Coffee House

Ed’s “something for something" society

27 September 2011

7:00 AM

27 September 2011

7:00 AM

Fraser’s already commented on the welfare angle of Ed Miliband’s keynote speech to the Labour party; the welfare proposals
are part of a broad analytical sweep that can be reduced to the catchphrase, ‘the something for something society’. Miliband’s vision of society will reward those who work and
abide by the rules at the expense of those who do not – those who loot, who fiddle expenses, those who pursue short-termism in business. According to the Guardian, he will also emphasise the importance of social mobility and equality. To
that end, he will encourage universities to take more people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Society and government should stand up for those who are being engulfed by what Miliband has termed the
“quiet crisis”.

The speech is, of course, vital. Miliband has failed to connect with his party struggling to make poll breakthrough, with only one four voters believing him to be a credible prime minister in
waiting according to the latest ComRes poll. This exposes Miliband’s
failure to connect with ordinary voters. The trick of any conference speech is to speak at the assembled delegates but not to them. Miliband’s “something for something” society is
a pitch to the audience outside the hall, assuming there is one. Throughout this conference, Tessa Jowell and Hazel Blears have been warning that, at this stage of the electoral cycle and after
last year’s election drubbing, the public is not yet listening to Labour. Miliband may have to tread water a while longer.

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Show comments
  • Patricia

    “Was thinking something similar to Greenslime, after hearing the ‘praise’ heaped on the teenage delegate.
    He lost his home under Labour but blames the tories and is now so addicted to receiving from the state he’s afraid to stand on his own two feet.”

    Apparantly. our little Oliver Twist is the son of a millionaire.

  • Cynic

    he will also emphasise the importance of social mobility and equality. To that end, he will encourage universities to take more people from disadvantaged backgrounds.” So more dumbing down rather than improving the education system, then. The prime movers of social mobility are grammar schools, so will Ed be promising more of these? I think not. Ed’s idea of social mobility appears to be handicapping and penalising the able in order to give preferential treatment to the less able. Excellent recipe for success in Labourland, although not in the real world.

  • daniel maris

    Pete –

    “Picking winners” is exactly what the Chinese have been doing for the last 40 years. It’s hardly been unsuccessful.

  • Sir Everard Digby

    Confirms the view that:
    ‘If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.’

  • Simon Stephenson.

    FvH : 10.42am

    “Cameron better get his a**e into gear or this clown could end up PM by default”

    The worry is that with the average British voter, and his almost complete lack of political understanding and worldliness, it may not matter which gear Cameron gets his a**e into, because the happenings over the next three years, even if Cameron were to govern with the genius of Einstein and Newton, will cause the electorate to prefer the opposition. It would not matter to them if this opposition were to be composed of gorillas with suits on.

  • Andy Carpark

    One thing Ed could do to boost his popularity would be to execute his very own trademark dance at every opportunity: hands on knees, close knees, cross hands, spread knees, close knees, cross hands, etc ad infinitum, to give the illusion that his knees were passing through each other. The whole effect would be enhanced ten-fold if he were to wear a newspaper hat on his head. (17.03.11)

  • MilkSnatcher

    watching Ed Moribund play Leadership is as sad as watching someone shoot dead animals.

  • FvH

    Cameron better get his a**e into gear or this clown could end up PM by default

    Unless Cameron starts to walk the walk on reforms rather than talk the talk there is every chance the next GE will see Labour as the largest party (remember it took the Tories 10 years in opposition to overtake Labour in the polls) even with RedEd as leader Labour have done it in a year!!

    So Cameron has to do the hard work of leadership that makes sure reforms are followed through – so that voters have tangible proof that the Tories have made a difference

    As Tim Montgomerie pointed out a few weeks back, Cameron is weak on follow through – lots of lovely, lovely speeches but precious little action

    That will have to change before this time next year or Redward will be doing the curtain measurements at no. 10 (what a thought)

  • dorothy wilson

    Yesterday morning, abosrbed in making marmalade to sell at a Macmillan event on Friday, I was too busy – or too lazy – to switch the radio off. Just after 10 I even suffered Woman’s Hour and an interview with the Harperson.

    Asked whether she could envisage a woman Labour PM in the not too distant future, her reply was: “Well David … err .. err … Ed will be our leader for a long time yet and then will be PM …”.

    So, if Milliminor’s leadership has even registered with his own Shadow Cabinet yet, what hope has he with the voters?

  • Dennis Churchill

    Greenslime
    September 27th, 2011 9:29am
    Chutzpah indeed from our political class—who would have believed it?
    It seems they want to decide which activities add value to society and manipulate the system to favour them.
    So Diversity Officers will get stung then .And “Researchers”, SPADS and other non-jobs? Probably get taxed at the same rate as bankers.
    I did not see anything about failure to sing the party song before starting work each day; no doubt it will be added later.
    What a shame Milibands parents didn’t stay in their native countries so the family could have experienced the joys of a strong state that dictated every aspect of life.

  • tb

    Was thinking something similar to Greenslime, after hearing the ‘praise’ heaped on the teenage delegate.

    He lost his home under Labour but blames the tories and is now so addicted to receiving from the state he’s afraid to stand on his own two feet.

  • normanc

    In the interests of balance Greenslime I think it’s only fair to point out you can label exactly the same accusations at the Tory Party and not be too far off the mark.

    We really are lorded over by an unbearable bunch of shits, if you’ll excuse the language.

  • Pete

    Back to ‘picking winners’.

    Been there before and failed.

    What a joke.

  • Tarka the Rotter

    “Miliband’s vision of society will reward those who work and abide by the rules at the expense of those who do not – those who loot, who fiddle expenses, those who pursue short-termism in business”

    But these are Labour’s natural constituents…

  • Greenslime

    I am currently unemployed but this bunch of muppets do not represent me. They are about dragging the top down rather than the bottom up. They rely on short memories spiced up with lies, distortions and deception.
    Labour is a party full of political theorists. Most of them, the ruling echelons anyway, have never had a proper job; one where they have to get up at 6am every morning, graft all day and return home to their family. For them, born of intellectual loins and brought up on the knees of ‘great thinkers’, their reason for breathing is to bring equality to the masses – whether they want it or not. Stuffed to the gunnels with PPE’s and Economy degrees.
    Aren’t we all sick and tired of these theory junkies. Political liars and hypocrites; Blair, Toynbee, Abbott, Morley, Chaytor and Moran, et al. People who think that they know best. People who believe in the command economy. People who think that they should regulate us all – but that the rules don’t apply to them.
    What do they offer? A nerd for a leader, a bully for their financial spokesman, “Ed says and I agree” for a Home Affairs spokesman (spokesman is an objective noun but you can have spokeswoman or spokesperson, whatever pushes your buttons!).
    Who else have we got?
    Harperson – ’nuff said!
    Rachel Reeves – PPE, Oxford – career politician!
    Douglas Alexander – Politics & History degree and former speechwriter for McDoom – never a proper job.
    Rosie Winterton – Prescott’s former assistant. At least she did work out there in the world – as a PR exec!
    Hmmmm. Chutzpah definition: A man who murders his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court on the basis he is an orphan.

  • daniel maris

    He needs a stylist (dark suits don’t suit him) and a voice coach. He needs to lose the circa 1975 sub-Thatcherian “sincere button” tone. It’s more surface than substance that he needs to attend to.

  • Inigo Unsworth

    I think Ed Miliband has a Sisyphean task of trying to get the British public to find Labour a credible alternative to govern.
    After all, Blair pissed in our soup and we were then forced to drink it.

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