 15:38:00  

Maybe, in his lust for power, he's just lost his mind?

don jameson said...
15 Sep 2006 15:49:00  

As he crosses the floor, he'll probably bump into David Cameron coming in the opposite direction.

The whole text is on the Progress website,

He even salutes Thatcher. Weird.

Croydonian said...
15 Sep 2006 16:12:00  

If it does happen, he can bring Field and Hoey with him.

If he doesn't, floor crossers are pond life...

LondonVillage said...
15 Sep 2006 16:37:00  

Why don't they all just join the Tory party and be done with it?

politicalcorrespondent said...
15 Sep 2006 18:03:00  

Kate Hoey is pretty left-wing on most issues, it's just that she gets most publicity for her stance on fox hunting, which she sees as a question of civil rights rather than animal welfare.

Her positions on Iraq, public services, trade justice, the environment, trade union rights, council housing, the Middle East, gay rights, etc etc would put her miles to the left even of Cameron's new look Conservatives. Sorry, but we're keeping her on our side of the House. ;-)

You might be more welcome to Milburn though... is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to