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Miliband returns to the ‘promise of Britain’ with pitch to middle class

14 January 2014

8:54 AM

14 January 2014

8:54 AM

Ed Miliband’s cost of living crisis campaign has, so far, tended to focus more on those who are seriously struggling and turning to food banks or turning off their heating in cold weather. But today the Labour leader turns to the middle classes in a Telegraph op ed. His assessment is downbeat as you would expect: Miliband needs pessimism in order to succeed in 2015, while the Tories need an upbeat vision (but not, as most senior party figures accept, so upbeat an economy that voters think it safe to back Labour).

It is interesting that Miliband sees the middle class as a group worth bidding for: he clearly feels there has been a sufficient gap left by the other parties for Labour to sneak into. The implication being, of course, that Labour is not the welfare party, but the Tories are too preoccupied with the interests of the wealthy.


He also resurrects his 2011 ‘promise of Britain’ imagery to appeal to the aspirational voters he hopes are reading. That phrase isn’t quite as bad as Nick Clegg’s ‘Alarm Clock Britain’, but it’s making the same pitch.

But the most interesting thing about this pitch is that Miliband has chosen it as his opening gambit before a series of what are promised to be policy-rich speeches from the Labour leader and his colleagues over the next week or so. That Miliband wants to hook the interest of the middle classes before these policies emerge gives us some clue of what he’s got planned.

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Show comments
  • moe_howard

    what’s all this labelling about? I am working class in that I started the first of many jobs aged 17 & retired at 60 having paid tax & NI all that time so does this clown think I’m ok & don’t warrant being targeted ? I’d love to be targeted (in a nice way – not with an AK47) but, of course, this wooing ploy is actually posturing drivelling tripe & typical of this vacuous idiot with no clear policies or capabilities.

  • Greenslime

    There! He has created a factory on overtime. Shame he is producing only chutzpah!!!

  • Sterling77

    Clearly Red Ed’s ‘cost of living’ pantomime lacks credibility and is viewed by the middle classes as a joke. With the inflation target being reducing to 2% and real wages expected to exceed that figure over the next 12 months, Wobbly Red Ed will have to rewrite his script. Looks like George Osborne’s plan A is working.

  • sfin

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! (very deep breath)HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! (very deep breath) HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

  • anyfool

    The white working class has just been dumped whether they realise it or not, this has happened because the immigrants they imported can never sit easily with the white working class whose jobs they need, immigrants especially Muslim immigrants are seen as a hostile culture by most indigenous inhabitants so whether he can get lower middle class to vote for them is also very debatable.
    This idiot has just handed UKIP a key to the door in Labours heartlands, this could be the breakthrough that Farage has been looking for, it is now up to him, he needs to go all out for these votes, they will not jump straight into bed with the Tories, the opportunity is there he needs to grasp it with both hands.

  • Makroon

    The “middle-class” are those described by Red and his chums as “the petit bourgeois”, traditionally the “class enemies” and “capitalist collaborators”, as Ralph would have taught him.

  • Colonel Mustard

    This idiot’s attempt to find the pulse of a dying Britain on behalf of the party that delivered the mortal blows is obscene.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Milliband thinks he’s got his client state, the BBC, the immigrant/EU vote, including dodgy postal votes sewn up so this is just window dressing.

    • Makroon

      Well, according to the Times, on Sunday, the electoral commission is giving it’s full attention to stamping out postal vote fraud (admitted to be present in some areas). we can but hope.

  • DWWolds

    A big part of the disastrous legacy left behind by Labour has been the extent to which the middle classes are hooked on handouts from the public purse. Just look at those barristers, one of whom was carrying a £1000+ handbag, demonstrating about the cuts in legal aid. Another example was the Perrins woman – trained as a barrister – who admitted to a household income of more than £60k yet expected the taxpayer to fund her child care costs when she was, in fact, a stay-at-home Mum.

    • southerner

      We’ve finally found someone who believes the stories he reads in his wife’s Daily Mail.

      • Hugh

        Laura Perrins did train as a Barrister didn’t she? And her husband is a working Barrister – so probably earning more than £60k, one imagines. And she does object to having lost child benefit and that she won’t benefit from the child care payments, no?

        Which part of the story are we not meant to believe?

        The Daily Mail, incidentally, seems broadly sympathetic to her.

        • southerner

          “Which part of the story are we not meant to believe?”

          If it’s from the Mail, all of it. I include in that the weather forecast and the football scores.

          • Hugh

            Well, actually, it’s “from” the LBC Radio phone in Perrins called, which the Mail then reported – accurately it seems.

            Would it help if I posted a reference to her from the Guardian, so you can satisfy yourself she exists?

            • southerner

              No anything written by the left is for the soft in the head.

              So include in that any posting by Hooke and the other Cameron lovers on here.

              • Hugh

                I’ll check if Farage has mentioned her, but I’m not promising anything.

      • DWWolds

        I do not have a wife so the underlying premise of your statement is completely wrong.

        • southerner

          Good god you are not confessing to buying the thing yourself?! I am afraid that discounts anything you have to say at all.

  • swatnan

    Middle band playing for the Middle class.

  • wycombewanderer

    Miliband can waffle as much as he wants.

    He ain’t going to get any ‘help'(not that it’s particularly needed nor wanted) past McLuskey

    Comment is free! LMFAO

  • Kitty MLB

    Miliband cares much about the middle classes, as some blog sites do about the views of genuine, and loyal Conservatives who are not Cameroon Pavlov dogs leaving nasty little puddles near The Tory Oak destroying its roots.
    An election is on the way all parties are afraid! Milipede is now the ‘ The Voice of The Middle-Classes’- remember those – the people who keep the country running ! soon Cameron will become a loyal, and trustworthy Thatcherite Tory- and move out of his spiritual home of Lib Dem HQ and Clegg will find principles- and understand the words collective responsibility.

    • OriginalChris

      Worrying, what you have said, but probably true.
      Don’t see you on Conshome any more?

  • DavidL

    Would that be the same Labour party that dragged middle earners into the 40% tax bracket? It was necessary to destroy the middle classes in order to save them……

    • 2trueblue

      Yes and he thinks that amnesia is rampant in that same group. They stole everything over 13yrs and now they really really do care and want to have another crack at it. Lovely.

  • John_Page

    But his teaser article just makes the reader think they’ll be offering fairy dust.

  • Count Dooku

    What kills the “middle class” is the crazy 40% tax rate and the complete lack of housing for the under 35s in the south east.
    If Cameron wants to win 2015 handily, he should put a 30% higher tax rate in his manifesto and scrap London’s ridiculous ban on tall buildings. Watch the economy boom and the votes fly in then.

    • Mynydd

      Under Mr Cameron/Osborne more and more taxpayers have been brought into the 40% tax band

      • Count Dooku

        Tell me something I don’t know. I’m in the unfortunate position of being a single, under 35, childless higher taxpayer who lives in London. Scrwed from every angle.

        • HookesLaw

          Labour left a massive deficit to repair and in terms of tax the only people in any numbers with any money are the middle classes. They always end up paying for Labour’s mess.

          If the tories had been favouring them at the expense of the poor then Labour would have been screaming blue murder.
          Miliband’s line now completely shoots in the foot all the previous attacks they have been spouting about the govt being ‘unfair’.
          What’s amazing is he expects us not to notice. And what he does not say is where he expects to get his spending money from.
          I see inflation is down to 2%. How useless is that Osborne eh?

  • Barakzai

    Ah, Miliband’s fair-minded pitch.

    Go on Ed, tell us you’re a ‘pretty straight kind of guy . . . ‘

  • BigAl

    Its is like the serial arsonist complaining that the firemen are not putting out the fires quick enough. I would be more convinced if Milliband and Labour had some policies rather than working out how to blame others for Labour’s failure in office. If you can’t admit there was a problem, then you can offer no credible solution.

    • Makroon

      When in government, Labour systematically copied and then discredited, every Tory ‘good idea’. In opposition, they specialise in stunts, and never commit to anything until they have seen which way the (vox populi) wind is blowing, when they say they have always supported it/it was actually their idea.
      The ‘old guard’ are all back in the tent, and “triangulation” lives !!

  • RavenRandom

    Yeah right Miliband cares about the middle class… suddenly with an election looming. How will he “rebuild” the middle class? More from Labour’s ever extravagant magical money tree and the ten times spent extra tax on bankers bonuses. His only true interest is his client 35%.
    He’s lying for gain, no great surprise, but horribly blatant.

  • Seldom Seen

    Harold Macmillan wondered who the middle classes were; later, we were told: ‘we’re all middle class now’. Doubtless Mr Milliband, so chock-full of wide-ranging life experiences despite never having had a real job, and never having lived anywhere but on the Hampstead-Westminster axis, will provide the answer …

  • Chris lancashire

    Presumably Miliband takes the middle classes for complete fools or perhaps thinks they suffer a collective loss of memory.

    • HookesLaw

      Well his master Brown always took us for being as thick as two short planks,

    • southerner

      Anyone voting for any of the mainstream parties would prove Millimetre to be right.

      • Chris lancashire

        And anyone voting for a non-mainstream party is enjoying the luxury of a protest but effectively wasting their vote.

        • southerner

          The left wing status quo advocated by the current 3 parties is itself a wasted vote.

          • Chris lancashire

            Possibly, but TINA

            • southerner

              Oh yes there is but it requires the collapse of the current pretend conservative party first.

              • Chris lancashire

                Which ain’t going to happen.

                • southerner

                  Sadly. Meanwhile the destruction of our once great country continues.

    • Makroon

      “Policy rich speeches” – (translation): more stunts, more “freedom of info” non-stories duly hyped up by the BBC on a daily basis, more ‘old style’ Alastair Campbell “media activism”.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Nail hit resoundingly on head!