Coffee House

Ed Miliband needs to talk about 2015, not what he would do now

19 April 2013

6:04 PM

19 April 2013

6:04 PM

Ed Miliband’s speech to the Scottish Labour conference is another illustration that he intends to depict ‘One Nation Labour’ as the answer to so-called Tory divisiveness. Miliband told the conference:

‘As leader of the Labour Party [I] will never seek to divide our country and say to young person in Inverness or the older worker laid off in Ipswich desperately looking for work, that they are scroungers, skivers or somehow cheating the system.’

But in the context of today’s Independent story about Labour planning to go into the next election committed to higher spending than the Tories, a story which Ed Balls crossly contested on the radio this morning, what struck me about the speech was the way Miliband talked about Labour’s policies.


First he said ‘that’s why if we were in government now we would cancel the millionaires’ tax cut, and protect the tax credits that make work pay.’ This appears to be a time-limited commitment, one that only applies to the here and now when Labour won’t be able to implement it.

His next line was ‘that’s why we want to introduce a 10p starting rate for income tax.’ This strikes me as a stronger commitment, there’s no time limit attached.

At some point soon, Labour is going to have to start talking about what it would do if it wins the next election. As some of those close to Ed Miliband concede, talking about what Labour would do if they were in power now, but refusing to say what they would do if they won in 2015, is no longer enough.

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Show comments
  • Smithersjones2013

    This from the boy who is targetting a vote share of 35% which equates to around 20% of the electorate. One-fifth nation Labour doesn’t really have a ring to it….

  • nowruk

    Miliband doesn’t seem to know that the phrase “one nation” means,in Scotland,the “one nation” of England.Miliband is rapidly becoming a liability to Labour in Scotland and as much an asset as Cameron for the independence movement in Scotland.

  • Apoplexy

    “We want to” is no sort of commitment at all, at best its an aspiration, more likely its just warm words, “We will” is a commitment, but you dont hear that much in Westminster, commitment requires principles, not waiting on the reports from the next focus group.

  • Ron Todd

    Miliband jnr need to say what he will do after the election. Meanwhile Cameron need to actually start doing stuff before the election rather than just promise changes after but only if he gets an overall majority.

  • Their lips are moving so….

    Did you see the party political broadcast this evening? So much crap syrup, I threw up over my bib! They must think that we are all stupid children.

  • Archimedes

    It’s so divisive the way that Miliband is taking sides in the welfare argument. I can’t believe how divisive he’s been about deficit reduction as well — and schools. The list just goes on. If you want a divided country, led by a divided Labour party: vote Miliband, because he’s a band just by himself.

  • Makroon

    We know what Red ‘n Balls would do in 2015 – pretty much what Osborne is doing now, plus some negative-revenue, taxes on the rich, a minor tweak to benefits adjustments, a return to union control of schools, less immigration controls, a more “accommodative” approach to Europe, lots more luvverly QUANGOs, further cuts to defence.
    Any major increases in spending will have the UK begging Lagarde for a bale-out.
    And as the French have shown, loony leftism is ignored by the “credit ratings agencies”, just as long as you don’t spend too much money. Competitivity is not an issue for these geniuses.

    • Sid whathisname

      Rubbish Labour are not red anymore, if Labour gets back into power I suspect high on the meter will be state funding for parties, then Unions would be banished from Newer labour, Blair would be made a lord so he could return to the front bench, The sick disabled and poor will be sent to long term holiday camps where gas central heating would be high on the agenda.

      Labour Tories the difference well we have none.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    So you think the Millipede must listen to a Cameroonian lickspittle’s suggestions as to what to do and say?


    Not hardly.

    He need only stand back and watch the Cameroons implode.

    He need only wait patiently for Dave’s head to be mounted on a spike.

    There’s an old saying, which you’d understand if you were a conservative. When your enemy is self-destructing, get out of his way.

    • Makroon

      That saying is actually – ‘when your enemy is threatening disaster to your country and way of life, it is not a good time to split your forces’.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, the LibLabCon enemies are an existential threat, no doubt.

  • alabenn

    More meaningless garbage spewing out of the weirdly shaped mouth in an empty head.

    • Vivaldi

      The politician with the weirdest mouth of all has to be David Cameron! That awful thin top lip… Aristocratic inbreeding is my best guess.

      • Tim Toddles

        Like George Galloway says, two bum cheeks of the same back side.

        • Sid whathisname

          For once in his life he’s right two rich leaders and two chancellors with hopes to be leaders, like watching paint dry

  • telemachus

    They need to give some credence to what they would be doing now and in the near future given the set of circumstances facing the current shower
    The need to address what the country should do given what Carney called yesterday our crisis economy
    They need to Bellow out increasing signals from the IMF that the time is now to moderate the austerity rhetoric and espouse Growth as Obama has done
    The charismatic chap in the centre of your picture has a plan for all this

    • Andy

      Miliband was part of the useless set of tossers who created this mess in the first place. No one wants to listen to his rubbish.

    • Radford_NG

      Agreed. I want to know what Ed Balls would do if Labour won a General Election this 2nd of May [with periodic updates].

      • telemachus

        He would stimulate growth according to the Carney and Lagarde formula

        • HookesLaw

          What is Carney’s formula?

          • telemachus

            Build for growth
            He admires how Obama did it

    • Nick Reid

      Obama is cutting spending by 2.5% this year. Osborne only cutting by 1%. (real terms cuts).

      The UK’s problem has been inflation eating into household incomes, not “austerity”.

      • HookesLaw

        The USA is cutting spending this year? Its called the Fiscal Cliff. its because they cannot agree a proper budget.

        A White House budget office report sent to Congress and released with
        Obama’s order said the cuts would be “deeply destructive to national
        security, domestic investments, and core government functions.”

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Obama is as big a socialist as you and Call Me Dave. Spending in the US is rising, both in real terms and per capita.

          It’s only the innumerate media and you socialists who don’t understand this, which is why Call Me Dave’s fiscal profligacy has you captivated.

    • ButcombeMan

      The so called “charismatic” chap, is regarded as an utter joke and THE prime reason for not supporting Labour, in the country pub I go to.

      It is also plain from overheard conversations, that many more people are going to support UKIP (or say they are) in the upcoming local elections. The plain and oft made statement is, “I have just had enough”.

      I just listen.

      You should get out more. So should all the political leaders.