You know that you’re getting old when you are older than the Leader of the Labour Party, but at 40 Ed Miliband is the generation to drive us forward, proud of what we did in thirteen years of Government but acutely aware that the New Labour solutions are far from the answer to today’s problems.
Ed’s conversion to a robust industrial policy, his emphasis on really getting to grips with the Banks and opportunities for young people will hopefully be allied to Ed Balls’ plans to restructure the deficit by re calibrating the tax/cut balance, Andy Burnham’s vision of a National Care Service and David Miliband’s ideas on the New Citizenship agenda to produce a truly broad based aspirational Socialist Labour Party that remembers who it is meant to be for, whilst reaching out across Society irrespective of social class or region.
This is the first time since 1988 that I’ve voted for the winning candidate in a Leadership Election (Gould in 92, Beckett 94) and I feel really enthused that finally we have a leader that reflects what most concerns the rank and file in the Party, ie protecting the vulnerable, making the moral argument for the best use of wealth, and making life bearable and more manageable for parents and families.
But (whisper it) is Ed Miliband Prime Minister material? Can he kick ass when needed? Will he be prepared for the loneliness of the top job and the fact it will make him feel unliked? I hope can be inured to the poison that’s going to come his way from the Tory gutter press, the mewling and puking of Guardianistas who wouldn’t know the meaning of a hard day, and of course the constant shit stirring that goes on in the Labour Party itself.
I don’t want to feel like Lib Dem voter or an SWP supporter. Worthy about doing the “right thing” whilst letting the Tories in. We can’t afford to lose again, it means too much to too many people under the hammer from the cruellest Government anyone can remember and the biggest assault on Public Services since Henry VIII dissolved the Monasteries.
Barack Obama has proved that a Party can succeed free from Big Business and lobby groups, basing its appeal on grass roots activity and keeping it simple. We proved that in Haltemprice and Howden when Danny Marten delivered a spectacular swing to Labour with no cash but plenty of ideas and the common touch. Not rocket science, just simple locally based and above all people centred politics.