16/05/2015
16 May 2015

Labour's crack-up

16 May 2015

Labour's crack-up

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
Making Labour work

[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thelastdaysofmiliband/media.mp3" title="Dan Hodges and Andrew Harrop discuss the final days of Miliband" startat=34] Listen [/audioplayer]The Labour party is in a worse position today than after its defeat in 1992. Then, the electorate sent Labour a clear and simple message: move to the centre, don’t say you’ll put taxes up and select a more prime ministerial leader.

Making Labour work
Sebastian Payne
How the polls got it so wrong

Not all the pollsters got it wrong. On the morning of the election, a set of strikingly accurate predictions was slapped on David Cameron’s desk. They had been compiled by Jim Messina and Lynton Crosby, the strategists who had been running a campaign derided as dull and repetitive. But, as their research showed, it was also effective. Messina is now back in his office in Washington DC. ‘We predicted 312 seats that morning to Lynton,’ he says.

How the polls got it so wrong
Dan Hodges
Miliband’s downfall

[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thelastdaysofmiliband/media.mp3" title="Dan Hodges and Andrew Harrop discuss the final days of Miliband" startat=34] Listen [/audioplayer]Ed Miliband was writing his victory speech on election night when the nation’s broadcasters announced the exit poll. He remained convinced — as he had been all along — that he was destined for No.10. In his defence, most people in Westminster thought the same.

Miliband’s downfall
Kate Eshelby
Away from the herd

 Erbil, Iraq The Kurds here are fighting Isis — everyone knows that. Most of us are at least peripherally aware that the brave Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) have proved an effective force against the Islamists, and we cheer them on. What we don’t realise is that as they battle the world’s latest bogeyman, the Kurds are also simultaneously suffering from another sort of crisis. Traditionally the Iraqi Kurds are nomadic pastoralists.

Away from the herd
Nick Cohen
Servants of the super-rich

‘Let me tell you about the very rich,’ said F. Scott Fitzgerald. ‘They are different from you and me.’ Indeed they are. They can afford to live in London. Just how different became clear when The Spear’s 500 — ‘the essential guide to the top private client advisers’ — landed at the office. (We assume Spear’s sent it by mistake. We write for love here at The Spectator, and would be insulted if the editor offered us anything so vulgar as money.

Servants of the super-rich
Mark Mason
Dead expensive

They say that death and taxes are the only two certainties in life. But there seems to be a third, linked to death and as painful as taxes. It’s the astronomical cost of organising a funeral. My partner’s father died recently, and for the honour of a bog-standard cremation in a far from fashionable part of East Anglia she was charged just over £4,000. Jo felt no shame in asking for the cheapest option (it’s what her father would have wanted — he was never a man to waste money), and so the answer came as something of a shock.

Dead expensive
Max Hastings
Demob unhappy

After all the carousing and flag-waving that followed VE day in 1945, millions of young men fortunate enough not to be still fighting the Japanese faced a problem. Having spent five or six years in uniform, they needed jobs. For those who lacked explicit civilian skills, which meant most, it was hard to persuade employers that a talent for flying a Spitfire, commanding a gun battery or navigating a destroyer qualified a man to run a factory or even sell socks.

Demob unhappy
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