Daily Archives: July 31, 2008

Jim Pickard

I had a chat with Denis MacShane the other day. He argues that Gordon Brown’s unpopularity is not out of the ordinary right now.

The Blairite former Europe minister points out a number of countries whose leaders are in the doldrums: All thanks to the economic downturn and rising commodity costs. Read more

Jim Pickard

One Labour source has just pointed out the problem with the so-called “dream ticket” of David Miliband with Alan Johnson as a running mate – in the event (still not certain) of a leadership contest.

The job of deputy leader woult not be up for grabs. So even if Miliband secured Johnson’s backing, what could he promise him? Read more

Jim Pickard

I spoke to one of Miliband’s friends yesterday and he said it would be ludicrous to write that he was “helping the campaign”.

So does that mean that there is a leadership campaign? Or was it a slip of the tongue?  Read more

Jim Pickard

The Treasurers’ report* in Labour’s annual accounts says there has been a “dramatic improvement” in Labour’s pension fund. It has swung from a £6.3m liability in 2005 to a surplus of £1.9m at the end of last year.

Sounds good, for sure. But much of the difference is down to the way in which actuaries use a discount rate for the scheme’s liabilities. In 2005 the rate was 4.7 per cent, in 2007 it was 5.8 per cent. Read more