Coffee House

Hard Labour

24 September 2011

1:07 PM

24 September 2011

1:07 PM

The sense of unreality that hangs over party conference seems particularly heightened this year. As events outside roll on at a dramatic pace, the conferences try to proceed as normal. A new law on stalking may be necessary but it is small beer compared to the economic crisis gripping the Western world at the moment.

Ed Miliband’s challenge in the next few days is two-fold. First, he has to work to restore Labour’s economic credibility—something that will be made even harder by today’s allegations about the role of his shadow Chancellor in the last government. Second, he has to show that the party gets the seriousness of this moment.

Miliband, who travelled up on the train with his wife and children earlier today, is running into a headwind of bad polls. But the conference does provide him with a chance to make a mark. Labour strategists, though, will be worried how low down the news bulletins their conference is. The party could be about to find out how difficult it is for an opposition to make itself heard. 

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Show comments
  • tom jones

    I hate Labour for their record, but they’re at 40%+ in most polls with only Milliband/Balls and their “economics” and leadership causing them problems. Let’s not pretend Labour has no chance of winning in 2015 because it’s looking more and more likely with every piece of bad economic news that comes. People won’t blame Labour in 2015 they’ll blame US and we need to fix it by getting growth. The budget didn’t do enough. Yes the world is in crisis, but I still believe we could buck the trend.

  • Banquosghost

    I’m sure the BBC will keep the Red flag flying during the conference and REd will make a speech utterly devoid of reality and blaming the current state of affairs on Eton, Thatcher, The Duke of Wellington, Mars being on the cusp and the way is egg was cooked that morning.

    Anything but say it was our fault we fucked it up and now your living it.

  • Dennis Churchill

    September 24th, 2011 4:36pm
    The more coverage of Miliband the better for the Conservatives, he is their greatest asset.
    He is so wrong for this age of image that Cameron & Co. must go down on their knees to give thanks to Janus, or whoever politicians pray to, that Labour elected him leader.
    He looks weird, he sounds weird…everything about him is wrong for the TV age.

  • Woody

    I see Alastair Darling has been hitting the airwaves this week, I know he is flogging his book but I sense some cunning manoeuvring here. Perhaps Mr Balls may be about to get a dose of his own medicine.

    My guess is, EdM will get rid of him because he is too tainted and replace him with Alastair Darling!!

  • Jupiter

    Labour really don’t need to worry about their conference being low down the news bulletins, they can rely on their BBC friends to make Milipede’s speech the top story.

  • El Sid

    There’s a good essay from Hopi Sen here :

    which may not be news to the average CHer but it’s unusual for someone on the red team to be asking “What is Labour for when there’s no money to spend?”

  • Tarka the Rotter

    He’s already made a mark – it’s brown

  • Ctesibius

    Could you let us know whether he travelled first class but removed the head-rest covers with ‘First Class’ written on them so that he looked like one of the rest of us?

  • Ed P

    Until they admit their previously economically-suicidal policies (& ditch their author, Balls), they will never regain mass appeal. Maybe, as now most of their remaining supporters are not workers but welfare recipients, they need a new name? How about The Welfare Party?