The Insider

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The Insider  |  20 September 2014

Ah, conference season. Your insider is a hoary veteran and has come to realise that each conference, like a fine wine, has its own special bouquet. There is the post-election conference, either celebration or inquest. There are the midterm lulls, where the only entertainment is provided by the ambitious trying to impress both the leader …

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2014-09-03_1628

The Unlikely Lads

The Insider  |  3 September 2014

Of the big names from Gordon Brown’s government, it is perhaps two of the men who walked out of the spotlight who have seen their reputation and stature grow since. This summer it has been veterans Alan Johnson and Alistair Darling whose names were buzzing round Labour circles. Will they return to frontline politics and …

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Insider cartoon Adrian Teal July 2014 Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas: Chicken soup for Labour’s soul

The Insider  |  10 July 2014

Labour’s bout of post-election hangover came heavy and hard. The outbreak of briefing was less a revolt than a nervous shudder, with different prescriptions and solutions competing for the ear of the leader, and offering a path forward to victory. There are those around Ed Miliband and in the shadow cabinet who want more ‘boldness’, …

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Insider cartoon. June 2014.

Band on the run?

The Insider  |  2 June 2014

Polls go up and polls go down. This true, useful mantra for politicians is only used when the polls go down. Labour politicians found themselves saying it rather a lot before last month’s elections. The nervousness this engendered was repressed, but only barely. In May this column noted that Douglas Alexander’s appointment as election coordinator …

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Insider May 2014

True believer

The Insider  |  9 May 2014

The recruitment of David Axelrod was Douglas Alexander’s coup. To get the biggest name in the Obama campaign on board for Ed Miliband was the first fruit of his appointment as Labour election coordinator. That appointment was a while coming. Both Alexander and Michael Dugher wanted to head Labour’s campaign, and both men had a …

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The Insider April 2014

Matching Osborne’s moves

The Insider  |  8 April 2014

Fear is the constant companion of Labour in opposition. We become nervous when our poll leads shrink and the memory of lost elections past is summoned from our collective recall. Are we as secure and as safe from political earthquakes as we need to be to win? Last summer, as Labour seemed to falter, the …

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The Insider cartoon March 2014 Ed Miliband Ray Collins Len McCluskey

Now, win the peace?

The Insider  |  28 February 2014

When Ray Collins agreed to lead the party reform process, he was, your insider is reliably told, the third person to be offered the job. The first two grandees declined, hinting that their skills were inadequate to the challenge of peacefully changing Labour’s structures. Quietly, they were avoiding a job that looked like it could …

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Progress Magazine Cartoon December 2013

The two Eds struggle

The Insider  |  4 December 2013

There are always tensions at the top. Different agendas can come into conflict. When they do, it can be messy. Divided loyalties, and all that. I am speaking of the tensions between Ed Miliband and Ed Miliband, the trouble it has led to in Falkirk, and how party reform will be decided. The first Ed …

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Insider cartoon November 2013

Labour’s got talent

The Insider  |  4 November 2013

It finally happened. As predicted here, after being delayed by Syria and conference, it was politically exposed, middle-aged male former ministers who found themselves shunted from the shadow cabinet. This was seen as a cull of Blairites, but then the new people started doing more than walking down the street looking fresh-faced, and what they …

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The Insider cartoon October 2013

Ed Agonistes

The Insider  |  20 September 2013

From Syria to summer wrangling to the union link, Ed Miliband is struggling to keep Labour united, even at the cost of weakening himself. So this conference, you only have to look around the hall to understand the pressures he is under. Not long after Miliband’s election as leader, various Labour worthies began congratulating the …

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