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Ed Miliband: Is He Labour’s IDS?

Ed Miliband has to up his game if he is to avoid the sobriquet, “Labour’s IDS”.

Another long, hot Summer, another Summer of drift for the Labour Party, another long, hot Summer of Tory dominated ill intentions towards the majority of our Citizens who, although largely anti this Government, cannot find a outlet for their fears as we are simply STILL not tuned in with what people want from their politicians despite over a year of navel gazing and inner Party “consultation”. 

Ed Miliband used a keynote speech last weekend, one covered by the news and print media live due to it being a Saturday, to announce that he wanted to abolish elections to the Shadow Cabinet, praise Peter Hain’s Re Founding Labour Project, and say how the Party should move forward.

 All worthy but absolutely and stunningly irrelevant in our communities at large who are being battered by the flat lining economy, a crippling rise in the cost of living and savage attacks on the NHS and the Public Sector in general, as exemplified by the trashing of pensions. 

I campaigned hard for Ed Miliband because I really felt he “got” what and who the Labour Party is “for” and would galvanise us towards setting our own agenda rather having it set for us by the Daily Mail, create a sense of purpose and vibrancy within the Party and provide strong, but collegiate leadership to take the fight to the Tories and set us back on the road to power. 

Harold Wilson summed up what the Labour Party means to me with his statement that, “The Labour Party is a moral crusade, or it nothing”. 

I joined the Labour Party because I detest injustice in all it’s forms and want the State to be a force for good in Society by correcting things such as poverty, poor education and health, and making sure that everyone gets a fair crack of the whip. This is achieved by strong and accountable Public Services from cradle to grave, a tax system that rewards work and aspiration whilst at the same time redistributing wealth to address the issue that 80% of the assets of the UK rest with just over 10% of it’s people. 

Ed Miliband should have done what I am proposing within a week of winning the Leadership but hey! Better late than never. 

Convene a week long Special Conference at a centre in the country where the media is kept out, and similarly no one is allowed to leave without a bloody good reason, and where all contact with the outside world is banned. 

Present would be the PLP, MEPs, a representative selection of Councillors, members of the NEC and NFP plus the TUC and Unions. They have a week to come up with a policy paper that documents our vision and sets the tone for where we are going for the next five years, four in Opposition and one in Government. 

Then we get out there and fight for the future of our country. 

Our local team has identified the areas that we need to address to reflect the hopes, fears and aspirations of the community. 

Getting the economy moving again and creating well paid full time jobs, making sure that kids can attend a successful school and can study for free for as long as is appropriate, address the scandalous state of affordable housing, defend and develop our World Class NHS, ensure dignity in retirement, really clean up the financial sector and finally re connect politicians to the real world via a total overhaul of our ailing Democracy. 

That should be the basis of what the Labour Party ought to be talking to the British people about. They don’t care if we want all member CLP meetings, how we select candidates or indeed how Ed chooses his Front Bench team. These are matters for within the Party and should not be the main thrust of our conversations with the public. It means absolutely nothing to them. 

Another Sunday, another “thought up on the back of a fag packet” policy from Ed Miliband. Last week it was an un costed and ill thought out proposal on VAT, this week cross Party talks on Social Care. This would be fine if we came at it from a strong position of having a firm policy direction backed up with a massive lead in the polls, but when you have weak leadership, no clear objectives and the public aren’t interested in what you have to say, it smacks of the politics of desperation. 

Ed Miliband has to up his game. I was put off by David’s dismissal of the Unions and his taste for the market, but a Party led by him would know where it was going and he gives off a much more workmanlike air, the air of a guy who has what it takes to be Prime Minister. There were whispers last year that Ed was the Labour Party’s IDS. He must prove this wrong by getting more dynamic and tuned in with the Public. 


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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