Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

How Ted Found His Inner Beast

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

How Ted Found His Inner Beast

Article excerpt

I hear a [pounds sterling]l,000-per-table Labour fundraiser at the Radisson Edwardian in Bloomsbury for the unlikely Black Country pairing of the Blairite Pat McFadden and the Brownite Ian Austin degenerated into a rally of the defeated. New Labour evangelicals in the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the ultras of Progress whooped as the party's lost leader, David Miliband, declared it a shocking injustice that McFadden isn't in the shadow cabinet. There was a collective orgasm when McFadden repaid the compliment by insisting the body needed Mili Sr, too. Nobody argued that poor Austin should be in. Blinded by their zeal, the disgruntled Blairites overlooked how Miliband had ignored Brother Ed's pleas to join the shadow cabinet and McFadden had rejected a role, after failing to be elected. The dispossessed will be empowered, however, when Ted Miliband abolishes shadow cabinet contests. A snout whispered that a Miliband-McFadden return is on the cards in the autumn.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

There's talk of big upheavals at Newsnight, Auntie's current affairs show for folk unable to stay down the pub. Only the silver Rottweiler Jeremy Paxman is safe, muttered a BBC mole. Even the irreverent political editor, Michael Crick, will be required to justify his troublemaking. The danger, warned the mole, is that Newsnight will become as dull as Radio 4's establishment noticeboard, Today.

Miliband Jr has a new coach for Prime Minister's Questions: young Dennis Skinner, 79. It was the Beast of Bolsover who suggested Ted mention the 7,000 cancer victims losing financial support under benefit cuts. …

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