Stop whining!

Last Sunday marked the first Remembrance Sunday of David Cameron’s premiership, this historic day of respect should have been remembered by the record numbers of poppies purchased this year, instead it will be remembered because of poppy burners and now Ed Miliband’s whining. Apparently the Labour leader is furious that Nick Clegg was allowed to lay his wreath before him, they claim that protocol calls for the Leader of the Opposition to follow the Prime Minister.

 A Labour MP said “The change this year was for the convenience of Clegg – not for the respect of the dead. It’s also an insult to the military veterans who regard Remembrance Day as a solemn and sombre occasion, not a time for party political stunts and cheap posturing”

Honestly, are they actually complaining about this? If anything they are making this issue into a political stunt with their pathetic moaning. Lets remind Mr Miliband what the day was actually about, shall we, it’s about the millions of brave soldiers who have given their lives for their country, it’s not about coming second in a wreath laying ceremony in order to rub your own ego. I believe protocol actually states that the Government lays its wreaths first, therefore, Nick Clegg should come second. I am quite disgusted that Ed Miliband is making such a fuss about this, it’s disrespectful to the true meaning of Remembrance Sunday. It shouldn’t matter whether you come first, second, third or last in the wreath laying, its not about you, it’s about honouring the dead and at the moment acting like this is dishonouring their memory – so Ed Miliband – stop whining!

Tim Hasker

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27 thoughts on “Stop whining!

  1. “I believe protocol actually states that the Government lays its wreaths first, therefore, Nick Clegg should come second.”

    David Cameron can represent the government. Why change the approach to the ceremony? It was completely unnecessary.

    That David Miliband is furious is so far just speculation emanating from the Mail Online. That the protocol has been changed by the coalition, however, is an established fact. If by some miracle Mr Hasker learns how to stick to coherent sentences, he can justify the decision of the government. Maybe after that, we can discuss whether complaints from Labour MPs are justified.

    David Miliband has not sought to turn this into a public ‘mud-slinging’ match. Tim Hasker would be very well advised to follow suit.

  2. No, I meant to say second, second after the Prime Minister as he is the Deputy Prime Minister. If Ed Miliband wants to stop this turning into a “public ‘mud-slinging’ match” he should control his MPs and prevent them from complaining about petty issues

  3. Which Labour MPs do you have in mind. Could you name them please? The Deputy PM does not follow the PM on remembrance day; until the coalition changed things.

  4. Nick Clegg is also the leader of the Liberal Democrats who has formed a coalition with the leader of the Conservative Party. As leader of the Lib Dems he was expected and entitled to lay a wreath on their behalf. He is also entitled to come before Miliband because not only is he also a leader of a political party he is also a member of Her Majestys Government. Something Milibland is not and hopefully never will be. Tim is absolutely right the only people making a party political stunt out of this are Labour. Then again why should we be suprised? They showed a contempt for the forces in office, putting the troops interest behind their party interest, so why should they change their attitude in opposition?

  5. “And could you tell me why it matters what order they come in?”

    if it didn’t matter then why has it been changed? In any case, would it matter if the queen came last? Yes of course it would, so don’t play dumb.

    “He is also entitled to come before Miliband because not only is he also a leader of a political party he is also a member of Her Majestys Government.”

    So is Michael Gove, but I didn’t see him at the front of the queue.

    “Tim is absolutely right the only people making a party political stunt out of this are Labour.”

    A few labour MPs (who you can’t even name) making comments about this, hardly forms a political stunt. If this is your idea of a ‘political stunt’ then the mystery of Tory ineptitude in Birmingham is a step closer to being solved; do you honestly think that David Miliband thinks he can make political capital out of some unattributed quotes finding their way into the Daily Mail?

    Yeah that’s brilliant: a couple of quotes anonymously leaked to the Daily Mail. If you think that’s a stunt, then you’re operating on a very strange level of reality.

    “They showed a contempt for the forces in office, putting the troops (sic) interest behind their party interest, so why should they change their attitude in opposition?”

    We’ve had this discussion before and the last comment concerning the military surrounded Daniel Cole’s intellectually feeble whinge about denying first class rail privileges to Admirals. If you want to talk about defence cuts then we can discuss that. But lets return to the issue:-

    The coalition government has changed remembrance day and some labour MPs have complained. Why can’t you accept that it is perfectly legitimate for elected representatives of the people to question the coalition’s changing of long-established protocol? Labour MPs have questioned this in private (while some questioned Michael Foot’s choice of attire in public)and Mr Hasker has decided to turn this issue into a pathetic and rather tacky attack on the Labour party; probably because he has nothing of substance to say on any issue at all.

  6. “So is Michael Gove, but I didn’t see him at the front of the queue.”

    Michael Gove is not the leader of one of the three main political parties and Michael Gove has never laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in such a capacity. So you know as well as I do that is a feeble critique.

    I reiterate because you don’t seem to be getting it; the protocol is that all major party leaders lay wreath at the Cenotaph after the Queen. Traditionally the Leader of Her Majestys Opposition comes directly after Her Majestys government. However yet another constitutional conundrum thrown up by a coalition is Cleggs rightful place because he is both Leader of one of the three major parties AND a member of Her Majestys Government. Something Miliband is not.

    Therefore constitutionally speaking Nick Clegg is of “greater rank” than Ed Miliband. He is a party leader AND a member of the government. It would not be proper for him to come behind Ed Miliband because the government comes before the opposition and as Leader of the Lib Dems Clegg has to lay a wreath.

    As for your flippant suggestion regarding the Queen you know as well as I do that as Head of State and the Armed Forces the Queen always will and should come first.

    To be honest with you the thought about where and when Clegg laid his wreath hadn’t even crossed my mind watching the event and I think it wouldn’t have crossed the minds of any other decent individual because thats not what the event was about. However some Labour MP’s took it upon themselves to turn a national rememberance event of the fallen in to an episode in political point scoring.

    I sincerely doubt Cameron or Clegg deliberately set out to alter proceedings, the arrangement was merely made on the basis that Clegg, like Miliband, is a leader of one of the three main political parties and thus he is expected and entitled to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph BUT he is also Deputy Prime Minister and a Member of Her Majestys Government something, I reiterate for the bazzilionth time, MILIBAND IS NOT.

    Therefore it is perfectly legitimate for him to follow the Prime Minister. The real disgrace in all this is Labour throwing their toys out of the pram and forgetting what the event is meant to be about. Also do you really think the army, the Royals and the official organisers weren’t consulted about the formation of the wreath laying? Do you know how much prep goes in to these events? It was clearly deemed appropriate and acceptable by the organisers for Clegg to follow Cameron.

    Therefore Labour should just zip it and go back to having a cosy little conversation with themselves for the next decade.

  7. “Michael Gove is not the leader of one of the three main political parties and Michael Gove has never laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in such a capacity. So you know as well as I do that is a feeble critique.”

    Actually the distinction you made was that Nick Clegg is a member of the government, not a party leader; so my critique is perfectly sound.

    Later on in your rant:

    ” Therefore constitutionally speaking Nick Clegg is of “greater rank” than Ed Miliband. He is a party leader AND a member of the government. It would not be proper for him to come behind Ed Miliband because the government comes before the opposition and as Leader of the Lib Dems Clegg has to lay a wreath.”

    So why does the Foreign Secretary come after Edward Miliband? You are obviously completely clueless as to the procedures of remembrance day.

    “To be honest with you the thought about where and when Clegg laid his wreath hadn’t even crossed my mind watching the event and I think it wouldn’t have crossed the minds of any other decent individual because thats not what the event was about.”

    So don’t change it.

    It is the coalition that has made the change, not the opposition. There are two issues here. One is whether or not the change should have been made. I disagree with the change although I understand your rather flimsy justification for it. The second issue is the validity of the article. Lets examine the basis of the article shall we?

    What have you actually got?- One anonymous quote in the Daily Mail. And Tim Hasker and Dan O’ Doherty use that as the basis for saying that Labour is throwing the toys out of the cot. That is bad enough. What is worse is that you then try to smear Ed Miliband personaly.

    That article is the 2nd lowest attempt at point scoring I’ve ever seen on a blog. It uses an anonymous quote and some quietly made complaints to attack the labour party and imply that the leader of our party wants to use remembrance Sunday to ‘rub his own ego’. Accusations like that, need a much firmer basis.

    Lets look at some of his article:

    ” Lets remind Mr Miliband what the day was actually about, shall we, it’s about the millions of brave soldiers who have given their lives for their country, it’s not about coming second in a wreath laying ceremony in order to rub your own ego.”

    Okay so we have the ‘straw man’ approach. He knows perfectly well that Ed Miliband understands the meaning of remembrance day but wants to paint the leader of the opposition as someone who doesn’t care about the deaths of millions of people.

    “I believe protocol actually states that the Government lays its wreaths first”

    Well he would be wrong. The Prime Minister goes first as leader of the government, but other members of the government such as the Foreign Secretary follow the other two party leaders. Nick Clegg was treated as a special case and this has been queried by some MPs.

    “I am quite disgusted that Ed Miliband is making such a fuss about this, it’s disrespectful to the true meaning of Remembrance Sunday.”

    Which fuss are you reffering to? You’re playing ‘straw man’ again and it looks really silly.

    “It shouldn’t matter whether you come first, second, third or last in the wreath laying, its not about you, it’s about honouring the dead and at the moment acting like this is dishonouring their memory – so Ed Miliband – stop whining! ”

    What whining? We’ve had an anonymous quote from a Labour MP. That does not constitue whining from Ed Miliband.

    The claim that Ed Miliband is ‘making a fuss’ or ‘whining’ is so unsubstantiated as to be bordering on lying. So let me make it simple: Mr Hasker says:

    ” I am quite disgusted that Ed Miliband is making such a fuss about this”.

    Implying that Mr Miliband wants to use remembrance day to ‘rub his ego’ is a serious accusation, the like of which I, and many people in BUCF, to their credit, would not make of any UK politician. If you explicitly made that statement in a national newspaper you could come close to finding yourself in court.

    So you’ve made these claims about the leader of the opposition. Perhaps, before addressing any of the other issues in this debate, one or both of you can substantiate those claims with evidence. I’m not holding my breath…

  8. And you accuse me of ranting? lol

    You’ve still ignored one vital point; these events are planned to the nth degree. Do you really think that the coalition alone could have made such a change without wider support or consultation? It was clearly deemed appropriate and acceptable that Clegg should come before Miliband or it would not have happened. FACT.

    And re-read my comments Jack; my justification has always been that Clegg is a party leader AND a member of the government. I never singled out the fact that he was just a member of the government, I’ve always emphasised both as justification as to why he should come before Miliband who only holds one post and thus is of junior rank. As you also know rank is very important in military events and thus it is in keeping with the spirit of the military that the wreath laying should be “in order of rank”. Hence why Miliband came after Clegg.

    Also I am not attempting to smear Miliband personally and while we are talking about “proof” I want you to go back, read my comments and pick out exactly where I directly accuse Miliband of engaging in this kind of petty political point scoring tosh? You want find one. What I do do however is make a sweeping statement directed at Labour as a whole naming noone directly.

    Im merely countering YOUR arguments and the arguments of anyone else who would seek to turn this matter in to a political issue when that isn’t what its meant to be about.

    Next time read “the rant” a bit slower and you might understand what Im getting at.

  9. I didn’t even know there had been an argument until I read this blog which makes me think it’s the Tories trying to point score more than Labour being disrespectful.

  10. Again I’m going to have to draw a distinction between the two seperate issues: 1. The issue of the order of wreath-laying. And 2. the issue of whether or not there was whining on the part of:- a. Mr Miliband and b. the labour party as a whole.

    With regard to the first issue. The fact that Nick Clegg is a party leader and a member of the government ignores the fact that neither the second member of the cabinet or the leader of the third party preceed the leader of the opposition. The number of posts held does not matter; it is the level of those posts that counts. If the New Zealand High Commissioner were to become a city councillor it would not lead to him being moved forward in the ceremony.

    ” As you also know rank is very important in military events ”

    “…where and when Clegg laid his wreath hadn’t even crossed my mind watching the event and I think it wouldn’t have crossed the minds of any other decent individual because thats not what the event was about. ”

    So is the order important or not? If not, then why has it been changed?

    Dan, I’m happy to discuss the issue of protocol with you. It’s a minor, if historically interesting subject. What I am not happy about is bloggers making stupid claims about the character of my party or its leader.

    With regard to whining: When it comes to Mr Miliband, we have “the understanding of the Daily Mail” that he was ‘furious’; which if Mr Hasker was a bit sharper, he would have recognised as a means to making the accusation without being completely explicit. It was nothing more than a pathetic attempt to avoid libel action at best.

    He has nothing on which to base his accusations at all. And yet, here we have someone who is prepared to accuse the leader of the labour party of whining about remembrance day and forgetting the meaning of the ceremony and all the brave people it commemorates. This is serious. I would never make an accusation like that without a very substantial basis. Only an inarticulate, hysterical dunce would make an accusation of that magnitude without some justification. I see that Mr Hasker no longer wishes to defend his postion but also fails to find it within himself to withdraw his initial remark. The fact that he does neither, simply demonstrates that he lacks integrity and intelligence in equal measure.

    When it comes to ‘b’, the labour party in general; to claim that one unatributed quote in the Daily Mail constitutes ‘throwing the toys out of the pram’ or a ‘political stunt’ is ridiculous. Is Dan O’Doherty seriously suggesting that that anonynous quote constitutes a stunt? I have to say that it hardly constitutes a political stunt.

  11. This is a ridiculous article, and some ridiculous comments. Jack is quite right. Obviously the order of wreath laying should not be a matter of political ego-boosting, or publicity. Which is exactly why it is completely wrong that the protocol has been changed in order to make Cleggy seem important. It should, and always has, be the leader of the government, followed by the leader of the opposition. If we start adding up job titles to determine rank then we’d all have been praying to peter madelson for the last 3 years, and, as much as he’d love that, thats not the right way to do things.

    The change of protocol was the political stunt.

  12. Mr Matthew, Mr Hasker has made his point, he stands by it, however, at the same time Mr Hasker has better things to do with his time than return to this blog every half hour to continue complaining about the same issue

  13. “Mr Matthew, Mr Hasker has made his point, he stands by it, however, at the same time Mr Hasker has better things to do with his time than return to this blog every half hour to continue complaining about the same issue”

    You would have more time on your hands if you didn’t waste it attempting to write blogs.

  14. I gave up trying to reason with dilluded, entrenched Labourites a looonngg time ago. Like Mr Hasker I stand by everything I’ve said and reiterate; I couldn’t give a flying frig about what “order” the leaders came in and didn’t pay any attention to it at the time. The organisers, who are obligated to ensure any event the Queen attends does not result in potential controversy, clearly accepted and did not forsee an issue with Clegg coming second in the order of the wreath laying, end of story.

  15. So you’ve both got nothing. No solid evidence; you just thought you’d throw mud. A pretty pathetic effort by anyone’s standards.

  16. No Jack you just interpret and manipulate facts to support your own conclusions and you are selective in your responses. The fact is the organisers plan these things to every last detail. Cameron and Clegg could not have “hijacked” the event and changed the order unless that was deemed acceptable by the organisers. After all it is their job to keep the Queen and the event as a whole away from controversy.

    Further the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which oversees the organisation of Remembrance Day, insisted that Miliband himself had been consulted over the wreath-laying arrangements and had raised no objection and since the controversy emmerged after LABOUR MP’s cried foul Miliband himself refused to comment. I wonder why? If he really thought the event had been exploited to advance Clegg or had he not been consulted of course he would have raised hell himself (as he should in such circumstances).

    I think however he has enough common sense to recognise that whilst protocol dictates all three party leaders lay wreaths at the Cenotaph starting with the PM and immediately followed by the Leader of HM Official Opposition, he understands that because Clegg holds office as a member of Her Majestys government AND the Leader of one of the three main political parties then he has every right and reason to preceed Miliband.

    The issue here isn’t about what position people should or shouldn’t come in, as I said I couldn’t care less, the problem remains the fact that some Labour MP’s wished to turn a rememberance event in to a political controversy with unjustifiable claims that even Miliband himself or any other member of the Shadow Cabinet refuses to engage with or support. Its just the little conspiracy theorists on the backbenches that are causing a stink.

  17. Still nothing on Ed Miliband. In fact I’m glad to see that you now disagree with Mr Hasker and agree with me that he has not been ‘whining’. Mr Hasker neither withdraws the accusation nor substantiates it. He is obviously unwilling to do the former and hopelessly incapable of the latter.

    “…because Clegg holds office as a member of Her Majestys government AND the Leader of one of the three main political parties then he has every right and reason to preceed Miliband.”

    I’ve already explained this issue to you several times. Holding one of those positions does not result in precedence over the Leader of the Opposition. Holding more than one position does not do that either.

    “…the problem remains the fact that some Labour MP’s wished to turn a rememberance event in to a political controversy.”

    An anonymous quote in the Daily Mail is not an attempt to create a controversy. If you were a bit more ‘switched on’, you would have wondered why a labour MP would try to make political capital by leaking a quote to ‘The Daily Mail’ of all papers. I see that your understanding of how to create a political stunt is fairly limited.

    A couple of anonymous quotes does not justify accusations of creating a ‘political stink’. You dig yourself deeper by suggesting that they sought “to turn a rememberance event in to a political controversy”. How on earth could two anonymous quotes do that? And why leak them to just one hostile paper? How do you think the meeting that hatched this evil plot went? Like this perhaps?-

    Labour MP 1: So how shall we attack the coalition?

    Labour MP 2: We could lead off on top-up fees or the cuts or changes in child benefit.

    Labour MP 3: No, here’s what we do. We get a couple of back-benchers to leak anonymous quotes to the press about changes to remembrance day.

    Labour MP 2: Great idea. Lets just release them to one paper though. The Daily Mail perhaps?

    Labour MP 3: Yes they’ll give it just the kind of coverage we want.

    You know that it’s ridiculous.

    You are still playing ‘straw man’. You know that Tim Hasker (remember him?) has seen an article in the Mail and has used it as a completely flimsy platform to attack the Labour party and its leader in the most vicious way possible. And now his assertions have perished under examination and even you have seemingly pitted your voice against them: “Miliband himself had been consulted over the wreath-laying arrangements and had raised no objection”. So no whining from Ed Miliband.

    Hasker has nothing on Miliband and you are clutching at straws on the labour party.

  18. If you read my comments I never accused Ed Miliband personally of “whining” as I know full well his office has refused to comment on the matter (probably because they know he was consulted and they know how stupid and petty this all is) I do however make a critique of some Labour MP’s and supporters (yourself included) for making an issue over this by seemingly defending and justifying these MP’s apparent “fury” over the situation. Your justification and defence over the issue is what is frustrating and prompting me to engage with you and state the facts. I would say nothing on the matter if you weren’t adamently defending these MP’s claims, whoever they may be.

    The fact is their position, assuming the report is correct, is completely unjustifiable. You know as well as anyone if there was any political capital in making a stink over this change in protocol and any chance to take a shot at Clegg and the Coalition Miliband would do it. As was exemplified last year when BOTH party leaders were accused of playing politics with Rememberance Sunday. Miliband knows however that this is all a stink over nothing and as the Dept of Culture Media and Sport has already said in statement; he WAS consulted, something he hasn’t denied.

    Therefore it is Labour MP’s and their supporters who apparently sympathise with these “anonymous MP’s” claims of foul play who need to pipe down and realise how untenable their position is. Im merely attempting to explain the justification behind the change in protocol (of which there are many) and counteracting anyone who may be stupid enough to believe this was all some political conspiracy on the part of the coalition government to overshadow Miliband.

  19. “I never accused Ed Miliband personally of “whining”…”

    I know. So you agree with me and not Tim Hasker.

    “I do however make a critique of some Labour MP’s and supporters (yourself included) for making an issue over this by seemingly defending and justifying these MP’s apparent “fury” over the situation.”

    A couple of MPs have quietly raised questions about changes to remembrance day. Tim Hasker however has decided to do what he can, to smear Ed Miliband in the most unpleasant way possible.

    “Im merely attempting to explain the justification behind the change in protocol”

    As I said before, that’s fine. We can have that discussion; and we can have it without people like you and Tim Hasker suggesting that Labour is trying to make political capital out of it. If Labour wanted to do that, they would have been a bit more vocal. I refer you back to what I said about the nature of political stunts. It might not have occured to you, but when an MP shouts something from the roof-tops, it could be a ‘political stunt’. When an MP quietly questions a change to a ceremony, he or she is probably just raising a concern.

    I’ve explained the issue of the order of wreath laying several times. Holding more than one office does not mean that someone should be moved forward. It’s not something that particularly bothers me, though I think that it’s reasonable for a couple of Labour MPs to raise questions. Mr Hasker’s inarticulate posturing on a public blog and his smearing of Ed Miliband is something that bothers me.

  20. Oh so now you DO accept that I never directly accused Miliband of anything despites suggesting I had multiple times? Good Im glad we’ve cleared that one up. Also I think you’ll find Jack that it was the MAIL that suggested Miliband was “furious” (despite him refusing to comment) and Tim if anything was just reiterating and reporting the Mails position rather than his own. Not every word or blog posted on this website is meant to be a flawless Party Political Broadcast. More often than not blogs are written off the cuff and on “gut instinct” after hearing or learning of a story that interests them. God knows the BULS blog is HARDLY an example of flawless and factual political journalism. People in glass houses dear…

  21. “Oh so now you DO accept that I never directly accused Miliband of anything despites suggesting I had multiple times?”

    I was always referring to Tim Hasker. The word ‘you’ can apply to people other than Dan O’Doherty. To be fair I have alternated between criticising the pair of you fairly frequently (mid-paragraph at times) so your confusion is understandable.

    Anyway, we seem to agree that Mr Hasker’s insult was without justification or evidence and he has failed to defend his position or withdraw it because of ‘time commitments’. I suppose that the good news is that he wont be posting any more blogs for a while as a result.

    “Tim if anything was just reiterating and reporting the Mails position rather than his own. ” (sic)

    He went further than that. The understanding of the Daily Mail is not a basis to smear people without evidence. I have explained to you what “the understanding of (insert newspaper name here)” means. Let me refer people to what I said earlier:

    “He has nothing on which to base his accusations at all. And yet, here we have someone who is prepared to accuse the leader of the labour party of whining about remembrance day and forgetting the meaning of the ceremony and all the brave people it commemorates. This is serious. I would never make an accusation like that without a very substantial basis.”

    “More often than not blogs are written off the cuff and on “gut instinct” after hearing or learning of a story that interests them.”

    I think ‘ideological spasm’ is the phrase you are looking for. He read a story that had a flimsy basis and then went even further than the story itself in smearing Ed Miliband. It would be easy for him to withdraw what he said and admit that it was a misguided knee-jerk reaction. It would have been even easier for him several weeks ago.

    “Not every word or blog posted on this website is meant to be a flawless Party Political Broadcast.”

    So we agree on the flaws in Mr Hasker’s blog. The flaw of smearing the Leader of The Opposition without evidence is serious considering that it was the central premise of the article.

    “God knows the BULS blog is HARDLY an example of flawless and factual political journalism.”

    If Max or Suzy decided to write an article accusing the leader of the conservative party of abusing Remembrance day or forgetting its meaning, without any basis at all; then I would not defend them but would perhaps condemn them for it. That is exactly the same as what I do here.

  22. “God knows the BULS blog is HARDLY an example of flawless and factual political journalism.” Dan we’ve been through this about 3 times now and we both know the BULS blog is far superior at the moment.

    And you would be entirely right Jack if we ever did bother to blog on this kind of issue, you’d every right to condemn. Although, me, Suzy or anyone else from BULS wouldn’t really give a toss about such a trivial issue to ever bother even mentioning it.

  23. Regularity does not neccessarily equate to superiority Max. The Mirror publish a paper every day and in my and many others opinion its a load of old s**t. It is true that in terms of “quantity” of blogs BULS is ahead of BUCF, but in terms of quality of blogs that is still very debatable…

  24. Well of course the Mirror is a good example, so is the Mail and the Express. But the fact BUCF are covering something as tedious as this shows something :p

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