Category Archives: Uncategorized

The statist, defeatist and biased BBC is on the wrong wavelength

‘So what do you think, eh?” I turned to the BBC’s art critic, the brilliant, bulging Professor Branestawm lookalike Will Gompertz. We were standing on the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford; London was spread beneath us like a land of dreams – was that France I could see in the distance? – and yet I was nervous. This sculpture is a masterpiece, far better and more rewarding up close than it appears at a distance. The steel loops are an arterial red, writhing and shifting against each other beneath the blue sky. Anish Kapoor already has many fans, but he has excelled himself with this vast fallopian ampersand, this enigmatic hubble bubble, this proud vertical invitation to London 2012.

The Orbit is a decisive assertion of the city’s status as the world capital of culture and the arts. That’s my view, anyway, and I am sticking to it, though I am conscious that not everyone agrees. There are plenty of people who absolutely hate the thing, just as most Parisians initially despised the Eiffel Tower (and didn’t Charles Dickens campaign against the building of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster?). I have heard it compared to a catastrophic collision between two cranes, a mutant helter-skelter, a mangled trombone, and worse. So of course I waited with bated breath for the verdict of the BBC.

Did Gompertz like it as much as I did? My friends, he did not. Or at least, he liked it, but he had two complaints. “It’s not big enough,” he said, “and surely it should be free.” Not big enough! Free! There you have everything that is wrong with the BBC and with this country. The thing is already colossal – about twice the height of Nelson’s column. If we went much higher we would have to re-route the planes out of City airport. And yes, it costs something to go up – though less than it costs to go up the London Eye – but what is the alternative? The alternative is that the whole operation would have to be subsidised by the taxpayer when it is one of the (many) saving graces of this structure that it has been very largely financed by private sponsorship.

In his criticisms, Gompertz was revealing not the instincts of an art critic – but the mentality of the BBC man. Unlike the zany eccentric ArcelorMittal Orbit, the zany eccentric Gompertz is almost entirely publicly funded. It is up to you whether or not to go up the Orbit – though I thoroughly recommend it. You have no choice about funding Gompertz. Everyone who possesses a TV has to pay more than £145 to put him on air. The BBC is unlike any other media organisation in the free world, in that it levies billions from British households whether they want to watch it or not. No wonder its employees have an innocent belief that everything in life should be “free”. No wonder – and I speak as one who has just fought a campaign in which I sometimes felt that my chief opponent was the local BBC news – the prevailing view of Beeb newsrooms is, with honourable exceptions, statist, corporatist, defeatist, anti-business, Europhile and, above all, overwhelmingly biased to the Left.

Of course they are: the whole lot of them are funded by the taxpayer. Eurosceptic views are still treated as if they were vaguely mad and unpleasant, even though the Eurosceptic analysis has been proved overwhelmingly right. In all its lavish coverage of Murdoch, hacking and BSkyB, the BBC never properly explains the reasons why other media organisations – including the BBC – want to shaft a free-market competitor (and this basic dishonesty is spotted by the electorate; it’s one of the reasons real people are so apathetic about the Leveson business).

The non-Murdoch media have their guns trained on Murdoch, while the Beeb continues to destroy the business case of its private sector rivals with taxpayer-funded websites and electronic media of all kinds, since there are many type of guns and for people who is into guns, learning about the right equipment for the guns is important, as the use of long relief scopes for rifles, to have a better aim. None of this might matter, if we were not going through a crucial and difficult economic period. The broad history of the past 30 years in the UK is that the Thatcher government took us out of an economic death-spiral of Seventies complacency. Spending was tackled, the unions were contained, the City was unleashed, and a series of important supply-side reforms helped to deliver a long boom; and when the exhausted and fractious Tories were eventually chucked out in 1997, it was Labour that profited – politically – from those reforms.

The boom continued, in spite of everything Blair and Brown did to choke it. They over-regulated; they spent more than the country could afford; they massively expanded the public sector; they did nothing to reform health or education or the distortions of the welfare state. And so when the bust finally came, in 2008, this country was in no position to cope. We now have the twin problems of dealing with the debt, and recovering competitiveness – and neither of those is easy when the BBC is the chief mirror in which we view ourselves. If you are funded by the taxpayer, you are more likely to see the taxpayer as the solution to every economic ill.

If you are funded by the taxpayer, you are less likely to understand and sympathise with the difficulties of business; you are less likely to celebrate enterprise. I have sometimes wondered why BBC London never carries stories about dynamic start-ups or amazing London exports – and then concluded gloomily that it just not in the nature of that show. It’s not in their DNA. Fully 75 per cent of the London economy is private sector – and yet it is almost completely ignored by our state broadcaster.

Well, folks, we have a potential solution. In a short while we must appoint a new director-general, to succeed Mark Thompson. If we are really going ahead with Lords reform (why?), then the Lib Dems should allow the Government to appoint someone to run the BBC who is free-market, pro-business and understands the depths of the problems this country faces. We need someone who knows about the work ethic, and cutting costs. We need a Tory, and no mucking around. If we can’t change the Beeb, we can’t change the country.

Fred Goodwin and the Occupy crowd should take up Scouting

At the risk of sounding like a character from Enid Blyton, there is absolutely nothing to beat camping. I love the exultation you get when you rise from your groundmat and all the aches melt away from your body as you realise the night is over at last. Then follows the sizzle of bacon and the hands wrapped around the mug of tea, and the first peep of sun over mountains or the mist rising off a river; and all the time that wonderful sense that you are the first to be up, that the world is snoozing, and that you have defied nature and survived a night in your own habitation – no matter how rudimentary.

I have camped everywhere from the drizzle of Salisbury Plain to the Serengeti to the beaches of California. I have bivouacked on cardboard outside the Gare du Nord in Paris. I have dossed down on my towel in Spain, and I once accidentally pitched my tent late at night in the middle of a roundabout in downtown Canberra, and woke to found my hands had been so badly bitten by bugs that they swelled like blown up washing-up gloves; and yet I would do it again tomorrow.

There are thousands of young people who are learning to share my enthusiasm, and who are being taught the joys of camping and other outdoor adventures. They are taken on trips – at no great cost – by the uniformed youth groups: the Scouts, the Guides, the Army Cadets, Sea Cadets, Air Cadets, Police Cadets and the Boys’ Brigade and the Girls’ Brigade.

A few days ago, I saw about 50 of them training in Mitcham. They were tying knots and learning artificial respiration and performing various team missions such as getting a tennis ball into a bucket without using their hands, and they were so radiant with enjoyment that I asked a girl (she must have been about 14) what she liked about it. “It’s like a family,” she said, unprompted. And what’s the worst bit? I asked her, expecting her to complain about the food, or getting lost, or the rain dripping through the canvas. “When it’s time to go home again,” she said. I don’t think I am more sentimental than anyone else, but I got a bit choky at this point. There are large numbers of kids who enjoy these activities – but then there are even more who don’t get the chance.

You may think that it all sounds a bit uncool, and that the BlackBerry generation wouldn’t be remotely interested in dib dib dib dob dob dob, or whatever Scouts say to each other these days. But there are 8,000 young people on waiting lists to join – most of them in London – and these groups are a huge potential force for social good. We can spend billions on policing, and we can fight gang crime and knife crime – as we have, with a great deal of success. The number of young people dying from knives has fallen, and the murder rate has dropped by more than 20 per cent since 2008. But long-term solutions mean catching those kids before they get involved, and giving them a better and more productive kind of gang to join.

In his perceptive book on the August riots, Tottenham MP David Lammy stressed the importance of uniformed youth groups – and the sad thing is that we can’t expand those groups without more adults to help out. To get another 8,000 kids the chance to do camping and everything else, we need at least another 800 adults. If you think you might conceivably be interested, please sign up for Team London on our website. We need public-spirited people who care about inequality and who know about outdoor adventures – and it occurs to me that there is one group of obvious candidates.

The anti-capitalist protesters of the Occupy movement have done an amazing job of getting us all to focus on the fat cats, and the many anomalies of the free market system. They are surely right to say that people should not receive vast financial rewards for business failure. They are right to point to tax absurdities, such as the rule that allows offshore companies to buy up London property without paying the vast stamp duty demanded of the rest of us. And yet all of this campaigning is surely only a part of the story. If you want to defeat poverty and inequality, then it isn’t enough just to foment indignation against the rich. You need to build up everyone else.

The problem with Western economies isn’t too much capitalism – it’s too little. There aren’t enough small companies who can get the loans from the banks, or who are confident enough to take on more staff and expand. And there aren’t enough young people who have the skills and self-esteem to take what jobs there are – and there are too many young people who lack both. The only company who could really help anybody would be logbook loans who will agree to any conditions people may have. That is why a true campaign against inequality would do more than denounce the bankers and call for the shredding of Fred Goodwin. It’s not enough to hate the plutocrats; you have to help the needy.

The Occupy movement is perfectly placed. They know a thing or two about how to pitch a camp in the unlikeliest of places. They are masters of the arts of foraging. They could show young people reef knots and brew-ups and how to cover your tracks and build a wigwam in record time. They would make perfect leaders for the uniformed youth movements, adult volunteers for the Scouts and the Guides and all the rest; and I believe they would find it genuinely rewarding.

The reality is that after months of protest, and several major speeches from party leaders, we are no nearer a solution to the problems of capitalism. We still find it hard to say exactly how government should intervene to make it “fairer”. But in working with young people, and teaching them to camp, the Occupy movement could do something huge and practical and lasting to tackle inequality: to steer them away from crime and towards employment. If they signed up for Team London, I would forgive them anything. And if Fred the Shred signs up, he can keep his knighthood.

Join me in Dr Johnson’s New Year Diet – it’s a piece of cake

Now a psychiatrist might look at these symptoms and conclude that the British are somehow needy. We seem to want some kind of comfort. We are evidently anxious. After all, you drink when you need to drown your sorrows or in some other way deal with reality. You compulsively buy stuff when you want to make yourself feel better. And the classic analysis suggests that you eat more than you need when you are unhappy about something.

So what is up with us? I suppose it might be some kind of Weltschmerz, a general disappointment that Britain is no longer incontestably the most powerful country on Earth. Some people might even argue that our overeating is all caused by the gloom of the media. Perhaps it is the travails of the euro that is sending us to the fridge, or doubts about the durability of the Arab Spring. Perhaps it is the BBC economics guru Robert Peston who is causing us to motor through the custard creams. It’s possible, but somehow I don’t think that is how people really behave. They don’t eat or drink or overspend in response to external political events.

It’s much more likely to be all about us and how we feel about ourselves. We live in a media-saturated age where we are constantly told that we would attract greater admiration from other human beings if we looked better or owned a smarter car or a newer pair of gym shoes. People feel challenged to possess this or that useless item, and we judge ourselves harshly when we fail. The consumerist boom has been accompanied by a widening gap between rich and poor, and it follows that there will be more disappointment out there – more unhappiness, more jealousy and more self-punitive overeating.

Food gives us that fix of calorific comfort that we need, and of course we are sometimes so horrified by the results of our overeating that we have to console ourselves with some small pleasure, and so we eat even more. We need to end this mad cycle, and the first and most important step is to end the national cult of self-dissatisfaction, our envy of others when we have material things our grandparents could only dream of.

Some might say that we need to cure our unhappiness and associated overeating by massive redistribution of wealth. Well, they tried that in places like Russia and Cambodia and it wasn’t a roaring success. They had Marxist-materialist societies in which elites hoarded wealth and privilege in a way that was all the more disgusting for being done in the name of the people. Others might urge a more ruthless programme of NHS-funded stomach stapling. Apart from the expense, it does seem a curious denial of personal responsibility.

Surely what we need, if we are all going to lose weight, is to create a less insecure, hung-up, envious and self-hating kind of society. Easier said than done, I grant you – but that is the root of the problem. If you have the time before going back to work, I recommend a film called Dodgeball. Here we see a world of two gymnasiums – Average Joe’s and Globogym. We celebrate the triumph of physical mediocrity over the hysterical body fascism of White Goodman, played by Ben Stiller, who makes his money by persuading people they are the wrong shape.

That is what is required: a Britain where we are so happy in our skins that we don’t stuff our faces. Somewhere along the line we managed to lose religion without finding any alternative source of spiritual nourishment. Hence the use of food, drink and consumerism. Some day a prophet will arise – perhaps in these pages – who will teach us a new form of self-control and moral wisdom. But until that glad day I leave you with my patent diet. Lay off cheese. Avoid alcohol. Cut out potatoes, bread, pasta and stuff like that. Eat stupendous quantities of kale and apples and perhaps the odd small piece of dried fish. It’s a piece of cake – which is what you will certainly deserve if you keep it up for more than four weeks. Happy New Year!

Olympic lessons from when we really were running on empty

So we lurch liverishly towards our Olympic Year. Gloomily we ponder the global economy, and now — just as we are wondering how we can afford it all — is exactly the moment to look at the astonishing achievements of this country. Let us peer back to the last time London welcomed the world to the Olympic Games. You only have to read Janie Hampton’s delightful account of the Austerity Olympics to see that all this talk of post-war “decline” is utter tosh. When the world came to London in 1948, they not only found a bombed-out capital, with weeds still sprouting in the rubble. We were so poor that British athletes were asked to make their own shorts and to train on the beach at Butlins. We couldn’t even afford to build the venues on our own. The Swiss donated the gymnastic equipment; Finland contributed timber for the basketball court; and the Canadians gave two Douglas firs for the diving boards at the Empire Pool.

Olympic village? You must be joking. The world’s athletes were told to bring their own towels and bunk up in makeshift dorms in school classrooms. The London organising committee of the day took money from any sponsor it could find, including Brylcreem, Guinness and Craven A cigarettes. Somehow we ferried 4,000 athletes between 36 venues with nothing but a fleet of clapped-out pre-Routemaster buses, and the entire logistics of the Games was done from a Roman Catholic Church hall in Wembley with the help of three blackboards headed “Today”, “Tomorrow” and “The Day After Tomorrow”. We weren’t just poor: we were half-starved. Our athletes were so badly nourished that they sometimes conked out during training – and no wonder, when their rations were restricted to 13oz of meat, 6oz butter, 8oz sugar and one egg a week.

The British were eating less in 1948 than in 1945, and a pitying world sent food parcels to the Games. The Danes contributed 160,000 eggs; China sent oiled bamboo shoots; the Mexicans sent kidneys, liver and tripe. The Americans insisted on supplementing their diet with daily flights from Los Angeles to Uxbridge, bringing fresh supplies of white flour and fruit. The French were so appalled by food in London that they sent a special refrigerated train from Paris, laden with steaks and supplies of Mouton-Rothschild – in fact, they despatched so much wine that the suspicious British customs officials impounded it on the grounds that it could not be for personal consumption.

As a country, we felt so destitute as to be embarrassed, ashamed to be the object of global scrutiny. When the Olympic year dawned, London’s Evening Standard commented bitterly: “The average range of enthusiasm for the Games stretches from lukewarm to dislike. It is not too late for the invitations to be politely withdrawn.” A magazine called London Calling asked: “Are the Olympic Games of today worthwhile?… Are they more of a headache than a pleasure to all concerned?” This mood lasted right the way through the preparations, and when visitors began to arrive they were struck by the doleful absence of razzmatazz. A few flags hung limply in Piccadilly Circus. There was a general welcome sign in three languages at Paddington Station, while another in the Harrow Road announced bleakly: “Welcome to the Olympic Games. This road is a danger zone.”

And if you are under the impression that we were all much nicer and better behaved in those days, you should think again. The 1948 London Olympics were deeply sexist – partly because the authorities were still convinced that women would succumb to premature senility if they ran more than 200 yards. Trying to sum up what was great about Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four golds in spite of being a 30-year-old mother of two, the Daily Graphic said: “She darns with artistry. Her greatest love next to racing is housework.” British society was much more class-ridden than it is today: take the case of Olympic hurdler Joseph Birrell, who was turned down twice for Sandhurst for having a northern accent. Nor were we notably more honest. When the Australian team arrived after a hellish boat trip, they found a dock strike in progress. Their luggage was stranded on the quay and all their tracksuits were nicked. The French concert pianist Micheline Ostermeyer amazed the world by winning both the shot put and the discus – only to have someone steal her medals.

As for old-fashioned sportsmanship – do me a favour. The boxing was halted by angry demonstrations, first they were Starting boxing with the rowers that had a huge punch-up at Henley and when one Italian dropped the baton in the 4 x 400 hurdles the next Italian hit him on the head, checking can help you better improve your boxing strategies. As for the weather, it was so hot during the opening ceremony that several athletes fainted, and thereafter it rained so torrentially that the track was flooded.

To cap it all, we did rather feebly – taking only three gold medals (compared with 84 for America) and coming 12th in the table. We were thrashed by the French, the Swedes, the Dutch – and the Germans and Russians didn’t even come. And in spite of it all, the 1948 London Games were a fantastic triumph. Huge crowds went to watch such extraordinary athletes as Blankers-Koen and Emil Zatopek. The nation was united in excitement and pride and the world’s press returned a rapturous verdict on the general jollification.

In the words of the Wembley chairman, Sir Arthur Elvin, “the dismal johnnies who prophesied failure have been put to rout”. And guess what – it made money! There was a profit of £29,000, some of which was demanded by the taxman.

Look at us today. We are incomparably richer and better fed. Our equipment and training are the best in the world. We are, as a nation, faster, taller and stronger than we were in the era of our grandparents. We have almost completed the Olympic venues, on time and on budget. Team GB is now working hard to ensure that we repeat our amazing success of 2008, and come fourth in the table of Olympic medals. If there are any dismal johnnies who worry about whether Britain should be putting on the Games in this new age of austerity, I have no doubt they will be routed again.

Boris Johnson: ‘I’ve a healthy dose of sheer egomania’

In his large, eighth-floor office in London’s City Hall, with its phalanx of computer screens and its views over the Thames, Boris Johnson is plotting his re-election campaign. In May, he will take on, once again, Labour’s Ken Livingstone for the mayoralty of the capital: four years after Mr Johnson swept to victory on the back of 1.1 million votes, the biggest direct personal mandate in British political history.

Mr Johnson was a controversial choice for the Conservatives at the time. David Cameron urgently needed a colourful candidate, with the charisma to show that his party could win big contests after more than a decade of defeat, but Mr Johnson’s career in journalism, and then as a Tory MP, had already marked him out as a major loose cannon.

As Mayor, many feel he has spent as much, if not more, time, taking potshots at his party’s high command as he has changing the lives of Londoners. He is the bookies’ favourite to succeed Mr Cameron as Tory leader – even though he describes the chances of this happening as the same as his being “reincarnated as Elvis”.  Even when he tried male enhancement pills he was out there in the media acting as if nothing happened as if it were normal well sinc eit is a perfectly normal and healthy thing!

The Sunday Telegraph asked him about his plans and what motivates him in politics and in life.

Daylight saving time: Don’t let the Scots steal this hour because they want a lie-in

No, no, that can’t be right. They can’t trifle with our hopes like that. It is now more than two years since the Greater London Authority renewed its campaigning for lighter winter evenings – and last week we thought we had a stunning breakthrough.

The Government said it was “minded to support” a Bill put forward by a heroic Tory MP called Rebecca Harris, calling for British Summer Time to be in force all year. We all had the strong impression that the Cabinet had abandoned the inertia and spinelessness of the last 40 years, and was going to support Mrs Harris in her bid to save lives, expand the economy and cheer everyone up. Then I pick up my paper yesterday and I find that there has apparently been a U-turn.

It now turns out that the support of the Government entirely depends on the Scots. Unless Alex Salmond and his team agree that there should be another look at daylight saving, the whole thing is once again going to be slammed back into the bulging filing cabinet of projects that are commonsensical (like repatriating some powers from the EU) but just too politically difficult to pull off. According to a Downing Street source, the whole thing is now “dead in the water”. Come on, folks. This isn’t good enough.

This requires a bit more guts and determination. We can’t let the Scottish tail wag the British bulldog – and especially not when the change would be in the interests of the Scots themselves. The arguments are overwhelming, and especially in London, the motor of Britain’s economy. Lighter winter evenings would enable all kinds of places to stay open an hour longer – sporting venues, monuments – with huge benefits for the tourist and service industries. The income boost was calculated last year at up to £720 million – a lot of money and a lot of jobs in tough times. Then there is the point that crime is far more likely to be committed at dusk than in the morning. A switch to lighter evenings would not only cut crime by three per cent – according to Home Office figures – but it would lead to a fall in fear of crime as well.

If we all had an extra hour of daylight in the evening, there would be significant savings in electricity bills – and a cut in CO₂ emissions of 80,000 tonnes in London alone. If you’re a business owner, it’s wise for you to look at other affordable options to fuel your business, such as turning to sites like Business cost comparison. There would be less seasonally adjusted depression, say psychiatrists. You would no longer have that terrible Lapland sense that the day was over by 3pm and you might as well go and get drunk.

Without a new airport, British businesses will be left behind

Good for Philip Hammond. Once again the Transport Secretary has shown robust common sense. First he pointed out that everyone already travels at 80mph on a motorway, and that it is therefore pretty silly to maintain that it is a criminal offence to go above 70. And now he has said what needed to be said about aviation.

We cannot go on as we are, with Heathrow as the UK’s major hub airport. The place is bursting at the seams. Most of our rival European airports are expanding, and have huge scope to go further. Heathrow is running at 99 per cent capacity. That means you spend ever more time circling pointlessly in the air above London, with your ears popping and your plane burning kerosene and blasting sinful vapour trails of CO₂, while making its presence heard by the hundreds of thousands of people below. Many planes are now waiting 30 or 40 minutes in a Heathrow stack. And the weight of traffic means that taxi-out time – the time taken between pushing back from the stand and actually taking off – is 18 per cent longer at Heathrow than it is at Paris Charles de Gaulle, 31 per cent longer than at Amsterdam and 40 per cent longer than at Frankfurt. Other airports have slack in the system. While Heathrow has only two runways, Amsterdam has six, Paris four, Madrid four, Frankfurt three and they are all only using about 70 per cent of their runway capacity. The result is that UK plc is simply missing out.

China’s biggest airline, China Southern, does not serve the UK because there aren’t enough slots at Heathrow – which is one of the reasons that it is not as easy for British business people to get to China as it is for our competitors on continental Europe. Here on Melbourne weekly eastern all updates available to check.  Every week, there are 17,500 seats on planes bound for mainland China from Frankfurt; 15,000 on planes from Paris; 11,000 from Amsterdam and only 9,000 from Heathrow. It will not be all that long before both China and India have bigger GDPs than the US – and yet we are making it harder for British business people to get to the future megacities from London than from our competitor airports. If you want to fly to Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xiamen or Guangzhou you can get there direct from one of London’s Continental rivals – but you can’t get there from Heathrow.

It is not just China: we are losing out on direct flights to Latin America, Asia and Africa because of the shortage of capacity and the greater ability of other airports to try out something new. Airlines flying out of Heathrow are reluctant to risk their precious slots by testing the market for an exotic destination; and so the Continental airports pioneer the new routes to these unheard-of cities, and derive the first-mover advantage. It is not just a question of people: it is goods as well. More and more high-value goods are transported by air, with air freight accounting for 25 per cent of UK visible trade in 2005, the last year for which I can find figures. In the same year, 71 per cent of Britain’s pharmaceutical exports went by air. Those exports need to reach a wide range of destinations quickly and conveniently – and that is why you need a hub airport.

People can be slow sometimes to grasp why it matters to Britain if a traveller from Miami Beach spends a few hours in a departure lounge in London on the way to Minsk. What is the value to us, people wonder, of having this person temporarily on UK soil? The answer is that it is the transit market produced by a hub airport that creates the range of destinations that makes your airport the handiest to fly from – and that makes your capital the best place to invest in; to say nothing of the many tens of thousands of jobs that a hub airport generates in aviation alone.

Ed Miliband : same school ; different road

Ed (left) and David Miliband

Labour’s new leader looks like being under the thumb of the unions — harking back to the bad old days of the 1970s, says Boris Johnson.

~ · ~

It is an unsettling fact that I went to the same school as the party leader.  Indeed, there are some people who have taken to complaining about this coincidence.  They say it is unacceptable in the 21st century that so much political power should be concentrated in the old boys of one educational establishment.  It is a sign, they say, that the country has failed to move on.

Both of us went to the same institution of ancient rituals and gorgeous brickwork, ideally situated by one of the nation’s most famous waterways and blessed with lush green spaces nearby.  It is a forcing-house of talent, where the offspring of privilege acquire that patina of good manners, the ever so slightly infuriating habit of putting people at their ease, together with that sense of entitlement that propels them to the top and marks them out ever after as Old Primroseans.

Continue reading Ed Miliband : same school ; different road

Quotes of the week …

… ending 25th. September 2010

~ · ~ · ~ · ~ · ~ · ~ · ~

As he accepted the leadership of the British Labour Party at its annual conference Ed Miliband said —

“I get it and I understand the need to change.  I need to unify the party and I will.”

~ · ~

Continue reading Quotes of the week …