Ed Miliband *speech* – Over 40? Sorry…. you are not one of *Us*

I listened to the entire speech given by the newly minted NewEd – a man who appeared to have forgotten that he wrote the last Labour manifesto and was part of a government that brought in fairly repressive anticivlib laws.  Guardian summary

Be that as it may – I am a pragmatist. I understand the phenomenon where politicians develop a form of politico-amnesia and forget the past, using a fantastic loss at an election as some form of *absolution*

To my ear, the speech was remarkable – I sat marvelling at my desk, counting cliches and realised, as I am in my fifties, that *we* are not part of The Ambassador from The Planet F**k’s constituency. That is just fine by me.

Sorry… it doesn’t make me a bad person – but I do believe that David Miliband would have made a better leader – and he certainly wouldn’t have made a crass speech like that. Hey ho…. who cares what I think? I don’t even care what I think on this issue –  the next election of government isn’t until 2015.  The next election of a Labour leader may be before that?  We shall see.

Always a pleasure to tweet with polbloggers – even if they are tribal!

David Miliband was right to ask Harriet Harman QC … why is she clapping….

The link to the story is here

Apologise for it…? No problem…. Acknowledge illegality…?  – which Ed did not… he just said it was *wrong* with the percipience of a politician on the make….. shocking, really….. but Ed did not vote for for the Iraq war (he wasn’t an MP then) – although he was quite happy to serve in a Government later…and may well have been on the barricades, prominently,  expressing the view, while a Cabinet Minister, that he thought the Iraq war was wrong and illegal? I  accept that the definition of *wrong* and *illegal* are quite different.  I shall have a Google later……

10 thoughts on “Ed Miliband *speech* – Over 40? Sorry…. you are not one of *Us*

  1. Presumably if things did go badly for Labour in the next few years (which will only happen if the party cracks or the economy proves to be suprisingly robust), then there is no way the party would elect another Miliband to replace this one. It might also be a bit difficult to see another Ed either. So who credible will be left (if left is the appropriate word). Alan Johnson? Or will Yvette think again about her personal priorities?

  2. Assuming the coalition doesn’t collapse (and I don’t think it will) Mili E has until around spring 2014 to build a massive majority in the polls. If has hasn’t achieved that, I suspect Ed to be kicked out on his ear.

    As for likely contenders, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the current deputy take a run at the top job in the future. Well liked among MPs, party base and the unions.

    The biggest problem is that nobody is talking about the problems coming down the track, on either side.

    House prices will fall again (Royal Academy of Chartered Surveyors believe so, and they’re not often wrong – partly because of the self-fulfilling nature of their predictions). Banks, for the most part, have thickened their balance sheets to absorb much of the shock this will have as more and more people drop into negative equity. How large that shock is depends on far too many other economic factors for anyone to predict with certainty (employment and income levels playing a large part).

    Energy prices are rising and will continue to rise for the next few years. Food prices (especially meats) are rising, and are expected to continue rising for the next few years.

    So we have a situation where wage inflation is near zero, CPI inflation is around 3% and unlikely to drop for at least another 18 months, house prices are falling, and the price of our basic goods (food, energy etc) are rising above inflation.

    If Labour can get ahead of this, predict it vocally, provide a credible plan for what they would do about it – then they’ll score major points.

    Judging from Ed’s speech today, that’s not likely to happen. Which is a shame, really. If there were an election tomorrow I really don’t know how I would vote.

    Conservative? No. Never. No.
    Lib Dem? Apparently they don’t want labour’s cast-offs like me.

    Labour? Why would I? They continue to show no understanding of where they went wrong, and have no constructive ideas about what they’d be doing better at the moment.

    Independence is liberating in a way… at the moment it feels more like being lost.

  3. crass? well yes – because crass appears to work. our country is so feckin stupid and american that our politics ape theirs.

    ‘we are new – feck off you old twats’ – just what cameron said wasn’t it?

    the war – remember at the time when they all voted for it? now nobody voted for it. the tories (who love a nice war) and the labour party. in this as in so much they are identical.

    i can understand your greater vitriol against labour because the tories never betrayed you – we always knew they were worthless arseholes. our anger is bound to be greater because we actually hoped for something from labour. but let’s be aware that our disappointment doesn’t actually make them worse. and sad to say, what else do we have?

  4. I don’t really know where to start with this risible speech. let’s see:

    1. New name – “New Generation Labour” as opposed to “New Labour”. Which idiots will be taken in by that?

    2. Contrary to Ed’s speech – Labour never actually won any election with the majority of votes – so it never actually had the “trust of the country”

    3. Knock on the door? The light of liberty? Who would be taken in by that nonsense given Labour’s liberty record in office?

    4. Parents worked hard. I have no doubt that they did. Most people did. Having climbed the ladder most of them pulled it up behind them – e.g. tuition fees – brought into England/Wales with the help of Scottish MPS who were not answerable for it.

    5. As for “walking by” – there are many of us who have spent our lives fighting injustice – (which is actually manifest in our own country) – and we never “walked the others side”. New Labour did – e.g. the revelations in the High Court about the British government and torture.

    6. Ashcroft? In reality, his influence on the election was negligable.

    7. The coalition may wreak damage? Well, I tend to agree here. They are very bull at a gate and they do not grasp the realities – e.g. tax policy is disastrous and is causing big business to move away from UK.

    8. It was Kinnock – (the Welsh windbag) – who, to his credit, stood up against Clause 4.

    9. Politicians with humility? Pull the other one! I have never met one yet – BTW, I have not met Nelson Mandela.

    10. Tony and Gordon – well they had to be mentioned didn’t they? Unfortunately.

    11. WE denied Cons. a victory – they may well have done that for themselves

    12. By the end of our time in office we lost our way? Remember Ecclestone, Hinduja and all the rest of it. They took about 2 mins. to be miking the country.

    13. Tough on crime. Pull the other one – too many cautions, tickets etc.

    14. Hostility to business? They were and so are the coalition.

    15. I agree that some legislation was right – e.g. Civil Partnership Act etc.

    16. I would not mind seeing the back of Mr salmond but doubt it will happen.

    17. Peace in Northern Ireland? Big topic that one. 9/11 was maybe the major factor which woke many Americans up to the realities of terrorism and the IRA funds seemed to dry up afterwards. [We may actually have reason to thank G W Bush here?].

    18. Economic aid. OK – we have spent millions but can we continue to do so – particularly grants to emerging world economies? The world is changing – we get poorer, they get richer.

    19. He mentioned the middle incomes and tuition fees. That alone destroyed the aspirations of many in middle Britain.

    20. He says “as we emerge from the economic crisis” – big assumption there.

    21. “Fiscal credibility WE learned before 1997” – has he forgotten that Thatcher was P.M. and Clarke Chancellor?

    22. “Forgemaster” – well deserved swipe at Clegg. Sheffield ought to consider sacking him.

    23. “protect middle income” people – well that WILL be the day.

    24. Plan to reform banks? Interesting but too late now. They are now the economic masters of the universe as we know it.

    25. Agree with “danger of this coalition” – should have added “abysmal” in there somewhare.

    26. Agree with no irresponsible strikes.

    27. “Chief Execs” – pressure that lot ansd their companies will move to Switzerland which has a far better taxation regime.

    28. “New way to conduct politics” – seem to remember Cameron saying something like that to Blair.

    29. Labour the Party of enterprise? They haven’t got a clue what the work means. They are the party of State Control of everything. Evidence? See their track record.

    30. Somewhere he mentioned “MPs” and “Expenses”. Does anyone seriously believe that they would have reformed the system if they had not been caught? Mandleson seems to still receive a huge payment from the EU. The gracy train rumbles on whilst the majority of people “eat cake.”

    Sorry for the ridiculously long post but had to say it to get my blood pressure down. Nevertheless, I think (sorry to disagree) that Ed is preferable to David against whom there remain too many unanswered questions. A period out of politics might do him some good – say 50 years?

  5. Obiter J – an astonishing analysis – in a good way. I very much appreciate your enthusiasm for commentary and elucidation.

    As I said in an earlier blog post – deeds are more powerful than cliches and we’ll soon see how Ed M performs. He may well do the business.

    What Labour does, for the present, isn’t actually that relevant directly as they have little power to influence Coalition government policy. It will, however, be good to have a bit of ‘Opposition’ after the ‘Silence of The Lambs’ for the last four months or so.

  6. Think again ObiterJ.

    Ashcrofts insurmountable funds allowed the Conservatives to be bold and ‘put-out’ a lot further than they ordinarily might have down.

    Neither do I believe taxation itself is causing businesses to move away.

    The future is bright… but it isn’t Red.


  7. Polletickle – I stand by my view that Ashcroft’s money did little to get the Conservatives near(er) to power. In fact, on some people it had the reverse effect. The reality is – and I think Ed Miliband was saying it – that Labour lost the election because of their behaviour in office.

    I would agree that taxation is not the only reason business is moving out. Other reasons include excessive regulation; cheaper labour costs elsewhere etc. As business moves out, taxation falls and then government has to raise that money by other means.

    A lot of people are still viewing this coalition as a good thing. For me, it is too bull at a gate and taking on too much all at once. This will lead to further mistakes which we will all then have to live with.

  8. @ObiterJ
    I’d probably agree that the bad publicity about Ashcroft probably did more damage to the Conservative course than his money did. I think it allowed the Labour party to paint the Conservatives as the party of the rich and hardened a lot of the Labour vote in certain areas (like London).

    I don’t believe the Conservatives made the best of their position. First was agreeing to the leader debates (general rule, if you are ahead, don’t let the electorate see the opposition as equals, and especially not a third party). Then there were policies like the inheritance tax one, which left them vulnerable to charges of favouring the rich.

    It was interesting that the Labour party were able to defend Gordon Brown as an economic wizard, despite the state of the public finances. Whilst the banking crisis and bad debt finally caused the bubble to burst, then it seemed to me that not much capital was made over the encouragement that there had been to both private and public indebtedness during the good years. The Conservatives did not makes best used of the fact we were running public deficits during periods when we should have run surpluses with hidden public liabilities, such as PFI and public pensions. However, I’ve got enormous faith in the general public’s inability to ask such questions when the times are good, and the Labour party were very adept at being able to place most of the blame on the bankers, when they had been cheering them on from the governmental sidelines. Not that the Conservatives were blameless, or that this behaviour was echoed across much of Europe.

    I rather think the Conservative were partially saved by the Labour party having a leader lacking any charisma and who displayed a stunning lack of humility and understanding. (Not that top politicians are good at humility – but they can at least give the impression). Then, of course, there was Iraq, although the Conservatives could hardly have exploited that given their position.

    I also don’t think the electorate at large paid any attention to civil liberty matters. It was undoubtedly a major topic at Islington dinner parties, but I don’t think most of the great British public give it a lot of thought.

    I also have an idea that many in the middle classes probably think they’ve been sold something of a pup with the changes to the further education system. The flight to quantity, rather than quality, and the sheer lack of direction of the vast resources that both state and private individuals have put into this enterprise has left us with increased personal indebtedness, a highly skewed education system and something which has left individuals ill-equipped to make a living. We are getting social mobility, but downwards for some of the previously comfortable middle classes (and especially among boys – the modern education system has not served them well).

    As for business. I’m not sure. Certainly some types of businesses liked to be based in London, but increasingly these look more and more like trading companies. Much of the core of British business’s base has been hollowed out, treating functions such as IT, manufacturing and even research as just so much commodities that they can obtain from the world wherever it is cheapest. On that basis, local taxation rules, regulation, infrastructure and so on become just another aspect of doing business and functions can be relocated to make the best advantage. The UK isn’t alone in that respect, but it’s very different to the attitude in Germany and France. The UK is even further down the path than the US. Certainly I’ve seen companies are increasingly backing away from formal vocational training of their staff expecting to buy in resources “ready formed”. Indeed this is starting to happen in the public sector – it now appears that the Police will be expecting their new recruits to have trained themselves at their own cost (something the airlines did with pilots more than a decade ago).

    nb. the ogre of Maggie hangs over many of the younger ones in the electorate, by which I include many well into their mid/late 30s. The memory of the 1970s was completely largely absent which makes me wonder what those now in their late teens will be thinking in a decade’s time.

  9. charonqc I do remember the disastrous Thatcher & Lawson era:

    1) Privatisation that benefited no-one except the paymasters and those ministers lined up for directorships.

    2) An out of control economy followed by bust that cost the younger house-hunting public dearly.

    In May 2010 I certainly was nervous about where to place my vote. I chose what I believe to be the lesser of evils.

    ObiterJ considering the scale of the present financial disaster brought about partly by a massively over-bloated public sector for votes, the ‘bull at the gate’ approach is possibly because there’s little choice; the Coalition cant risk arriving at the next election not having nurtured at least eighteen, maybe twenty-four, months of prosperity. I also agree there’s little choice for the Coalition; the swifter and deeper the action applied now to a hugely indebted post-Lab era, the sooner the prospects improve.

    Why?: The UK CANNOT risk being more of an underdog to a more-prudently managed Germany, than we xcan get away with.

  10. We will be getting to see the coalition’s actual plan in a few weeks time. I accept that huge cuts are needed if we are to repay debt and even begin to get out of this mess. However, ultimately it is business and wealth creation which will have to do the trick. Meanwhile, they would do well to be very careful where they cut. There will be unintended consequences and those might turn out to be even more expensive.

    It took Labour 13 years to create the mess and we will not even begin to climb out for several years. There will not be an instant result and the idea that we might see some sort of prosperity before the next election is, at best, doubtful.

    Of course, the coalition will be blamed for the forthcoming pain. “New Generation Labour” will face the election looking blameless.

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