Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband gave a confident and believable performance when interviewed on Sky News this morning. But it was his interview with the Daily Telegraph yesterday that really persuaded me that he is the right man to lead the Labour Party as we look to the future without forgetting the fantastic achievements of the last thirteen years.
Ed picked up on a number of issues that have disturbed me over the last few years and it proves he is tuned in to the opinions of ordinary rank and file members who have always been completely ignored by those at the top of the Party.
One of the legacies that I am least proud of from our time in power is the push to make betting and every day and routine activity. We de regulated this industry far too much and it now rampant across TV and the media, as well as being all over the Premier League. Hull City, to my eternal same, are sponsored by such an outfit. Miliband acknowledges this has gone to far and any Government led by him would allow local communities to decide on the spread of betting shops. I would like to see this go further and strongly regulate TV advertising including watershed restrictions.
Ed Miliband also talks about the “macho” culture around politics, something that we all felt about the Brown Administration and he has ideas about how to make Parliament more reflective of Society in general. I would propose a total re alignment of the Chamber to stop all this testosterone fuelled barracking and jeering. You only have to listen to the background hum when a woman gets up to speak to realise what a pathetically retro environment the House of Commons really is.
Regarding Iraq Ed is right to say that the War was when we lost the trust of the Public. Whether or not you agree with the War or not, Campbell’s dodgy dossier and Tony Blair’s refusal the acknowledge the bleedin obvious regarding WMD, place the seed in the mind of the electorate that we weren’t straight with the facts if they didn’t suit us and the expenses scandal just re enforced this.
As Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband took the issue seriously when you felt that many, including the PM really did mind the while thing “inconvenient”. We became obsessed with media, spin and what we thought would win votes, and global warming didn’t fit so the Government just stuck it’s fingers in it’s ears and hoped it would go away. Ed was on the Today Programme in December campaigning vigorously for a deal at Copenhagen. That same week Andrew Adonis was arguing, with equal vigour, that we had to build the new runway at Heathrow or face economic hardship!
Finally Ed is open to the idea of looking again at Trident, and whilst this doesn’t mean we are going to abandon the bomb, it does mean that there is a debate about the vast cost of the whole system and whether it can be justified in the current economic climate.