Big news: New Labour dead and buried 

It’s big news in Britain, but here at the Examiner we ran only four paragraphs from the Associated Press story, and so far as I can tell the story got little more coverage in the Wall Street Journal (seven paragraphs on page A15) or the Washington Post (nothing that I could find in Monday’s paper); the splendid John F. Burns provided more coverage in the New York Times.  But it’s a dramatic and big story. Former Energy Secretary Ed Milliband beat his brother, former Foreign Secretary David Milliband, for the leadership of the Labour party by 1.3% of the weighted vote. David Milliband won among party members and Labour Members of Parliament; Ed Milliband won among the labor unions.

 Clearly this is a victory for Old Labour and a repudiation of the New Labour project of Tony Blair, even as Blair is out promoting his autobiography; Ed Milliband essentially pronounces New Labour dead. And perhaps with reverberations for years to come: Matthew D’Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph predicts boldly that it means that Labour will lose the next general election and that David Cameron will get another term as prime minister. I’m not so certain as D’Ancona, but he could certainly turn out to be right, in which case Cameron will serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom for eight, nine or ten years—longer, no matter what the outcome of our 2012 election, than Barack Obama will remain as president.

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Michael Barone

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