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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Blair twists the knife in Miliband

The Times reports that Tony Blair has intervened in the long-standing row over Ed Miliband's leadership by expressing his fear that the Conservatives will win next year’s election because the Labour leader is too left-wing for the British public. They add that he has warned to Mr Miliband that he needs to stop alienating the business community:

Mr Blair suggested that under Mr Miliband Labour had returned to the days of the 1980s when it swung to the left and became unelectable. The former prime minister repeated his warning, made in an interview in October, that the election could be one “in which a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result”.

Asked whether a “traditional result” was a Tory win, Mr Blair said: “Yes, that is what happens.”

“I am convinced the Labour party succeeds best when it is in the centre ground,” he told The Economist.

Asked what lessons he derived from his experience of winning elections, Mr Blair replied: “Not alienating large parts of business, for one thing.”

Mr Miliband had been criticised for attempting to divide the business world into “predators” and “producers”, a line of attack said to worry Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, who has been trying to win back business confidence.

Senior Blairites were also angered by Mr Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices. They worry the plan will lead to a collapse in investment and price rises before and after the freeze.

As ever Tony Blair's timing is spot-on, managing to undermine the Labour Leader's New Year message whilst offering fresh ammunition for the Tories' election campaign.
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