But I called her to ask what sort of thing I could grab that there wasn't room for? Yesterday's snapshot noted Ed Miliband, new Labour Party leader in the UK, gave a speech and included his remarks on the Iraq War. (C.I. knows Ed and David Miliband. Elaine knows them both as well. Although I am friends with C.I. and involved with Elaine, I do not know the brothers and I've never been to England. In case anyone's wondering.) Here are his remarks:
Iraq was an issue that divided our party and our country. Many sincerely believed that the world faced a real threat. I criticise nobody faced with making the toughest of decisions and I honour our troops who fought and died there.
But I do believe that we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain to war and we need to be honest about that.
Wrong because that war was not a last resort, because we did not build sufficient alliances and because we undermined the United Nations.
Today some attempted to shame Ed Milibandand make him walk his remarks back. BBC News quotes him stating to BBC Radio 4's Today today, "My view on Iraq at the time was that the weapons inspectors should have been given more time but frankly that' snot the important issue. The important issue is what view do we take now. Iraq led to a fundamental loss of trust for us as a government and what's crucial for me is that we show humility this week and we show that we understand the reasons we lost trust. For a whole range of reasons it was wrong. We said there would be weapons of mass destruction -- there weren't. We didn't build a sufficient alliance with others, and I'm afraid I think we undermined the structures of the UN."
Mary Riddell (Telegraph) argues that it is the Iraq War that cost brother David Miliband the leadership post. And on the new leadership post, this is Charlie Kimber's "Blairism rejected in Labour leadership vote" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):
The right wing press and the hard Blairites have reacted with fury to the victory of Ed Miliband as Labour leader.
They had decided that David Miliband was the safest possible defender of the New Labour legacy. His defeat, especially when it involved the votes of trade unionists, was therefore a disaster.
Ed defeated David by a little over 1 percent. Ed Balls came third, Andy Burnham fourth and Diane Abbott last in the ballot of MPs, members and trade unionists.
On Monday the right wing papers were full of bitter fury. The Sun carried a cartoon which had Ed Miliband as a creature from another planet surrounded by trade unionists as little green men wearing cloth caps and chanting “Shoot to Kill”.
“New Labour is dead,” lamented the Telegraph, denouncing Ed Miliband’s “doctrinaire socialism”. “Last rites for New Labour,” agreed the Mail.
It’s very positive that the man chosen by Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair isn’t Labour’s leader. But Ed Miliband is not the “Red Ed” some of the press has tried to paint.
His policies are not at all radical, though there’s no doubt that many in the Labour Party will feel there are new opportunities and new possibilities now.
Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the Unite union, said, “Ed has won by hitting the issues people care about—stopping the assassination of public services, fighting for a living wage, standing up for manufacturing, for a better future for young people.”
Ed Miliband’s victory can open a gap for the left that would not have been there if David had won. It can be used to involve more layers of the Labour Party in action against the cuts, and is another avenue to bring pressure to bear on Labour to fight.
The votes of union members were crucial and the media have tried to whip up a storm about the unions’ involvement in the campaign.
But there is nothing undemocratic about this.
Nearly 250,000 trade unionists and members of affiliated societies cast votes. It wasn’t a block vote where a union leader simply swings hundreds of thousands of votes one way.
And there’s nothing wrong with unions recommending that their members vote a particular way either.
The bankers and the bosses have massive political influence through their money and their ability to blackmail governments with the threat of financial chaos. Why shouldn’t workers have a say?
The real unfairness of the Labour voting system is the weight given to MPs and MEPs. The vote of one MP is equal to 608 ordinary members and 12,915 trade unionists.
Ed Miliband’s victory is an echo of a growing mood. People don’t want more of the politics of Blair that proved so disastrous.
But Miliband will now come under huge pressure to accommodate to the consensus that cuts are inevitable. And the counter pressure from inside Labour will be weak. Just seven MPs backed Diane Abbott. She came third in the members’ vote in her own constituency.
A real break from New Labour needs more than a change of style or saying that you understand “the mood about Iraq”. It means dumping support for privatisation, bullying bosses, the dominance of the market and the war in Afghanistan.
There’s still a way to go to get that. And the real battles will be fought outside Labour.
Labour in office paved the way for David Cameron’s assault on working people. The party has never been, nor can it be, transformed into a socialist force.
But there is an urgent need for united activity against the Tories.
During his election campaign, Ed Miliband talked of the need to win a higher minimum wage and said that Labour’s leadership campaign could be about more than electing one person and instead be about “building a movement”.
To win this requires action against the government, involving mass campaigning, protests and strikes.
Everyone should demand that Ed Miliband supports the resistance.
The following should be read alongside this article:Labour right mourns after Ed Miliband's victory
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
So that's what's going on England. Plus brother David has announced he will remain in Parliament but not be part of his brother's shadow cabinet.
The Iraq War has consequences. That's something that politicians refuse to understand but the people get it.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"