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Ed Miliband’s Q+A: Banks, Burnham, and B-ball

Ed Miliband’s Q+A: Banks, Burnham, and B-ball

by Anoosh Chakelian / 25 Sep 2013 17:03

“I saw someone waving a parrot earlier on,” Ed Miliband informed conference before his Q+A with audience members. Perhaps that was someone making a cruel jibe at his repetition, repetition, repetition speech yesterday which saw him incessantly testing his new soundbites. See Michael Deacon’s sketch for The Telegraph here to get an idea, in case you missed the speech itself…

Question and answer sessions where the leader is required to be spontaneous and chatty with

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Emotive Burnham speech goes for Lib Dems

Emotive Burnham speech goes for Lib Dems

by Anoosh Chakelian / 25 Sep 2013 13:50

“Hope.”

This was a word that had a line to itself in Andy Burnham’s speech on the NHS today, and is a four-letter indicator of the tone of his speech. Emotive and emotional, his address at one point saw him tell the conference hall “I have never been clearer about anything else in my life than this” on what he described as a “malnourished” social care system.

And this punchy passion was deployed equally as

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Anarchist biscuits and radical walking with Tristram Hunt

Anarchist biscuits and radical walking with Tristram Hunt

by Anoosh Chakelian / 25 Sep 2013 11:13

As yesterday’s evening sun dusted the seafront and shimmered upon the pebbles, an animated gaggle of people gathered outside the conference centre, waiting in cheery anticipation. But what was behind this hotchpotch brigade of bright-eyed students, nostalgic radicals, journalists grateful to see the outdoors, and delegates (on the whole notably excited, female ones) straying from the safety of the auditorium?

Tristram Hunt was on his way. To Do Some History.

Teaming up with radical walking

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Adonis: Reading between the lines

Adonis: Reading between the lines

by Sam Macrory / 25 Sep 2013 09:32

Andrew Adonis is one of the politest politicians around, but don't be lulled by the prevalence of soft spoken good manners. The Labour peer also does steeliness and determination better than most, and when he settles on an idea - usually after much thought and research - Adonis isn't easily persuaded otherwise.

Take HS2. Set out by Adonis during his time as a minister at the Department for Transport, Labour's vision, with cross party backing,

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Action hero Ed’s race to the top

Action hero Ed’s race to the top

by Anoosh Chakelian / 24 Sep 2013 16:59

“I should make this promise: if I'm prime minister I won't take my shirt off in public”, I solemnly pledge to the crowd. It’s unbecoming for a leader to show so much flesh. Plus, those pants on the outside of my tights were daring enough that fateful day with the bike. I’m still an action hero though, you know. Just more like the one who often works in an office and wears a suit. I like

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Ed Miliband's speech: eight things we learned

Ed Miliband's speech: eight things we learned

by Sam Macrory / 24 Sep 2013 16:22

1. Miliband is a very good public speaker

After last year’s marathon note-free tour de force, Miliband has repeated the trick once again. It’s no mean feat to speak that long without a prompt, and the Labour leader stumbled a handful of times at most. There were even a few decent ad-libs along the way. Given Miliband’s frequently lacklustre displays in the Commons, it’s clear the longer form of address suits him better.

2. We’re all

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Where is Labour's Northern soul?

Where is Labour's Northern soul?

by Anoosh Chakelian / 24 Sep 2013 13:45

Speaking at a fringe event asking whether Labour takes the North for granted, Hilary Benn had to defend his leader against accusations of heading a Labour Party captured by a London elite.

Benn himself is a born southerner representing a Leeds constituency - Mancunian MP Lucy Powell rather pointedly had told the room earlier "I'm a proud Mancunian, I think it's important to say that because Northern seats are not always represented by those who

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There’s a whole lotta history at Labour Conference

There’s a whole lotta history at Labour Conference

by Anoosh Chakelian / 23 Sep 2013 19:06

Gazing back into the past is not something Labour enjoys as much as the other two main parties. The Tories can always clutch their pearls and think of Thatcher in times of crisis; Lib Dems earnestly cling on to Jo Grimond’s forever echoing sound of gunfire. But for Labour, it’s awkward. The Winter of Discontent still chills. New Labour is seen by many as a four-letter rebrand. And perhaps trying to be ‘progressive’ simply belies consciously

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A thirst for exercise

A thirst for exercise

by Sam Macrory / 23 Sep 2013 16:01

7:15am felt like quite an early start for a run along the sea front in Brighton. Especially when your hotel is in Hove. Even more so when you accidentally set your alarm for 7am. 

We were meeting to take part in Alcohol Concern’s conference 5km, to be led by Alastair Campbell. The former Labour comms chief has written a new novel – My Name Is – in which the lead character, a teenage girl, battles

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Concerned about the contents?

Concerned about the contents?

by Sam Macrory / 23 Sep 2013 14:45

Are you comfortably nostalgic? Optimistically content? Or suffering from a case of high anxiety or long term despair? By the end of the conference the odds are the latter category, but for now you're probably feeling calmly persistent. Or you might just be a cosmopolitan critic, looking up occasional from your copy of the Guardian.

According to pollsters Populous, the electorate fall into one of the above six categories. 

Broadly speaking, the Tories have secured

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Ed Balls' speech: There's no I in HS2

Ed Balls' speech: There's no I in HS2

by Anoosh Chakelian / 23 Sep 2013 12:51

“My friend, our leader, Britain’s next prime minister, Ed Miliband,” declared shadow chancellor Ed Balls to the conference hall today. The word “friend” – which when used by today’s Labour leadership sounds like a particularly mild version of ‘comrade’ – was significant here. With the Blair-Brown battles of yestergov being dredged up and smeared all over our screens this weekend, in the revelations of Gordon Brown’s former spinner Damian McBride’s book, the shadow chancellor

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Labour: Don’t look back in anger 

Labour: Don’t look back in anger 

by Tom Wadsworth / 20 Sep 2013 14:42

Damian McBride's memoirs have set Westminster tongues wagging about who said what to whom back in long lost days of 2006. Equally fascinating were Ben Wegg-Prosser's emails from Blair's team at the same time (see Patrick Wintour in the Guardian).

But as Labour prepares to gather by the seaside once again, seven years on, these stories might as well be the paper party members eat their fish and chips from as they wander

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