Originally posted on LabourList
As the 2015 general election approaches, it is becoming more obvious by the day what the Tory strategy is: there are no new ideas, policies will continue much as they are now, with the emphasis on denigrating Labour proposals and the Labour leader. If Labour announces details to increase income or corporation tax, Tories are ready to pounce.
The Tory propaganda machine has successfully convinced the more gullible that somehow the Labour government’s spending on schools and hospitals caused the 2008 economic crash, and that as a result, they cannot be trusted to manage the economy. It’s upon this, rather than their own proposals, that the Tory election programme is based.
Tories do not shout from the rooftops what their aims are: shrinking the state back to 1948 levels, a further reduction in social mobility and, of course, immigration, and more cuts in government spending. They will claim their “long-term economic plan” is successful, but will worry their assertion that more people than ever in Britain are working, with most new jobs part-time, on zero-hours contracts and very low pay, will be found out. On their “achievements” like the Bedroom tax, the continued tax gap of at least £50bn, the unregulated banks complete with bonuses and scams, the austerity policies that failed to kick start the economy or reduce borrowing, and the infamous tax reduction for the very rich, there will be silence!
Education, Tories will tell us, has improved exponentially. But they will ignore the fact that academisation has taken place because most schools are fearful of financial problems, and has not always brought examination success, despite heads having more freedom to expel problem students. Even more worrying, perhaps, is the fact that academies and free schools do not come under the auspices of the local authority, sometimes with worrying consequences. Similarly absent from the Tory manifesto will be the recent figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which indicate the largest cut in public spending on education over a four year period since the 1950s has taken place since 2011.
With so many other no-go areas, like the NHS and Royal Mail, for the Tories to dwell on, the main focus of their strategy has, and will continue to be, the fabrication of the idea that Miliband is not prime-ministerial material, because of his “weirdness”. Has the Labour leader changed since becoming leader of the Opposition? No, of course not, but a sudden awareness of his “strangeness” has recently emerged, just months before the election; according to Tory propaganda, which is supported to the letter by Tories` allies in the media, Miliband’s looks, eating methods, speech, teeth, and geekiness make him out to be more like a cartoon character than a prime minister-in-waiting. They are so bereft of policies which can attract new votes, they will attack Miliband with anything they can dig, or make, up.
With humour and self-deprecation, Miliband defended himself well last week, but that should be it. He is no weirder or more geeky than other politicians. For goodness sakes, until a few months ago Gove was touted as a future PM. Yes, Gove!
Miliband’s “weirdness” is a Tory myth, created to divert voters’ attention from the fairness and validity of Labour policies, and the unfairness of theirs. Sadly, the few left-wing elements of our media have fallen for this Tory con-trick – articles by Toynbee, Rawnsley and Richards, and such like, have only added unnecessary gravitas to the issue. It’s time for all Labour supporters to rally around their leader, and when asked about his “geekiness” or whatever, to reply with the same response, learned off by heart, word for word: “The only difference between Ed Miliband and any other politician is that he is the leader of the party with the policies to transform this country, and create the just and fair society we all want”!
Repeat it, if asked again, robot-like if necessary, and the penny will soon drop!
Making the Tories pay for their economic policies
Ed Miliband is trying to build a Britain the Tories can’t breakWhen the media resort to personal smears – like they did last year about Ralph Miliband – you KNOW they are worried about being defeated. The Right are engaged in an all out war.
Firstly the Right know that Ed Miliband has edited their script, abandoning the free-market fundamentalist consensus established by Thatcherism, in favour of social democracy.
Secondly, the Right-wing media barons who set the terms of what is deemed politically palatable in Britain have never forgiven Ed Miliband for his endorsement of Leveson, which they believe is an unacceptable threat to their power.
Thirdly, they know Labour under Ed Miliband may well actually win the 2015 election.
One recognisable ploy that has been used to divide Labour support is the claim that the parties have somehow reached a consensus regarding policies. Yet Labour continue to oppose Tory policies. The “allthesame” lie came straight from Tory HQ. BBC’s Tory correspondent Nick Robinson admitted live on air, that Cameron’s best chance of winning the next election is if people believe politicians are “all the same”.
That is very clearly not the case. I think one major ploy has been to use propaganda based on an exclusively class-based identity politics aimed at the “working class”.
It purposefully excludes other social groups and also sets them against each other, eg. working class unemployed attacking migrants – it’s really is divisive, anti-democratic, and quite deliberately flies in the face of labour’s equality and diversity principles. That’s the problem with identity politics: it tends to enhance a further sense of social segregation, and it isn’t remotely inclusive.
Of course it also enhances the myth of “out of touch/ allthesame”. It’s a clever strategy, because it attacks Labour’s equality and inclusive principles – the very reason why the labour movement happened in the first place – and places restriction on who ought to be “included”. Think of that divisive strategy 1) in terms of equality. 2) in terms of appealing to the electorate 3) in terms of policy. Note how it imposes limits and is reductive.
This is a war, and the Tories think that chucking an avalanche of scheiße at the opposition is enough. It isn’t. Where are their positive, supportive, life-enhancing policies for the citizens of the UK? The Tories have NOTHING but increasing poverty and pain to offer most of us, and no amount of smearing Labour and telling lies will hide that fact.
And they will do all they can to make sure Labour don’t get space in the media to tell you about their own positive social democracy program, based on tackling the inequality and poverty that Tories always create. Cameron needs to learn that politics isn’t soap opera or about just providing handouts of OUR money to the very parasitic wealthy tory donors: it has real consequences for real people. And we can’t afford or tolerate another 5 years of the terrible consequences of Tory policies.
The Tories set this up in the media, UKIP have extended it further and the minority rival parties, including the Green Party have also utilised the same rhetoric tool. Yet we KNOW right wing parties have NO interest in the working class.
Labour are focused on inequality, Miliband knows that Britain is not divided by race and culture, it’s divided by massive wealth inequalities fuelled by the Tory-led Coalition’s “austerity” policies. Blaming the unemployed, the sick and disabled and immigrants for the failings of the government has fuelled misperceptions that drive support for the far Right.
Lynton Crosby, who has declared that his role is to destroy the Labour Party, rather than promote the Conservatives, based on any notion of merit, is all about such a targeted “divide and rule” strategy. This is a right wing tactic of cultivating and manipulating apostasy amongst support for the opposition. It’s a very evident ploy in the media, too, with articles about Labour screaming headlines that don’t match content, and the Sun and Telegraph blatantly lying about Labour’s policy intentions regularly. Propaganda isn’t obvious, and that’s how it works.
We really do need to be mindful of this.
One final thought: I think that a good indication of a government’s intentions is reflected in whether or not that government values and observes fundamental Human Rights. Labour gave us the Human Rights Act, and the Equality Act, the Tories want to repeal both. And withdraw from the ECHR.
That’s a very fundamental difference between the parties.
For me, this is probably the most important election issue, without human rights there is no framework for any semblance of social justice and equality.
Techniques of neutralisation – a framework of prejudice
Think the political parties are not partisan enough for you? Watch the food banks debate and think again
Tory dogma and hypocrisy: the “big state”, bureaucracy, austerity and “freedom”
Big thanks to Robert Livingstone for his iconic pictures
17 thoughts on “The Tories attack Miliband because they’ve got no decent policies”
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Sorry to talk TECH, but I subscribed to your blog recently and I was not notified of this post? If its not too much of a PITA (pain in the ass) pls could you help me fix it …. I’m not a complete luddite so feel free to be TECHy
I don’t know about how notifications work, but perhaps someone else here does, and can help 🙂
It is appalling how the tories are so negative and have nothing to offer. But people don’t see it like that. They do not want money spent on public services or benefits.The damaging divide and rule campaign against immigrants and benefit scroungers has done so much harm. The tories on human rights have also managed to persuade people that it’s only there to protect terrorists who are hiding here and cannot be deported and want our benefits but has been very successful.
Appreciate your thoughtful blogs!
Thanks, i really appreciate feedback 🙂 It makes it worthwhile, writing about such grim events and topics, strange and scary times. x
Some Straight Facts, something we don’t seem to get very often.
(Fact source is by a Tory . . . )
The UK had the LOWEST per cent debt of G7 countries in 2010.
Labour had lowered the actual deficit from 3.9% to as low as 2.1% by 2008 a very remarkable achievement.
The deficit increased ENTIRELY because of bankers making a total mess of things, and disproportionately so because London is a very major financial centre.
The UK is considered a very safe haven for investors because UK Government bonds have never been defaulted on.
Hence the deficit LIE and blaming Labour is one of the BIGGEST LIES EVER PERPETRATED.
And not forget that Osborne has borrowed MORE in four years than Labour did in thirteen years.
Austerity is to GIVE INVESTORS increased confidence. And how Gordon Brown wasn’t able to get across the key three first points in 2010 I shall never know.
Labour is NOT to blame, our deficit is actually very LOW, and Labour did a remarkably GOOD in fact EXCELLENT job in managing the deficit and managing the Economy.
I know, and I’ve written several articles including this info with credible sources cited ranging from the LSE to the OBR