Daily Archives: August 4, 2010

I asked Ed Miliband last week whether he owned any shares or had any friends who worked in the City of London. It was my awkward way of probing whether he can relate to the typical FT reader.

He dodged the question but his advisers later told me that he owned a few hundred “Halifax” shares from the building society’s demutalisation. I can only presume that he knows that Halifax became HBOS which then became part of Lloyds Banking Group. Read more

Labour Uncut has an interview with Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham with one standout moment. Asked whether he would rather be Labour prime minister or playing for Everton in an FA cup final he goes for the latter.

The FT Westminster verdict: Full marks for “man of the people” – nil points for “statesmanlike”.

(Meanwhile, over at the Mail, Craig Brown is losing the will to live as he follows the leadership contest.)

Here is the Burnham interview transcript:

Q. (from Jackie): If you had the choice between playing for Everton in an FA cup final, or become the next Labour Prime Minister which would you chose?

A. (after exactly two seconds) Everton, FA Cup final.

 Read more

The Lib Dem deputy leader has popped up expressing outrage at the Cameron plan for ending lifetime social housing tenancy.

Simon Hughes may be being disingenious when he says that: “We will not let anybody have their homes taken away” – given that this isn’t what Cameron is proposing. The prime minister would only end the privilege for incoming tenants, not existing ones. Read more

Paul Waugh has picked up on Cameron’s change of mind over letting council tenants stay in the same home for life. As I wrote last night, the PM indicated yesterday that he would change the rules – prompting accusations of a U-turn by Labour. Before the election he said he had no such plans.

But why should someone who needs a council house at 18 or 19 automatically keep the right to stay in it for life? Not least given there are 1.8m households on the waiting list for social housing. Frank Dobson famously lived in a council house when he joined the cabinet on a six-figure salary: a ludicrous situation. Read more

Discreet attempts are to be made in the coming months to set up a meeting between David Cameron and some union leaders despite the barely-disguised hostility between the two sides. Many union leaders have refused even to sit in the same room as the Conservative prime minister given their historic mutual antipathy. Read more

Cameron should drive down house prices — Neil O’Brien/FT
Plans to split Afghanistan have never worked — Ahmed Rashid/FT
A freedom pass for social housing tenants — FT
Gieve warns of rapid rise in interest rates — The Times (£)
Lloyds turns profit after lending less and charging more — Peston/BBC
Don’t tack left David, fight the unions instead — The Times (£)
Zardari pulls out the stops for Palin — Spectator Coffee House
Cameron turns grey at sight of Lib Dem poll rating — The Sun