Search topics on this blog

Showing posts with label David Miliband. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Miliband. Show all posts

Saturday, 24 November 2012

David Miliband - Iraq War supporter and enemy of Scottish independence - in Danish television interview

The recent Danish political dram Borgen, a fine example of Scandinavian noir, was followed avidly by many Scottish viewers, notably the politicians, and I certainly found it riveting, with many parallels to Scotland’s present politics.

O, wad some Power the giftie gie us tae see oorsels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, an' foolish notion … ROBERT BURNS

Danes take a keen interest in Scotland’s progress towards independence, and among the most influential television journalism in Denmark is the DR2 channel and Deadline 22:30 

(search  DR2/deadline 22:30 on Google and click the translate option. It is also on YouTube.)

Here’s what the programme says about itself on its website -

About Deadline 22.30

The program sent every day at. 22.30 on DR2. Deadline serves today's latest news, and with experienced and well-prepared hosts the program sets the perspective on current and future key issues.

In particular, the program focuses on analysis, discussion and criticism of 'power', that is, decisions and decision-makers in economics and politics. This is achieved through four weekly activities.

The “experienced and well-prepared hosts” (BBC take note!) do exactly what it says on the tin, and a recent edition featured an interview with David Miliband. Thanks to my invaluable Danish friend Troels Just, I have the link and a translation of the interviewer’s subsequent analysis of Miliband’s ideas and performance.

Here’s the edition that contained the Miliband interview  - the interview is about 40% of the way in, after the Commons scene with Speaker Bercow. Miliband speaks in English. (It’s a glimpse of the real life Borgen of Danish politics!)

My Danish correspondent, Troels Just, to whom I am indebted for all of this, plus much more in the past, sets the context thus -

David Miliband was on Danish TV tonight (12 Nov 2012), our equivalent of the BBC (Danmarks Radio or "DR" for short) have a program called Deadline 22:30, which I think is sort of like Newsnight Scotland or similar, news and debate basically. He was basically invited to speak about the euroskeptic attitude of the UK as a whole. During this interview he mentions Scotland, of course in this "separating" language that seems like a religious mantra for the Labour party.

The interview with David Miliband is roughly in the middle of the program, they show one part, and then talk about what he said, and then show another part and talk about it with a professor of European studies here in Denmark. The commentary is of course in Danish, the interview itself is in English.

I thought you might be interested in a translated transcript of the commentary on the interview with David Miliband, so I spent some time making one for you.  Troels Just

(My heartfelt thanks, Troels!)

I have tried capturing the Danish "tone" or assumptions made in this commentary, to give an idea of how we on the continent speak about the UK and Europe. This commentary shows this notion of "politics of necessity", which I personally think is a bag of nonsense, since there really is no such thing as "this and only THIS being totally and absolutely necessary" as one can always do something different if one is willing to break with the status quo (Think of Trident, for instance), but having said that, this does represent the sort of light mockery that the UK is, deservedly, subjected to in continental media.


Presenter: Yes, another EU country that provides a headache in Brussels is Great Britain; the British government rejects any talk of letting the EU's budget grow and Prime Minister Cameron is pressured on the home front with a growing EU skepticism in the parliament.

*footage from the House of Commons*

The 31st of October was yet another notable day in Great Britain's long history of being skeptical towards the EU.

*Speaker of the House of Commons announces the results*

That was how it sounded when the the British lower house voted in favour of cuts to the upcoming EU budget and thereby against the British Prime Minister Cameron's policy of a freeze. Even though Cameron is not obligated to follow the parliament, the decision was noticeable a week later when Cameron had to formulate the British position after a meeting with Germany's Chancellor Merkel. As opposed to Great Britain, Merkel wishes for more European integration, which would mean more power and more money for the EU.

*Cameron speaking*

Presenter: Yes, welcome Marlene Wind, EU expert, your assessment, is there a realistic chance, one could say on the one side, or risk or whatever, of the the British actually leaving the EU within the next five years?

Marlene Wind: I am not sure about five years, but a lot of things at the moment would indicate that that they are moving towards the exit of the European Community*, because Cameron have almost promised a referendum and all polls show that if it comes it will be a "No".

Presenter: Okay, we will speak more in a little bit, now we will first listen to how Great Britain's former foreign minister and Labour politician, David Miliband, explains the British stance on the EU.

*archive footage of Milliband*

Presenter: Miliband was foreign minister from 2007 and, until Labour's electoral defeat in 2010, he was a candidate to succeed Labour's party chairman**, Gordon Brown, but then he was defeated by his brother, Ed Miliband. I asked David Miliband what the problem actually is with Great Britain and the EU.

*interview part 1*

Presenter: Yes, Marlene Wind – Miliband a Labour politician, of course, giving the competitor, Cameron, a real run here, but what do you take note of in what he says?

Marlene Wind: I take note of that he paddles a bit, that is to say he slides on several of your questions, but he apparently also imagines that the Europe we will have in 10 years is, on the whole, looks like that which we have now, albeit there will be a eurozone, he says, that that might be getting more federal elements in it, but otherwise all of us will probably be there, and then it will be as it always was.

But that is exactly the problem, that it is not as it always was! And everything seems to indicate that it will be a completely different union we will have within just a few years, not out of desire and great visions, but out of need.

If one wants to rescue the euro and get the euro back on track, then you just have to build more union on top, and at the moment there are those talking about - and here I am talking about high profile officials such as van Rompuy, the Chairman** of the European Council - who says that it could be necessary to divide up the European Parliament, and only let the countries who are members of the eurozone make decisions on behalf of the eurozone.

People also suggest that Commission perhaps should not divided up, but that there should be a special secretariat for the eurozone. We are seeing more and more a separation of non-euro countries and euro countries, and therefore it is naive of Miliband not to address that very real problem that exists for the British - and by the way, also for the Danes, but especially for the British - because they crawled that far up in a tree, and are finding it difficult to try to come up with some constructive proposals.

On that we, after all, are a bit better, but it is quite difficult when one is caught a bit with one's pants down that the British have been.

Presenter: Yes, but now Miliband here wants to appear as clearly more pro-European than Cameron, but is he at base really almost as critical, or is he forced to be so?

Marlene Wind: I think he, personally, is very pro-European as a person, but it is very, very difficult in Great Britain at the moment to be pro-European...

Presenter: So it does not matter just changing governments - or what one could say?

Marlene Wind: It does not matter, because Labour is also pressured into a very anti-European rhetoric, and I read an article as recently as today in Financial Times where it said that only the Liberal Democrats are left, but not even they dare say anything - in the public debate - that has anything positive at all as a message about the European Community. One could say that makes the domestic policy agenda dominate the policy on Europe so much in Great Britain that one has almost tied the political leaders' hands - and feet - despite of being like Miliband in reality: probably somewhat more pro-European than he is allowed to be.

Presenter: We will speak further in a moment, but we will just go back to the interview with David Miliband, because I also asked him whether he is worried about the EU being separated into a euro and non-euro part.

*interview part 2*

Presenter: Yes, Marlene Wind, before it called it naive that one could find way back to ... sort of "the old EU", but could one not imagine that Merkel and Hollande, would want the British to stay in, and therefore one could find some solution where one has a core of euro countries that integrate on fiscal policy and that sort of thing, but while on the broader scale is more loosely integrated nation states?

Marlene Wind: The problem is whether one can keep the institutions together, the Commission, the court and the parliament and the supranational institutions and whether that is possible.

Presenter: Put simply, why could one not do that?

Marlene Wind: Well there are those, whom I mentioned before, who are of the opinion that the European Parliament does not represent all 27 countries anymore, because there are some that are outside the eurozone, therefore it is not "democratically okay" for countries outside the eurozone to have influence - through the European Parliament - on those things to be decided for the eurozone.

One can easily therefore imagine that the EU can break into two - and people are also quite worried about the internal market – which the British are actually very very fond of - and there isn’t actually anybody wanting the British to leave the EU.

One would prefer them to be there, but an elimination race will be done into sheeps and bucks, where countries like Denmark and the Central and Eastern European countries will, most likely, be those which David Milliband called "pre-ins", who will say "We do want, we try all we can to stay on and adapt our policy to that which goes on in the eurozone to the extent that it is possible", but Great Britain just cannot do that, because they tripped themselves up over this.

They have adopted this very anti-European rhetoric that makes it very, very difficult to any political leader, also for Ed and David Milliband - if they came to power again - to play the European card. I was sitting and thinking that it would be really wonderful if David Miliband had given this speech to the British people at home in Great Britain on the BBC - but he does not do that!

Presenter: One could say that if  you are pro-European on that - but if one is an EU skeptic in Denmark, could one not imagine that if England (****) pulls -  almost out, or all the way out - then one would get a stable platform to relate to if one does not wish for this close integration with Europe?

Marlene Wind: Absolutely, and that would be the perspective the British actually would want for themselves. They would probably do the same as Norway, namely, join the looser EEA cooperation...

Presenter: Could it pull Denmark along?

Marlene Wind: Well there are also many in Denmark –or some at least - that are of the opinion that it would be attractive: but we should take note that the Norwegians actually pay more per capita towards the EU budget than the British do.

I saw an account of it recently, and the Norwegians have to accept all internal market legislation - and copy it into their own legislation - without having any influence on that which is adopted. So the question is how attractive it is in reality is to be outside, wanting to sell one's goods into the internal market, yet having to accept all the legislation, or whether it is better to be on the inside?

It is exactly the dilemma the British are dealing with, and it is that struggle they are having with themselves at the moment. In other words where do their real interests lie?

Presenter: You say that Merkel and Hollande, they would like to have the British on board, but then we are seeing this budget fight, could there come a time when they will say, okay ...

Marlene Wind: Yes, we actually saw it with the fiscal pact - which David Miliband himself mentioned - where David Cameron had hoped that because he he said no to it, then everything would come to a halt, and then people would have said – OK then, we will wait or drop this fiscal pact. What did the EU countries do? They said - Not on your nelly, we will go outside the treaties and we will make the agreement outside! That was the blow to the British. At that point they realized that it is not everyone waiting for them, so now they have a few things to think about themselves.

Presenter: They sure do, and I think we do as well after this programme tonight! Thank you. That was all for Deadline, we will be back tomorrow, first time at 17, thanks for now.


*) In Danish we use the term "det europæiske fællesskab" (Lit. "the European Community") to refer to "the commons", ie. that which Europe has in common, of the EU, it does not refer to the former name of the EU, "the European Communities".

**) In Danish we use the term "Chairman" (I almost feel as if we're Maoists, haha) every time the rest of Europe uses the term "President", I guess we are such butt-level royalists that the word "president" scares us.

***) In Danish we call it the "internal" market, and not the "common" market, I have no idea why.

****) Translator's note, yes, he did indeed say England!


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Westminster lectures the people on decline in morality


This is the political system that tells the people their morality and values are deficient, and blames the young, their parents, teachers - everyone but themselves ...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Labour avoids Megrahi and Budget - more Gray and Baker hypocrisy

What can one say of Iain Gray and Richard Baker? What can one say of Scottish Labour, puppets of the Westminster Labour Party?

I say - don't let these men anywhere near the Government of Scotland.

The First Minister of Scotland and the Justice Minister of Scotland must have integrity, dignity, and a deeply-rooted concept of justice in a democracy. Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill both have these qualities, and have demonstrated them fully over the last four years.



Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Poor South Shields - how did you wind up with David Miliband? Oh, you elected him? What the hell happened to the People's Party along the way

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

David Miliband, one of Labour's rich privileged Oxbridge London elite - watch, learn - and vomit.Labour's privileged elite

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Just what the ordinary people of Glasgow need in hard times - an Oxbridge-education, privileged political London anorak, David Miliband

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

In Scotland today, carpetbagger David Miliband. Watch his sour grapes over brother Ed's speech. The Miliband Brothers

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Dmiliband You and your Holyrood gang are too late to try and claim the word 'hypocrisy'. It's branded on you like the Mark of Cain, David.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Dmiliband Did Iain Gray promise eternal loyalty if you tell him what the hell is going on at Westminster? Megrahi? Libya? WMDs? Trident?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Just highlighting the hypocrisy of Labour. We say "Will you no' come back again?" to those leaving. But not you. Don't come back.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The continuing degeneration of the values of the Scottish Labour Party. Respect for Holyrood nil.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Watch the full awfulness of Iain Gray and Richard Baker in Holyrood today at FMQs. Hollow men ...

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@DMiliband What the hell do you know about Glasgow or deprivation, David? An Oxbridge career politician. Go back to London - play with Ed.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@DMiliband Your hopes turned to dust over Iraq and subservience to US foreign policy. I don't want nuclear politicos like you in Scotland.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Liberal to Labour–an appeal to disaffected LibDems by Ed Miliband

Echoes of Pope Benedict inviting disaffected Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church. Why not go the whole hog, Ed Miliband?

My suggested script, David – no charge …

ED MILIBAND:  Democrats - forget the heady days of 1981 and the SDP! Abandon the Liberals to their fate and return to the one true faith! Try to ignore what we've been up to since you've been away - our mortal sins have been washed away by confessing to the Iraq crime (some of us, anyway) - you can easily be forgiven for tuition fees - a venial sin, except in the minds of the youth of Britain, and what do they know?

If you can’t come back right now, keep in touch with Labour doctrine until you’re ready.


Why have you not confessed to wrecking the British economy and dismantling civil rights?

What about WMDs?

What about the fallen angel  - Blair?

What about the Prince of Darkness, Mandelson?

He’s still around, isn’t he?

What about the man who wrecked the economy, Gordon Brown? Isn’t he skulking in the wings, waiting to make his second coming? Is Kirkcaldy the Labour Limbo?

ED MILIBAND: You are in error, comrade- this is an example of, at best, distorted perception, at worse, false memory syndrome. You’ve been reading old newspapers. Once you recover your faith and accept the infallible authority of the Party, these doubts, these scruples, this heresy will be swept away. Join us in our collective amnesia – 13 years is as nothing to an institution as ancient as the Labour Party.

By the way, is there something I should know about Gordon Brown’s intentions? Is John Rentoul of The Independent trying to rehabilitate him as well as Blair? (What is Limbo, by the way? Something to do with dancing under a bar?)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Iraq was a mistake: it was wrong. Ed Miliband as the new Leader of the Labour Party

At last – they have admitted to the crime of Iraq, and the frozen faces in Ed Miliband’s conference audience of those complicit in it said it all. Brother David, with a rictus smile on his face, is caught by the ever-vigilant BBC camera turning to Harriet Harman and saying “Why are you applauding – you voted for it” The ever-emollient and glib niece of the Countess of Longford smiles, and replied “I supported him …”)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Tories’ moral mandate in Scotland

A letter from a Tom Gill appeared in Monday’s Herald, critical of Alex Salmond’s comments about the Tory Party’s moral mandate to govern Scotland. I sent the undernoted reply, but it wasn’t published. As a great admirer of the Herald’s Letters page, let me say that I am sure my response was simply crowded out by a number of fine letters on other highly important topics, and that this was simply a question of space and priorities.

Nonetheless, I would like my argument to be on record, and here it is -

LETTER TO THE HERALD (unpublished)

Dear Sir,

Tom Gill (Letters 17th May) criticises Alex Salmond’s statement that a Tory government has no moral  mandate to govern in Scotland. Under the UK’s deeply flawed electoral system the new Tory/LibDem coalition - with the Tories as the dominant partners – has a legal and constitutional right to govern Scotland, but morally, they have no mandate. That is what the First Minister said.

85% of  Scottish voters did not vote for a Tory government – they voted for a centre left government, with the majority voting for a Labour government. Every commentator and media pundit has recognised that Scotland and England voted, to quote one such view, “as if they were on different planets …”, and that the implications of this for the Union and for democracy are deeply disturbing.

Tom Gill also advances the familiar, but deeply flawed argument that this is equivalent to an area of Scotland opting out of a general election result. Others have used the same argument for an English county opting out. Both analogies are utterly false and misleading.

No one, least of all the First Minister, is suggesting that we should opt out of the result – we are bound by the electoral outcome.  But Scotland is not an area of the UK – it is not a county, nor is it just a region - it is a nation of over 5m people, with its own legal system, its own church, its own Parliament and its own proud history and unique culture.

Scotland, a sovereign nation,  entered into the treaty of union voluntarily,  but reluctantly, with profound misgivings and with many dissenting voices. For the last century at least, that union has not served the Scottish people well. At the very least, a substantial minority of Scottish voters now believe that we should end that treaty and withdraw from the union, and no one constitutionally denies our right to do so if a majority vote for it in a referendum. The deeply undemocratic outcome of the general election has now caused many more Scots - and a great many English people - to question the continuing relevance of the UK as a political entity.

My belief is that a great political watershed has been reached, and that radically new thinking about political alignments in Scotland between the Labour Party, the SNP and the trades unions is urgently required. The outcome of the Labour leadership election will be a catalyst in this process, especially if it results in David Miliband as the new Labour leader  reviving the deadly power cliques and disastrous policies of New Labour.

yours faithfully,

Peter Curran