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Live webchat with Ed Miliband, Labour leader and Leader of the Opposition, Thursday 1st Dec at 1.45pm(489 Posts)
We're very pleased to announce that Labour leader, Ed Miliband will be joining us for a webchat this Thursday between 1.45pm and 2.45pm.
Ed is MP for Doncaster, former Minister for Energy and Climate change and won the Labour leadership in the autumn of 2010. He's keen to hear your views and answer any of your questions.
Do join us for the webchat. As ever, if you can't make it, please post up your advance questions here.
Does no-one else think the jaffa cakes answer was a mischievous attempt to get us fighting amongst ourselves about the whole cake/biscuit controversy? I think a wicked sense of humour lurks behind that earnest exterior.
He wasn't bad, anyway; not much substance but nothing like as bad as David Cameron's webchat when he was in opposition and ignored the serious questions for the lightweight ones about what music he liked.
I think the way he swerved the issue of trying to break the Coalition was interesting.
He doesn't want to force an early election, because the economy is a poisoned chalice atm. He would rather hang about in Opposition saying nothing for another few years yet.
I am Labour to my core but I've always thought Ed Milliband is a crap leader. Unfortunately this chat confirms it.
How the fuck have we come to the point where a Labour leader, with no self-awareness whatsoever gives an anecdote about an ordinary working person and that person works in the House Of Commons cafeteria. I'm not saying that woman isn't an ordinary working person, btw, rather that this goes to show how far removed Ed is from real life. For the good of the party stand down.
Thebest, who would you like to see in his place?
Somebody whose experience of working-class people extends beyond the woman who serves chips in the House of Commons. Sadly, because of the rise of career politicians and piss poor selection processes, such people are few and far between in the Labour Party.
Labours deficit they left for the tories was only 2.1% of GDP
Compared with 3.9% of GDP left for Labour by the tories in 1997 and when there wasn't any global issue.
Well firstly I was trying to put a bit more context into what Ed said which I felt was rather unfair. Implying by omission that Osbourne's failed policies were to blame rather than in actual fact they inherited a bloody big mess (no matter how it happened) and they've done a bit to tame the deficit. Whether or not it's enough depends on your politics.
Secondly in my opinion, comparing a budget deficit to GDP is not a very good measure at all. Why? Because what's the point in comparing how much I overspend by to the national output? Do I say "Oooh i only overspend by 0.00000001% of GDP! I must be doing ok!". The only thing which matters is how much more you are overspending by than your income.
In this case the govt are expected to get about £550billion and spend £700 billion (ish). Put in that context it's a bloody big problem.
because how much you've got coming in makes a huge difference to your ability to pay off debt. and not much point paying it all off your bank loan if you end up using your credit card at the end of the month because you haven't earnt enough to buy the kids shoes that have to be bought.
Yes growth is important but what's the first step if you go to citizen's advice with a debt problem?
You have too much in debt on your credit card. You go to citizen's support they say we'll freeze the interest (for this I mean the fact that our government borrowing is an extremely low 2% currently) and you live on the reduced budget available to you.
Yes when you finally get to the stage that your income is increasing (i.e. growth in the economy) then you can pay more off as you will have more coming in etc.
However the first thing to do in the situation is to create a "stable" starting point i.e. freezing interest (using the citizen's bureau metaphor).
Yes borrowing from Peter to Paul etc. keeping stable is just staying afloat and is the very first baby step in solving debt.
Remember we have as much debt as Greece but the global perception that we have a governemnt that will tackle it. If we lose that perception/confidence (think unions/Labour trying very hard on this) and our interest rates go up to Italy's levels etc. then we won't be able to cope.
First step is baby step to stabilise situation which is what is happening at the moment. Yes everyone wants growth but you have to wait until you get the new "job" (back to citizen's advice thingy there) to start paying back more.
but our income won't be growing - our income is taxes and sacking swathes of public sector workers with no jobs to go into does not accrue tax and does lead to paying out more benefits.
this stage hasn't stabilised anything - it has, as predicted, caused a double dip that could have been avoided as could a whole lot of suffering upon people's lives with a more rational, less knee jerk party political show strategy.
anyway this isn't about debt is it? it's about exploiting whatever scenario we find ourselves in to shove through ideological changes and get things working to your own agenda.
terrorism? oh great opportunity to reduce human rights and civil liberties.
recession? great opportunity to further fuck society into one that benefits you and your chums more and others even less than ever.
etc etc etc etc..........................
The double dip is being caused by global and particularly now Euro situation not because of tackling deficit not even the debt.
Forgot to add citizen's advice alternative would be bankruptcy. Or stabilise interest situation until you were able to get a job (economy growth). It certainly wouldn't be lose confidence (and that's all it is a perception that we can do this on behalf of the lenders to our government) and have interest rates increase.
We are in a very bad storm trying to turn our massive tanker round - it will take a long time. Yes it will take years but that's reflective of everywhere else in the world.
Everyone needs to forget about being good at economics to understand the world situation. Put on a common sense hat and bring it down to household level and think how you would stay afloat - afloat is as good as it gets at the moment.
Also the swathes of public sector workers losing jobs etc. You do realise Labour's intention was the same as in the reduction public sectors workers being essential to stay afloat.
Of course it's about debt. Ideological my arse.
You can always rely on MPs to do the most popular thing if they can get away with it. It's why we're in this situation in the first place.
Government after government, no matter what colour, over the last 30-40 years have spent more than we had. In other words, they borrowed. Little by little, leave the next lot to worry about it. Like a giant game of pass the parcel. And this coalition have been left with the exploding turd.
If they could, MP's would have no problems spending money on everything in order to buy votes and make sure they stay in power. Helping the rich only at the expense of the poor is political suicide since the poor also each get a vote and there are a lot more poor people than rich.
It is both ideological and about debt.
It is necessary to make cuts but they are loving it.
The desperate situation economically is a useful cover - ie the cuts will do them less harm electorally than they would at other times because there is an obvious reason why some cuts are necessary. If everything was rosy economically there would be no reason/excuse.
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