Andrew Rawnsley may well criticise John Prescott for his "mindless abuse", which he thinks "is only to be expected" of the former Labour deputy prime minister, but it is increasingly difficult to defend the Blairites "blasting bullets at their own side".(This is not the time for Labour to indulge in a scrap in its own navel,01/02/15) If the likes of Milburn, Lord Hutton and Mandelson wanted a victory for the Labour party in the forthcoming election, they would be concentrating their attacks on the Tories for their callous and unfair policies, and reminding voters of how much this coalition government has borrowed in its five years in office, £157.5bn and rising, compared with the £142.7 borrowed in the previous thirteen years by Labour. A speech to this effect by Blair, as Rawnsley suggests, concluding with a wholehearted endorsement of Miliband`s leadership, could well swing the election result Labour`s way.
However, these Blairite attacks might well have more to do with more personal considerations, such as connections with the private healthcare industry, through, in Milburn`s case, AM Strategy and WellDoc for instance, and Circle Holdings with Hutton. Then there are the worries Mandelson has for himself and his millionaire neighbours about the mansion tax, not to mention the rumours circulating regarding the Blairs` tax affairs. It`s not as though any of Miliband`s main critics within his party would exactly suffer under another Tory-dominated government destroying our public and welfare services, whilst simultaneously further enriching the wealthy.
So no, Mr Rawnsley, Prescott was right, and his description of this traitorous Labour branch as "Tory collaborators" is spot-on. Any more outbursts from them would provide Miliband with an excellent opportunity to display his leadership credentials and ability to make tough decisions, by expelling them from the party!