Euronauts become noughts

The shrinking ambitions of Europe and the United States are witnessed in more obscure programmes. Grandiose ambitions are tempered and then disowned. Such becomes the European manned space programme that never was.

Miliband's comfort zone: New Labour lite

Ed Miliband's conduct during Prime Minister's Questions showed how far the opposition had drifted from their years in office. On policies for policing and the NHS, Miliband called for the coalition to halt both bills and reinvest the monies earmarked on frontline services. The hooting then degerated into New Labour exchanges over money, numbers, targets, waiting times and the misinformation of management information systems. Was this not the style that debased political conversation in a policy free environment.

If neither Miliband nor Cameron can move beyond Blair's malign presentations in their exchanges, then further shit will stick to their characters. But it is Miliband's view of Labour's role in this crisis that has proved most interesting. With a smallish lead in the polls, Miliband has been tempted to tread the path of the amnesiac: Labour's culpability in public sector spending is conveniently forgotten and a blanket opposition to every cut is instituted. Why make waves and alienate potential voters? In this tactic, Miliband copies the puerile populism of New Labour, unleavened by any manifesto for change. His policy review promises to provide context for this tactic in the near future, but firming up a position will undermine Miliband's opportunity to attack all facets of government. I would expect Labour to remain a defender of the public sector without exception for many months to come.