my first blog post on Ed Miliband's leadership it is being questioned by the polls and there are warnings that 2015 won't go Labour's way in a pamphlet warning of "Cameron's Trap" unless they change tack quickly.Three months on from
Lets start with the Leadership;
According to the ICBM poll carried out for the Guardian 48% of people believe David Cameron is doing a good job, second on 33% Nick Clegg is doing a good job and finally on 32% Ed Miliband.
A further blow is that 44% thought Cameron/Osborne were doing a good job of managing the economy compared to 23% who would like to see Miliband/Balls doing it, this is a gap of 21% which has grown from October's 11 % lead for Cameron/Osborne!
Could Cameron's lead have been extended by his stance over the Euro? Or the further strikes including the Tube strike on Boxing day?
All we can do is speculate but in a time when Austerity is biting down on the people of Britain and with every passing week we hear how the Chancellor is mismanaging the economy and how Vital public spending is being cut, you'd think the opposition party would be receiving more support.
Ed says; I'll carry on being what I am. I think that's what people want
I think he is right, people want substance in a leader rather than flashy showmanship, although they seem to like to vote in the showmen. I guess they're not sure that Ed has the substance but as I have said before, he is still relatively new in post and he has not been able to show any potential and leadership.
Which brings me to the Cameron Trap, no it isn't an awesome new Computer game, nor a Mills and Boon story based on a young Liberal Democrat leader joining a Coalition...
Gregg McClymont MP, the shadow pensions minister wrote in a pamphlet about the fear that Labour could easily fall into a trap that caught Neil Kinnock, Michael Foot and even the respectable Ramsey MacDonald. At times where Conservative governments have been carrying out harsh spending cuts that affect the country and rising unemployment they have won more and more elections returning Stanley Baldwin to parliament consecutively and even Margaret Thatcher offering enough prosperity for enough of a time to convince the electorate of the Government's credibility, in fact McClymont speculates that the Conservative line of;
It's tough now but under Labour it will be WORSE!!!
May have won them the 92 election!
Indeed the trap itself is that if Labour continue to support the failing Public Sector and Public spending rather than appealing to a vaster Middle ground of people they will lose public confidence.
This is true. The strikes have had a lot of public support but at the same time people are being hit in their pockets as they are forced to take days off work to look after their children or rearrange their busy lives. Other strikes like the RMT strike on Boxing Day are seen as unnecessary and Bob Crow is disliked by a vast swathe of London Commuters who face more arduous journeys as the already well paid Tube drivers seem to haggle over yet another rise. If Labour were to cling to this then they will certainly fall into a trap.
An easy Conservative retort would be that if Labour got in they would raise spending and ring fence more Public services and thus forcing other cuts over a longer period of time.
The Coalition wants to say in 2015 ; Job done. Then they can offer tax incentives and relief to people in their manifesto.
Ed Miliband has already moved to try and head for the middle ground and in a very Clegg way said;
We need a more responsible Capitalism, a new approach to our economy and our society.
Anyone else hearing Nick Clegg April 2010? Still it is true that Capitalism needs to change, greed has badly affected the nation polarising it to Victorian levels.
Ed Miliband also has warned in his New Year message that the Government's measures are reminiscent of the 30's Conservative Government's measures and;
When politicians shrug their shoulders in the face of other people's despair, they are not just abdicating responsibility, they are making clear choices. That is as true now as it was in the Great Depression during the 1930's.
Just a quick History lesson;
1. Stanley Baldwin may have been a Conservative Prime Minister but he was PM of a NATIONAL GOVERNMENT with Ramsey MacDonald the Labour leader and previous PM as his deputy so it wasn't all the Conservatives crushing the people - Bear in mind that Labour were a lot more left wing in the 30's.
2. Britain's economy never sank to the levels of Germany in the early 30's where Deutschemarks were near enough worthless and had fully recovered in time for the Second World War.
Also another observation. A true leader, a real leader in military and political terms has to be hard. Tough decisions have to be made to help the people and the nation. It is sad but sacrifices have to be made for the greater good and you do have to shrug your shoulders at the plight sometimes and keep on going, however tough it may be.
It is suggested that Labour should come up with better plans to encourage the private sector growth than the Conservatives as encouraging growth rather than spending cuts will attract votes in the same way that Clement Attlee did in 1945.
Also if they were to concentrate on the Coalition's regressive charging mechanisms and focus on Labour's plans to cut tuition to £6000 pa.
As the authors of In the Black Labour have said, Labour need to stop this vague economic plans and actually pull a white rabbit out of their hats and show that they can be a credible party on the economy with actual policy that will actually work rather than "Not the Coalition's way".
Afraid I can't find my link to the Guardian's story but here is a link to the Sun's article on the poll.