Diary: Did Ed Miliband's failure of nerve cost Labour the mayoral contest?


As the Labour Party contemplates why it lost the London mayoral election when everything else was going so well, the campaign organisers have insisted it was not for lack of effort by the door-knocking foot soldiers, who squeezed every last vote they could from an indifferent electorate.

Ed Miliband had no say over the selection of a candidate, which was held at the same time as the leadership election, immediately after the 2010 election, but the Labour Uncut website lays part of the blame at his door, because he could have seized a chance months ago to disqualify Ken Livingstone and reopen the selection.

This is not just hindsight. Many months ago, Blairites were quietly suggesting that removing Mr Livingstone was the way that Miliband could establish his credentials as a strong leader. The flaw in the scheme was that it assumed there would be someone of stature who was prepared to follow the path that the luckless Frank Dobson trod when he ran for Labour against Mr Livingstone in 2000.

Still, it was a bit rich to hear Livingstone on the Today programme attacking Miliband for being "too concerned about carrying the discredited old Blairite wing with him". If he had been a little more concerned, Livingstone might have been silenced sooner.

Tory councillor suspends herself

It can be very painful for a political leader to have to discipline someone who has put in time and unpaid work for the party because of some foolish action. So it was thoughtful of Sue Anderson, a Tory councillor from Bournemouth, who tweeted in haste that "nobody except the EDL (English Defence League) sticks up for the English" to save party colleagues the heartache.

She has apologised "unreservedly", taken down her Twitter account, suspended herself from the Bournemouth East Conservative Association and from the Conservative group on Bournemouth Council, and, as the Council's Standards Board returned after the holiday, they received a complaint against Sue Anderson – lodged by herself.

Twitchier than a mad cow

As Nicolas Sarkozy departs the political stage, his passing is deeply mourned by at least one professional group – the satirists. Stéphane Guillon, one of France's leading satirical political commentators, gave a last fond look back on the President who has been such an easy target for them, describing his campaign thus: "Sarko was twitching and shaking so much that if you came across him amidst a herd of cattle with mad cow disease, you'd slaughter him first."

Rotten on the real anarchy in the UK

While other public events are quickly forgotten, last summer's riots are not. John Lyndon, aka Johnny Rotten, formerly lead singer of The Sex Pistols, the man who serenaded us with "Anarchy in the UK" 35 years ago, has his say in the June edition of Q magazine: "Really appalled at the deaths and the burnings, and that aspect of it. But I could understand the emotions behind the situation.

"When you deny young people opportunity, it's going to lead to catastrophe, all right?"

At this point, the old punk rocker raised his voice and shouted: "Please invest heavily in youth." Whether his shout was audible in Downing Street, I could not say.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home