Breaking news: Thirty MPs. and almost the entire nation demand that Cameron stands down. UKIP defectors say he’s not leadership quality, and can’t eat a chip butty without looking stupid, and Lynton Crosby blames Labour…
Odd, isn’t it, that the media didn’t declare that Cameron’s leadership is in crisis, recently, with the two high profile UKIP defections.
Rumour-mongering in the media, paraded as newsworthy headlines, about “discontent” over Miliband’s leadership is based almost entirely on two cowardly backbenchers – who have curiously chosen to remain anonymous and thus remain conveniently unquotable – grumbling about Miliband.
Welcome to the new era of media-amplified political campaigning Crosby-style: the politics of spite.
Not only is this malicious approach meant to be potentially profoundly damaging to Miliband, but to candidates and of course, to the millions of people that are suffering enormously under the current regime, who desperately need a Labour government. It’s an attempt to divide the party and its supporters. But isn’t that what the Tories always do?
I wonder if the positive comments about Miliband and the support from Labour shadow minsters will make it into the mainstream media, after all, these far outnumber the comments of a pair of anonymous backstabbers. I somehow doubt it.
Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, said Miliband was on course to become an “innovative, reforming, radical” prime minister.
Miliband is being so viciously but insubstantially attacked, and on such a superficial level, precisely because he is the most left-wing leader of the Labour party for decades.
The right-wing and their lackeys in the media are engaged in an all out propaganda war. Firstly they 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 is set to win the 2015 election.
Socialism for a Sceptical Age, by Ralph Miliband was about the continued relevance of socialism in a post-communist world. Ed Miliband has said that the final few sentences of this book are his favourites of all his father’s work:
“In all the countries there are people in numbers large and small who are moved by the vision of a new social order in which democracy, egalitarianism and co-operation – the essential values of socialism – would be the prevailing values of social organization. It is in the growth of their numbers and in the success of their struggles that lies the best hope for mankind.”
“Socialism is not a rigid economic doctrine, but ‘a set of values’ It is ‘a tale that never ends’. Indeed, the strange fact is that while there’s capitalism, there’ll be socialism, because there is always a response to injustice.” Ed Miliband. (Source – The moment Ed Miliband said he’ll bring socialism back to Downing Street .)
This provides a good insight into what Miliband is all about.
And he’s right.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, and Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said the speculation in the Times was a lie.
Andy Burnham told Sky News: “The stories in today’s newspapers are complete and pure fiction. There is not a shred of truth in them.
What I think it’s part of is a deliberate and desperate attempt to destabilise the Labour party and to divide us. But I can say this: it won’t work. We are a united team, we are united behind Ed.”
Rachel Reeves said: “A Labour government will make a huge difference to the lives of millions of people. But we’ll only get one if we stay united behind Ed Miliband.”
Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secertary, hailed Miliband for taking Labour to within “touching distance” of government. In his blog on the PoliticsHome website he wrote: “We have a leader who has kept us united and overseen the renewal which so eluded us at the end of our time in government. Ed is an honest, sincere man of deep beliefs, and these are just some of the reasons why I backed his campaign to become leader. In an era of extreme scepticism about politics, these are not qualities most people attribute to politicians. What is too often not remarked upon is that these are qualities which people – even our political opponents – attribute to Ed.”
I agree entirely. Miliband is consistently honest and has shown integrity. And another one of Miliband’s greatest virtues is that he re-humanises politics. For him, people’s individual experiences matter, and he always cites many examples throughout his speeches. He includes qualitative accounts from real people. It’s a particularly contrasting quality to Cameron’s unempathic, dehumanising, quantitative, scapegoating, and negative labelling approach.
As I have previously said, the Tories always strive to foster divisions, or the illusion of them. One of their approaches has been to perpetuate an impression that MPs are “allthesame”. This myth 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”. But 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”: an approach that UKIP have most overtly tried to adopt. The Tories are more about subterfuge and covert propaganda.
Identity politics purposefully excludes other social groups and also sets them against each other, for example, 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.
Only a year ago, even the Torygraph stated that Ed Miliband is proving himself to be a brave and adroit leader. If Mr Miliband is remembered for nothing else, his stand on Syria changed the course of history. The Murdoch media empire, propagandarising for the US-led wars of the last two decades, is now isolated in its obsessive screeching for military action, and the fact that MPs ignored the bellicose pro-“intervention” editorials in Murdoch papers is a clear indication as to just how much they are declining in influence.
Let us not forget that it has been an iron law of politics since most of today’s Cabinet were in nursery that you do not “take on” Rupert Murdoch. And that if you were foolhardy enough to try, you would end up fatally weakened.
Ed Miliband did. He has shown he has principles and courage on many occasions, sadly this is very seldom reported and reflected fairly in the media. And Miliband didn’t just take the easy option of calling for specific action targeted at the paper where the hacking scandal began – that would have been a safer way of doing it – but by calling for a whole judicial enquiry. Rupert Murdoch probably thought that Ed would leave it at that. But no, when the leader of the Opposition turned up at the proceedings of that enquiry, he said explicitly that if he were Prime Minister, he would seek to limit the percentage of media that one man could own. Quite properly so.
Then there was the banks. Many in the Labour party would have preferred him to stick safely to making outraged noises about misconduct, Miliband pushed for one wide enough to cover the whole culture of banking which had led to the global crisis – a much bigger threat to the banks. After that, Ed threatened them with separation between their investment (casino) and retail (piggy bank) arms. Each time Miliband had the opportunity to ease off, he went further. These are not the actions of a weak leader.
Some will argue that the banks and the media were both wounded giants: once-powerful interests which had been left limping by the financial crisis and the phone hacking scandal respectively.
But Ed Miliband didn’t stop with them. In the last few years he has taken on the energy companies too. Not in a small way either, for example, by threatening to legislate to make sure that they give the elderly their cheapest tariffs (although he has done that too). But by actually threatening to break up the Big Six unless they start giving consumers a better deal. That is not a small threat for a potential Prime Minister to make.
I have every faith in this man, as a decent, principled and strong leader of the Labour party and future Prime Minister.
When Miliband clearly outlined his view that there needed to be a proper international process at the United Nations that was evidence-led regarding Syria, he argued powerfully that we needed the “time and space” to come to a judgement and that we shouldn’t rush headlong into a political timetable that was being driven elsewhere. A government source told the Times, unbelievably: “No 10 and the Foreign Office think Miliband is a fucking cunt and a copper-bottomed shit.”
Several churlish Tory Ministers, regrettably, chose to heckle him with the word “weak”.
Here are 46 more reasons why Miliband is an excellent leader, with a sound foundation of effective and much-needed costed and evidence-based policy proposals:
1. Labour pledge to build 200,000 by 2020, focusing on social housing.
2. Labour pledged to create a State-Owned Rail Company that would compete and win back Rail Franchises.
3. Labour vow to cut business rates for small firms.
4. Labour vowed to introduce an increased Bankers’ Bonus Tax if they win in 2015.
5. Labour promised Free Childcare worth £5,000 a year for working parents who had children aged 3&4.
6. Labour committed to Sacking ATOS, Serco and G4S if they win the election.
7. Ed Miliband promised to repeal the Bedroom Tax.
8. Ed Balls pledged to reverse the Pension Tax relief that the Tories gifted to millionaires.
9. Labour promised to reverse the Tory Tax cut for Hedge Funds.
10. Labour pledged they will create 200,000 Apprenticeships
11. Ed Miliband vowed to increase the fine levied on firms not paying the Minimum Wage by 1000% to £50,000.
12. Labour are to introduce a new Disability Hate Crime Prevention Law.
13. Labour would freeze gas and electricity bills for every home and business in the UK for at least 20 months, the big energy firms would be split up and governed by a new tougher regulator to end overcharging.
14. Voting age to be lowered to 16.
15. NHS to be re-nationalised.
16. Miliband also said that any private company that does not meet the needs of the public will be brought under state control.
17. Labour will ban exploitative zero hour contracts.
18. Labour have pledged to introduce a living wage.
19. Labour have pledged to reverse the £107,000 tax break that the Tories have given to the millionaires.
20. Labour will reintroduce the 50p tax.
21. Labour will repeal clause 119.
22. Labour will introduce a law making Private Companies subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
23. Labour will introduce a Mansion Tax on properties worth more than £2 million
24. Labour will make up the difference to the value in the minimum wage is restored, reversing the Tory cut of 5%.
25. Labour will halt Michael Gove’s Free School Expansion Programme.
26. Labour will abolish the Tory ban on Local Education Authorities opening State Schools once more.
27. Labour will scrap George Osborne’s “Shares for Rights” scheme that has opened up a tax loophole of £1 billion .
28. Labour will launch a full public inquiry into blacklisting.
29. Labour will ensure Water Companies place the poorest households on a Social Tariff that makes it easier for them to pay their Water Bills.
30. Labour will double the tax duty on Pay Day Lenders and will use the additional £13,000,000 that raises to help foster more Credit Unions.
31. Labour will impose a cap on the cost of credit, setting a limit at which Pay Day Lenders can charge borrowers.
32. Labour will regulate food labelling to simplify pricing so that Supermarkets cannot con customers.
33. Labour plan to introduce a Bill that would ban Recruitment Consultancy firms from only hiring abroad & ban firms from paying temporary workers less than permanent staff.
34. Labour would set up a Financial Crime Unit, with increased staffing, in the Serious Fraud Office to enable the SFO to pursue bankers who break the law.
35. Labour will break up the banks, separating retail banking from investment banking.
36. Labour will scrap Police Commissioners.
37. Labour will introduce a Forces & Veterans Bill of Rights to build upon the Military Covenant.
38. As a minimum measure, Labour will at least cut Tuition Fees by 33%.
39. Labour will introduce measures to prevent corporate tax avoidance.
40. Labour will also increase the Bank Levy by £800m a year.
41. Labour will scrap the Profit Tax Cut (Corporation Tax) that George Osborne has already announced for 2015.
42. Labour will scrap Cameron’s “Gagging” Act.
43. Labour will ensure all MPs will be banned from receiving any income from corporations after 2015.
44. Labour will tackle the abuse and exploitation of migrant labour that undercuts wages.
45. Labour will extend their 2002 public interest test to protect us from exploitative multinational takeovers.
46. Labour will end unpaid workfare.