Tuesday, 28 September 2010
POLITICS: THE DAILY MAIL GETS THE KNIVES OUT
For whom, you may ask, as if you didn't already know. It's for this innocuous looking man.
Whose name is Ed Milliband, or Red Ed as the DM calls him, and he's just been elected leader of the Labour Party.
The DM hates him for a number of reasons, not least of which being that he isn't his more moderate brother David who lost by 1.3% of the votes. Another is that he won because the majority of union votes went to him. He also quoted as saying that he would not condemn legal strike action by an union attempting to save jobs and that his view on any particular strike would be dictated by the circumstances surrounding the strike. Mind you, I can understand the DM's outrage at this; after all it's been at least 15 years since a Labour leader said that.
How absolutely outrageous!
And did you know that over 35,000 votes were declared invalid? Shame! Um, except that these were almost entirely union votes and the unions were the ones who preferred him anyway so if they had been counted he'd probably have had a larger majority. Sorry, DM, can't have your cake and eat it.
A majority of party activists and MP's preferred brother David; only the unions got Ed in. This may be true and it doesn't make any difference. The unions are the major source of funds for the Labour Party so it's only right that they have some say in voting for the leader.
The voting system, in case you weren't aware of it goes like this: The ballot paper has a list of candidates and voting is by preference =1,2,3 etc. The candidate with the least votes has his second choices distributed appropriately among the remaining candidates, and this goes on until there are only two left and the one with over fifty per cent of the vote wins. This does mean that a candidate with less first choice votes could win over a candidate with more first but fewer second choices. In practice this means that a middle of the road candidate is more likely to win over someone who polarises the voters.
I've taken no interest in this election until the actual announcing of the results but I will be taking more now that it's over. All I can say, especially after the DM started sticking the knives in, is: Go, Red Ed!