Political Promise

‘We do not have to leave the world the way we found it’

In Conor Campbell on September 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

Conor Campbell dissects Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference yesterday.

What happened to the collectivisation of the farms? I heard no equal distribution of wealth or talk of common ownership of the means of production! That’s it comrades, it looks like we picked the wrong country once again to kick start the communist revolution!

So much for ‘Red Ed’, those right wing individuals who wish to simplify Ed Miliband to the readers of The Sun may have to dig a little deeper to find the ‘Red’ blood that flows through the new Labour leaderships veins. As I type this I can hear the BBC pundits correctly saying that a majority of the speech could have been given by either David Cameron or Nick Clegg. There was a defense of the local pubs, by attacking the low prices of supermarket alcohol! (How on earth are young students supposed to get drunk if they have to pay pub prices all the time?) There was no concrete defense of the Trade Unions; he discussed the need for honesty when talking about the deficit and a need to understand the normal working class fears over immigration. There was another remark about raising the bank levy, he called the cuts in school buildings ‘irresponsible’ and said he would listen to the government and not always oppose the cuts, but he would stand up to Mr. Cameron’s unfair and gloomy cuts where needed.

I have been never a fan of placing caps on immigration, ethically I can never agree with the idea. While Ed now claims that the Labour Party where out of touch with people’s feelings about immigration I have to say that I am in disagreement with him. I was very aware during the 2010 campaign that people where weary of the level of immigrants, I just happen to think it may be a little hypocritical of a British government to say who is allowed to come into their country. That is not to say I am unaware of the realistic problem that uncontrolled mass immigration can cause. If those coming into the country are not protected, then they will be forced to work for peanuts and it will undercut the wages of the average British worker. However instead of saying we will protect those coming in, governments promise tighter regulation and more caps to control the problem, which is a cheap get out clause to win voters and I feel Ed may move in that direction.

We were told for the umpteenth time about the need for a living wage of around £7, although no figure yet of how much the bank levy would be raised to yet. If we are going to get the financial credibility back, that we have so long ago lost, putting actual figures on our plans is an absolute must. We cannot continue to spin of the usual rhetoric of equal societies, saying we will fight against the large sums bankers are paid and fighting for civil and national liberties. We need to put figures on how and what we are going to do, so the voter can actually see our plans would work it the real world.

Ed’s speech was a good start, and maybe as a speech going out to a wider audience then just Labour members, it could be considered better than good. There were no obvious ‘left wing’ motives for the ‘squeezed’ middle ground to be worried about, but with Ed Miliband getting his new job largely due to the support of Trade Unions they may feel a little bewildered as to where their man had disappeared to.

Labour has finally pushed ahead in the polls, so maybe the party need to tread water lightly until we can see just how the cuts pan out, before taking any drastic turns to the left. This is maybe why the first speech was so ambivalent, a case of not rocking the boat as it where, but I firmly believe the party and its new leader need to set out on its new course sooner rather than later.

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