Andy McSmith's Diary: Cameron is one of us, says French National Front

 

After the mixed reaction to David Cameron’s immigration speech this week, the Prime Minister might be pleased to know that a prominent French politician has heaped praise on it. “The speech by the British Prime Minister has smashed the taboo surrounding the unsustainable cost of immigration for European nations. At a time of mounting unemployment and widening deficits, it has become urgent to start giving priority to our own nationals in jobs, housing, social benefits and health,” he said.

Then again, Mr Cameron might not be pleased. The speaker was Louis Aliot, Vice President of the far-right Front National, led by Marine le Pen (pictured).

David Miliband: ‘the Herol Graham of British politics’

“The British admire nothing so much as someone who’s lost,” said David Miliband, in an interview in GQ magazine, exactly a year ago. That is not universally true, as some of the reactions to his departure from British politics demonstrate. Damian McBride, Gordon Brown’s former attack dog, remembered how David Miliband would appear to be limbering up for a leadership challenge, only to back down. Miliband was the political equivalent, he suggested, of Herol Graham, a first-class British boxer who floundered every time he challenged for the world title. “His huge moment was summer 2008,” said McBride. “GB was massively destabilised, but we monstered him because of his timidity.”

Neighbours who may not be best of friends

One person who may not be entirely happy if – as expected – the leader of South Tyneside Council, Iain Malcolm, inherits David Miliband’s Commons seat is his parliamentary neighbour Stephen Hepburn, MP for Jarrow. Relations between the Jarrow and South Shields Labour Parties have always been patchy at best. In 1994, when Hepburn and Malcolm were both councillors, they had an argument that came to blows. Hepburn was fined £75 for assault.

For Councillor Malcolm, it has been a long wait. He wanted to go for the seat when the previous MP, David Clark, pulled out on the eve of the 2001 general election, but was warned off. It was explained to him that Clark’s sudden resignation was a decision made in Downing Street, under which Clark would create an opening for Miliband and receive a peerage in return.

Hands puts his foot right in it

A resignation that passed unnoticed by almost everyone has set off an extraordinary spat between MPs. Ian Mearns had a minor job on the Labour front bench, which he quit to take part in a backbench rebellion over the way claimants were made to do unpaid work for firms such as Poundland. Greg Hands, a Tory whip, remarked on Twitter that the resignation “marks the latest 2010 David Miliband supporter to leave”.

He was right about Mearns voting for David Miliband in 2010, but mistaken in supposing that was why he resigned. David Miliband’s old supporters are often to be heard complaining that Ed Miliband is too cosy with trade union leaders, but on this issue, confusingly, the Miliband brothers were both on one side, the union leaders were on the other, and Mearns was backing the union line.

The Labour MP Ian Austin, who was not particularly close to either of the Miliband brothers, thought this a “very stupid” error, even by Greg Hands’s “cretinous standards” and took to Twitter to say so. In a subsequent message, he suggested to Hands: “You incoherent moron: grow up.”

Hands naturally protested at being attacked so personally, and suggested that Austin may have had too much to drink. “No,” came the reply, “my stone cold sober assessment of you is that you are one of the most stupid and unpleasant MPs I’ve met.” In a later tweet. Austin even claimed: “The fact that you are the most unpleasant and one of the of the most stupid Tory MPs is Labour’s official policy.”

Official policy? Will they put it in their manifesto?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence