Monday, 10 September 2012

Return of the Ed-i

"Our Policies are.... erm... ah..."
I awoke with a jolt yesterday afternoon. Having fallen asleep on the train as I usually do after an early shift I drowsily openned my eyes and browsed the paper. Suddenly, in the editorial section Ed Miliband was staring back at me with the words "Labour is riding high"

That's when the adrenaline kicked in and I truly awoke.

Jenni Russell's article makes for difficult reading at first but I do think that she's hit the nail on the head.

Labour are ahead in the polls- it is an inescapable truth. OK you can argue that polls are not always indicative of public opinion or that this is natural for an opposition party mid-parliament, but let's address the fact.

It does seem that the public have short memories and are more concerned with the here and now. Labour's criticism of the economy (which they left in a shambles), railway fare rises (on a formula they put in) or over News international (with whom they'd been quite cozy.) - Indeed, it is a great time to be in opposition.

The big question is; What do they stand for? At the moment it seems like its just "the opposite to the Government." This, unfortunately, will get them elected as it was too close in 2010 and a few marginal seats may swing the balance in a natural anti cuts vote.

The problem is you need policies to make a government work and I'm not convinced that they can do it at the moment. They talk about "predistribition" - the end is something that all parties want but they have no idea how to get there!

They talk about fairer capitalism but when Ms Russell asked a senior strategist what that entails, the response was;

"He expected individual businesses to come up with their versions of good capitalism, telling me that the business community was expressing a lot of interest"

A more responsible capitalism is really desirable and something I really think its something that needs adopting BUT you can't leave it up to the individual businesses or it won't happen. Look at this Government's pledge to equal women's pay - it was left to individual companies and so reform has not happened.

It is all well and good giving out well meaning sound bites about change but it's absolutely necessary to have a way to get there and actually forcing through change (that goes for everyone) because if you leave it to individual businesses to do as they see fit nothing will get done.

If Labour are serious about forming a Government they do need to be responsible and define themselves on their own and actually develop policy with a route rather than just an end. Don't just cruise into power on the back of not being Tories.

1 comment:

  1. The polls are actually much closer than, technically, they 'ought' to be in such circumstances as we have today. History shows that a Labour opposition, even in the days of Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, should now be a lot further ahead in the polls than this one is – especially as this time the troubles we face are mostly invisible.

    I lived through the times of power cuts and unburied corpses, so I know how much easier it should be today for Labour to clock up a 20-point lead – yet they are barely reaching half of that (as you probably know, I keep a record of all opinion polls' voting intention figures on file).

    Of course, Labour are being helped electorally by the unequal constituency population sizes that psephologists agree significantly favour that party.

    But Nick Clegg's toys-out-of-the-pram manouevre on this issue (whatever his excuse) means that the Lib Dems are de facto supporters of the continuation of this in-built bias, and will be perceived thus by the electorate after the May 2015 election once all the detailed figures reach the public's awareness.

    Not supporting boundary reform, on whatever flimsy excuse, will do the Lib Dems no good at all – and they really need to wake up to this, as it could seriously impact their own vote share in 2015 if they don't wise-up!