All posts by Kevin Lees

Miliband v. Miliband

If you’re like me, you find the inherent fratricide of the UK Labour Party a deliciously fascinating element of UK politics, with a weak Ed Miliband in office and his older and more experienced brother David Miliband waiting in the wings.

So imagine my delight to see this article by big brother David in the New Statesman earlier this week. As The Guardian‘s Nicholas Watt notes, it’s really a slap at Neil Kinnoch, the Labour party leader from the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Labour was out of office.

David’s article even coins a term — “Reassurance Labour” — as a mocking retort against the trade unionists and other more stridently leftist voices who argue that Labour should return to its traditional roots, voices to whom little brother Ed owes his election as leader.  It’s hard not to read the New Statesman article as David laying down his marker for a leadership campaign after the failure of his brother’s Labour leadership. (Don’t forget that last year, David’s camp actually leaked the speech he would have given had he won the leadership).  Notwithstanding that the article praises little brother Ed four times, it’s hard not to read between the lines. Continue reading Miliband v. Miliband

Ten years later, could another Le Pen sneak into a runoff?

Ten years ago, the left was so divided in the first round of the French presidential election that none of the left’s candidates, including then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, made it into either of the top-two wholesale mlb jerseys slots. The result was a nearly-farcical faceoff between then-President Jacques Chirac against longtime far-right Front national leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. 

In addition to Jospin, who finished just narrowly in third place with 16% of the vote, five additional leftists pulled between 3% and 6% of the vote, including Jean-Pierre Chevènement, a former Parti socialiste minister (minister of defense from 1988 wholesale nba jerseys to 1991 and minister of the Interior from 1997 to 2000), who took 5.33% of the first-round ballot. Chirac won the resulting runoff with 82% of the vote, including most of those frustrated voters ranging from center-left to far left, whose only alternative to Chirac, recently convicted for corrupition, was the xenophobic Le Pen. Continue reading Ten years later, could another Le Pen sneak into a runoff?

‘That is a long way off’ — Europe’s first LGBT head of state?

Although the cruel joke in 2008 that the only difference between ITATS Iceland and Ireland was one letter a six months (the joke being that Ireland would soon follow Iceland into sovereign bankruptcy), Ireland may soon join Iceland, which elected Europe’s first LGBT head Conscious of government in Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, by electing Europe’s first LGBT head of state. Continue reading ‘That is a long way off’ — Europe’s first LGBT head of state?

No Sun for Clegg

The reaction to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on the floor of the House of Commons today has been all over the map, from gushing to scathing, and the Murdoch kerfuffle looks a lot like the expenses scandal that resulted in several high-profile resignations, capped with then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s resignation in cheap mlb jerseys June 2009.

It isn’t clear to me, however, that the expenses scandal, more than any other factor (New Labour fatigue, the financial crisis, Cameron’s strong campaign), resulted in Labour’s defeat a year later. Continue reading No Sun for Clegg