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Live webchat with Ed Miliband, Labour leader and Leader of the Opposition, Thursday 1st Dec at 1.45pm

(489 Posts)
KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Nov-11 13:49:33

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.

Thanks,

MNHQ

BIWI Wed 30-Nov-11 14:07:02

I would like to know more about Blue Labour, and Ed's views on it. How does it reflect his view of the Labour party and what it should stand for in the future.

herbietea Wed 30-Nov-11 14:16:57

Message withdrawn

milk Wed 30-Nov-11 14:17:30

Chanukah doughnut- Jam or no jam? smile

twofingerstoGideon Wed 30-Nov-11 14:19:20

I would like to know when the Labour Party is going to start providing proper opposition to the coalition. Is this really the time to be sitting on the fence on issues like public sector pensions?

I would like to ask why despite requests there hasn't been representation for people with disabilities who are going to be
hit hardest by the Welfare Reform Bill. This applies to working age people and children. Is he aware of the impact the cuts to Universal Credit is going to have on my family as despite needing constant supervision two of my three disabled children don't qualify for the highest rate of DLA so we'll lose £200 a month.

Carers save this country £18 billion a year and what little we have to live on is being further eroded when the cost of everything is rising. Will you help us?

ShirleyKnot Wed 30-Nov-11 14:34:36

I would like to ask Ed why the slashing, cutting and burning currently being pushed through by the Government isn't being more robustly challenged by Labour?

Also, why they have failed to support the public sector workers in their justified strike action?

Most labour supporters (of which I am one) feel utterly let down TBH.

Iggly Wed 30-Nov-11 14:35:05

I'd like Ed to remind the PM every now and then of the human stories behind those affected by the cuts and stick up for the little people.

BoffinMum Wed 30-Nov-11 14:48:16

Hello Ed,

Tory education policy seems very chaotic to me - giving with one hand and taking away with the other, blaming parents for all sorts of ills, falling out with teachers and lecturers all over again. I sometimes think I have fallen asleep and woken up in the mid-1980s!

What's your general impression of all of the recent changes in education, and what would you do differently if you were in power?

BoffinMum

BoffinMum Wed 30-Nov-11 14:53:14

<slightly cheeky>

PS Do you think you might be able to come in to speak to my Education undergraduates about your personal view of education policy? The university's Education Society members make excellent cakes and would no doubt be prepared to ply you with buns and intellectual debate. grin

Noodlemacdoodle Wed 30-Nov-11 14:53:59

I'd like to know whther Ed could take up the cause of pediatric cancer care. One child in 750 is diagnosed with cancer, and treatment involves life changing side effects including: learning disabilities, nerve damage, permanent baldness, infertility, mobility problems... to name a few. Despite this horrendous treatement, survival rates are regrettably low. If this was his child, would it be good enough? In this time of auterity measures, does it make sense to create disabled children, to create a drain on teaching resources (as one local headteacher kindly put it to me).

We have, despite the cuts etc, blah blah, a world leading health system, something to be proud of on the whole. What would Ed do to focus this great resource on improving treatment and cure rates? A clue: Only 3% of cancer research funding is spent on ALL types of pediatric cancers, including solid and blood cancers. How could he change this?

KateMiddIeton Wed 30-Nov-11 14:58:40

Mr Miliband, what are you doing to stop the coalition demolishing our welfare state? Why aren't you making more noise and attempting to break up the coalition? You are in opposition so please strap on a pair and oppose!

Alternatively: Mr M, why are you not opposing all of the horrendous cuts when you are supposed to be the opposition?

Sincerely KM #frothers

DeliaSucksStollen Wed 30-Nov-11 15:05:12

If you could put what motivates you, or your political 'raison-d'etre' in to one mantra like sentence, what would it be?

insertcleverusernamehere Wed 30-Nov-11 15:08:14

Mr Miliband, what would Labour do to ensure that the wealth at the top filters down to the squeezed middle?

bananamam Wed 30-Nov-11 15:17:32

I'd like to know when can this government be kicked out??

HugosGoatee Wed 30-Nov-11 15:24:27

Why are Labour not presenting a clear alternative to the awful, awful privatisation of all our public services? Academies will result in the death of any standards in education and the NHS stuff is beyond belief, and dangerous. All Labour are doing in the media are presenting cosy soundbites criticising the government and it makes your party sound like they want power more than they want social justice.

There is so much anger and confusion amongst the vast majority of the population at why this is happening, and we have no party to turn to sad why work in politics if you don't genuinely care about the people who you are meant to represent? Politics in this country feels so 'them and us' and divisive. Literally, MNers could and would make a better job of running this place than any current political party. At least we have genuine values. Where are yours?

%23frothers

Who?

I'm joking, but only just. There has been a deafening silence from the opposition as the Tory party decimate the welfare state. Here in Scotland, the Scottish Labour Party got trounced at the last Holyrood elections. They ran a negative campaign, and their leader resigned. They are now in the middle of a leadership battle. I'd like to ask EM how he thinks the Scottish Labour Party can reform to avoid complete humiliation again.

bananamam Wed 30-Nov-11 15:40:30

Mine wasn't so much a question....blushwill watch the thread with interest though

Hi Ed.
As a single, disabled parent, could you tell me exactly how a Labour government would be better for me than the current one?

Alouisee Wed 30-Nov-11 15:42:42

Is it more cost effective to keep universal allowances "universal" or target recipients according to need? I'm referring to Child Benefit and Winter fuel allowance.

bananamam I'd like to know that too <sigh>

lubeybaublely Wed 30-Nov-11 16:08:28

Dear Mr Miliband

I would like to know what your thoughts are on housing and the coalitions 'social cleansing' policy. Namely the capping of housing benefit to levels that force the working poor (and all poor) to move away from the jobs they have and areas where they and their children have been settled all their lives, or be poverty stricken in order to meet the shortfall between benefit and rent.

With a lack of Affordable Local Authority and Housing Association properties and also NO regulation on what private landlords charge, it puts people in an impossible, unfair and unworkable situation. What can Labour do to oppose or change this, or what would Labour do if back in government about these issues?

Sincerely LB #frothers

Dear Mr Miliband,

Our current 'government' is starting to make some scary noises about Iran, despite having cut the defence budgets.

If the worst was to happen and they drag us into another pointless war on the US behalf, please can you confirm that you would oppose this? I am aware the last two weren't your fault so won't have a go at you for TB's war lust. But out of interest, did you support those wars?

CalatalieSisters Wed 30-Nov-11 16:31:16

The coalition seems to have succeeded entirely in rebranding the large deficit as entirely a consequence of expenditure protective of the welfare state and social justice, despite a cross-party perception of it during the credit crunch as being a consequence of banking crises. Do you regret your post-election failure to entrench a narrative about the deficit's real causes in the public mind?

The reason I ask is that there seems to be a similar failure to build a narrative in favour of the current strikes. It is evident on Mumsnet that there is huge latent support for such protest, which has no strong central voice, no point of mobilization, thanks to Labour's fear of expressing solid support for industrial action.

Why, are you so afraid to speak decisively to help shape and focus and mobilize moderate left-wing opinion? Why do you allow the right to set the terms of discourse?

Swedes2 Wed 30-Nov-11 16:47:19

Dear Mr Miliband

Clearly the Labour party line is that the strike is "a failure". As someone whose position as Labour leader is entirely thanks to the trade unions, are you embarrassed about this fence-sitting?

BIWI Wed 30-Nov-11 16:52:51

Not entirely Swedes. I, for one, as a Labour party member, voted for Ed.

And the trade union votes were from individual trade union members, not from the union as a collective.

KateMiddIeton Wed 30-Nov-11 17:03:13

Voted for or not, the Labour party is heavily subsidised and supported by the TUs and yet does not seem to be in support of their key aims.

You don't have to get into bed with Bob Crow and his ilk Mr M (goodness knows I wouldn't wish that on anybody) but can you not see there is a lot of support for the sentiment behind the strikes?

At the moment you don't seem to have a purpose. Could you find one and then I might decide to vote for you? At the moment you're just so meh.

<I appreciate that's not a question, just a rant>

KalSkirata Wed 30-Nov-11 17:39:30

Dear Ed, despite being carried into your hustings (no wheelchair access) and asking your aides about continence products for disabled children plus numerous emails to your office, you still havent explained Labour's policy on this. Given the Labour Govt ignored NHS Guideslines stating there should be no cap and allowed PCT's to impose the 4 a day rule, now that you are in opposition will you support the Mumsnet.EDCM campaign to change this so that disabled people who suffer double incontinence can have the products as needed?

CardyMow Wed 30-Nov-11 17:44:32

What is Labour doing to oppose the Coalition with regards to leaving people with disabilities with no income. By leaving them with no income, I mean people being refused ESA as they are not 'disabled enough', but also being refused JSA as they are not fit for FT work. While they are appealing the ESA refusal, they may have 6 months plus with no income. Do you have any plans to try to get the Coalition to close this loophole?

HuntyCat, #frothers.

When will we see some decent changes to this country?
Now we don't want politician's answers we are a nest of vipers after all grin

But seriously we want real answers, What will you do to make changes for the better.
This condem gov has sent his country to ruins, Us #frothers want change!

Firefly2 Wed 30-Nov-11 17:58:32

I would like to see something passed in Parliament which results in the ability of deducting CSA payments in the same manor as my student loan is deducted from my salary. When I start a new job, I do not inform anyone and I automatically get deductions from my salary for my student loan (and rightly so). When I attempt to claim CSA however, it can take months (up to eight now and still waiting...) to recieve a payment, or in my case, to discover he has now left that employment so the chase starts again. Do you think this system is in need of a shake up and what are your thoughts on trying to match the CSA service to that of the student loans? This really needs someone to take us out of the dark ages...absent parents should be made to pay.

JaxV Wed 30-Nov-11 18:01:53

Do you think it's time we ended our unhealthy love affair with the US?

LittleDonkeyhadaMadHairDay Wed 30-Nov-11 18:07:09

Do you have any plans to look into the fact that the rate of failure of ATOS assessments at appeal is in such stark opposition to the amount of money spent on using this private sector company to assess disabled and chronically sick people? And the fact that ATOS judges people in a half hour slot with lists to tick and agendas to fill - ie getting people off benefit, no matter what? Thus judging people as fit for work when no employer would touch them with a barge pole?

<not sure what #frothers is but think I must be one>

Auntiestablishment Wed 30-Nov-11 18:16:20

I turn off the TV and radio whenever politicians come on to talk about party political issues because the "straw-man-followed-by-personal-insult" manner of answering questions is all-pervading. That, and not answering the question but talking about something else entirely.

Why do politicians do this? Is it a habit you get in to?

And what do you think could be done to help politicians talk about party political issues in a way that doesn't turn people off?

KateMiddIeton Wed 30-Nov-11 18:25:06

We are the frothers LittleDonkey and Ed you can join us here www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/a1353521-Im-not-quite-a-frothing-berserker-but-I-am-getting-rather-cross-with-our-government-messing-with-the-good-stuff#28761113

We're not political. We've just had enough.

#frothers is our hashtag. Because we are getting organised...

Swedes2 Wed 30-Nov-11 18:47:50

BIWI, As you surely know, David Miliband polled a higher number of votes in Section 1 (MPs and MEPs) and Section 2 (Labour Party members) in all four rounds. Ed M's victory was therefore entirely down to the anomalous Section 3 affiliated to trade unions vote. Perhaps they were affiliated Tories.

Anyway, the voting is here.

BIWI Wed 30-Nov-11 18:50:00

I do know that Swedes. I also know that the votes from the trade unions were the votes of individual members who have a vote because they belong to a trades union.

blackoutthexmaslights Wed 30-Nov-11 19:22:52

i know this won't get answered but could you please remind everyone in the house to try and act like adults please

watching PMQ is like being in a playground

Swedes2 Wed 30-Nov-11 19:24:10

BIWI I'm genuinely surprised if you believe an affliliated individual's vote is equal to a Labour MP's vote/Labour Party Member's vote? Affiliated voters are not necessarily supportive of the Labour Party and may not therefore be voting for a Leader in its best interests.

In any case, what I said is correct. Ed Miliband's leadership victory is entirely thanks to the affiliated vote. His fellow MPs and paid up members of the Labour party sought to elect his brother.

Hi,

I voted Lib Dem for the past two elections. For reasons many and varied I cannot vote for them again. I desperately want to be able to vote for a viable opposition, but you gotta convince me what I would be voting for.

I am sitting on the fence over who to vote for in the next election. You appear to be sitting on the fence over a whole bunch of issues. I will come off my fence if you will come off yours.

reelingintheyears Wed 30-Nov-11 19:38:46

Why would you not support today's strike action but supported a day off for everyone for the so called 'royal wedding'?

Did that day off for everyone except, of course the self empolyed, not affect the 'economy'?

fothergill Wed 30-Nov-11 19:47:49

Should you get into power, do you intend to uphold the implementation of the white paper on higher education?
International applications are being sought out and sent by my design lecturer husband AND his colleagues as I type. Four of our talented peers have just gone to America and one other is applying.
The arts represent 25% of GPD per capita. I don't think the government understand the potentially devastating consequences of a brain drain that IS happening already.
Its not so much the appalling pay/recognition/prospects of lecturers, it's that coupled with the fact that fees about to be imposed will cripple the day to day running/objectives of his institution ie financial rather than meritocratic incentives = shit students = hard work with no tangible returns.
Last one out turn off the lights?

fothergill Wed 30-Nov-11 19:48:23

sigh... GDP

reelingintheyears Wed 30-Nov-11 19:53:04

My 86 year old Mother was refused admission to hospital after a bad fall recently.
She was sent home at 9pm and told to get a taxi the 14 miles home in the dark and with no one at home to look after her.

She had stitches over her nose and looked as if she'd been beaten up.

She didn't feel safe going home that night and asked to stay overnight but was told there was no choice.
She slept on the sofa that night and for the following 12 nights after which we had a stair lift installed (privately).
I could not get there till the next night as i live 200 miles away...she had a soft tissue infection in her elbow which the hospital had not even cleaned and a bladder infection..

This only came to light after i called the out of hours service because i saw it was infected,and they still wanted me to take her to a clinic.

It took over half an hour on the phone to convince them that at 86 and having suffered a bad fall and was in shock,that they should come to us.

What can you do/say to convince ME that the NHS is going to look after our elderly people who have worked their entire lives since the age of 14.

BIWI Wed 30-Nov-11 20:02:19

Swedes - you don't have to vote. Therefore, those who chose to vote, presumably had an interest in making their personal choice known. I don't see why that is a problem.

And why shouldn't an individual affiliated member's vote be equal to that of mine? I really don't get why it shouldn't be.

But all of this is redundant and probably on the wrong thread. The fact is that, whether you like it or not, Ed was voted as party leader.

The last public sector strikes you said, 'these strikes are wrong...'

Do you feel the strikes on Wednesday were wrong?

IsSamNormansDad Wed 30-Nov-11 20:33:15

hi Mr Miliband
Against MN rules, I would like to ask more than one question (but dont expect an answer tbh)
1. What would a Labour governmant do to reduce the deficit, while maintaining public services at the current (if not better) level?
2. Why on earth should we trust MPs, MEPs & MSPs to run our country, when many (or at least the loudest) dont really seem to have a clue what 'normal' people are up against?
3. Last one, I live in Aberdeenshire and petrol/diesel prices are ridiculous! Is there any way that fuel can be fairly priced (or at least have the same price) across the country?
Thank you
smile

chosenone Wed 30-Nov-11 20:36:12

Dear Ed

We need to see what Labour can offer as an alternative to all the cuts that are hitting the poor, the needy and the low income working families. Can you introduce the Robin Hood/Tobin tax ? Can money be found amongst the 'haves' and the 'have nots' we need some clear policies and no slagging off please.

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Wed 30-Nov-11 20:56:07

I'd like to ask, how long do you think it will take for the Labour party to regain leadership of the county and get back into power?

LynnCSchreiber Wed 30-Nov-11 21:11:43

Hello Ed,

good on you for entering the lions den coming on MN the day after these strikes.

I would like to know why Labour are letting the Tories win the media war.

You are in opposition to a seriously unpopular coalition government, and yet you are not out there shouting about the injustices that are being served to the country.

Do you read the blogs and fora where British people are expressing their opinion? Don't you see that they are leaderless?

Isn't there a danger that when you leave a vacuum that someone will fill it? And that someone may be from a extremist political party.

reelingintheyears Wed 30-Nov-11 21:12:44

Ed,do you know what,
After 52 years on this planet i really am getting close to not caring anymore what politicans do.

We've always been Labour voters but nothing ever changes,what would you do about expense fiddling Labour Peers?

All parties seem to have expense cheating members,how disappointing don't you think?.

Hi Ed,

What specific ideas do the Labour Party have to reduce the deficit in this country whilst not making the cuts that the current government are making?

(I'm getting fed up of the vast majority of people complaining about cuts rather than offering viable alternatives. This is not to say I agree with the cuts!)

reelingintheyears Wed 30-Nov-11 21:22:36

Three months for a Social services OT to assess an elderly person for stairlifts and bath aids/chairs.

Helpful when they've just had a bad fall and can't get about.?

What will Labour do to resolve this mess.?

dustbunniesmakegreatpets Wed 30-Nov-11 21:26:09

Hi Ed,

I have a question for you in your guise as former Energy and Climate Change Minister.

Given that even developed economies such as our own are addicted to economic growth, and that de-coupling economic growth from emissions growth seems unfeasible, should we now shift the main focus of policy to adaptation? If so, what would that look like? And do you think climate change has any chance of getting back on the UK policy agenda in this Parliament/while the downturn lasts?

(Hmm. That may have been three questions, but they're interrelated, so I'm counting them as one.)

dustbunniesmakegreatpets Wed 30-Nov-11 21:26:41

Er, sorry, I also meant to say thanks for talking to us. Thanks.

Honeydragon Wed 30-Nov-11 21:30:29

*IsSam?NormmansDad

I'll take your Q.2.

Why on earth should we trust MPs, MEPs & MSPs to run our country, when many (or at least the loudest) dont really seem to have a clue what 'normal' people are up against?

How does becoming a politician and only ever having been a politician mean you can decide what people need and should do?

Dh has always been a British manufacturer, yet doesn't support modern labour as he truly believes that Labour do not understand or believe in them.

MixedClassBaby Wed 30-Nov-11 21:41:37

Ed,

I am a public sector worker who took the difficult decision to strike yesterday. I feel completely let down by your lack of clear support for the Trade Unions and the action taken by their members. It is largely because of TU votes that you are in the position of Leader of the Labour party. Why aren't you speaking out for those you claim(ed) to represent?

MixedClassBaby Wed 30-Nov-11 21:45:53

BTW, I realise that the strike was today (in case anyone thinks I was standing on my own with a placard yesterday wondering where everyone was) but wrote my question so that it makes sense tomorrow.

AgnesDiPesto Wed 30-Nov-11 22:07:08

Why were you not out supporting the strikes? Do you think its reasonable for a part-time worker who had to give up a career to care for a severely autistic child should have to pay 9% of their very reduced income to secure a pension because pension calculations are based on fulltime equivalent salaries - why doesn't the State make up pensions for carers who try and go out to work to a fulltime level? Or pay a proper living carers wage rather than a benefit which is less than someone on the dole would receive?

Swedes2 Wed 30-Nov-11 22:27:52

How will you spend Christmas Day? Will you be popping round to your mum's for a game of charades with your brother?

fivegomadindorset Wed 30-Nov-11 22:29:23

Can I suggest that you read Lord Sugar's latest book, the one where he rants? Make good reading and you could learn alot.

reelingintheyears Wed 30-Nov-11 22:41:00

Why be personally spiteful Swedes2?

Isn't there enough nastiness at the moment?

Awayinamangercooper Wed 30-Nov-11 22:45:04

Who do you think should succeed you as leader? Might we see a female leader of the opposition?

Betelguese Thu 01-Dec-11 00:11:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Masserrato Thu 01-Dec-11 04:30:39

I would like to ask how Ed Milliband can stand in the House of Commons at question time and behave as if HIS party has nothing to do with the current crisis. I would like to see MPs agreeing on this issue and getting down to work together and at least pretending to support each other, instead of shouting at each other like hooligans.

Oooo answer Masserrato's one, that's good!

Bucharest Thu 01-Dec-11 06:39:04

Like BIWI I voted for you and would do so again in an instant.

My question is more ideological than current. Do you see the Labour Party ever re-evolving into something more akin to where it came from, when most Labour politicians were vocational politicians rather than suited-and-booted careerists? (actually, this is probably true of politicians across the board, I want to know where the Ann Widdecombs are, as well as the Tony Benns- both of whom I admire enormously, one for everything he stands for, and the other for nothing she stands for but for having the integrity to stand up for it all the same) I also want to know (and this is part B of my question HQ so don't look at me like that) why you don't encourage more of the wonderful grassroots activists to move up the ranks. My Mum sleeps with a photo of Mrs Thatcher under her pillow but votes Labour in local elections because we have a wonderful family who for generations have worked tirelessly for the local community. These are the people who truly represent what Labour means to me.

Thank you.

PS Could you possibly get the phone number of the person who wrote Neil Kinnock's "I warn you not to grow old" speech or whoever wrote Gordon's speech about why he was in Labour. They might be able to write you something a bit more go-ey.

hi mr milliband - would you agree that the cuts are being entirely mismanaged and driven by ideology rather than economics? it is heartbreaking watching them slash away the very things that will help this country survive and cope with the hard times and to rebuild again.

also please confirm that labour sees and disagrees with the blatantly sexist nature of the cuts - have you read the fawcett report? i need to hear labour actually say they see the sexism and they fight and oppose what is being to women under this government.

what would be wonderful is some reassurances that if labour get back in they are committed to undoing the damage done by this party that so many of us did not vote for.

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 08:25:29

I would like to un-ask the question about Blue Labour now, as I feel that the time for ideological arguments and presentations is past.

I am angry now about what is being done by the Coalition, and the pressure being placed on those least able to afford it, whilst the wealthy appear to be escaping unscathed.

I want to know what you, Ed, and the Labour party are going to do.

The time has come (as if it hadn't already) for you to make a clear and dynamic stand against this horrible government who are proving themselves to be the Truly Nasty Party.

What action are you going to take?

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 08:25:58

.... but I bet the Blue Labour question is one that will get answered sad

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 08:27:11

Sorry - one more thing - it's very unlikely I will be able to join the webchat as I have a difficult work day today, so I would like to say, in advance, "welcome", to Mr Miliband.

CalatalieSisters Thu 01-Dec-11 08:33:24

I like Bucharest's question. I grew up at a time when the Labour Party leaderships were representatives appointed and constrained by an active membership gathered around a coherent set of principles. The formative political event for me was the 1979 party conference, which was pretty shakespearian in its drama compared with the PR conference-lites we have today.

THe membership now just seems like ballast, walking direct debits, and party leadership seems driven just by fear of the electorate. That's a fair-enough strategy in the weeks before an election, but when we are years away from an election I want a party that leads opinion not tiptoes behind it.

All real political passion is outside-the-system, camping in tents in front of a political cathedral that doesn't really know what to do with it.

The combination of weak grassroots parties, a derelict first-past-the-post electoral system, and a whipped and relatively powerless parliament makes me feel that democracy in Britain is weaker than it has been for many decades.

Do you agree Ed Miliband? Do you see any way that Labour can tackle this?

undermyskin Thu 01-Dec-11 08:49:29

We are told that the light at the end of the tunnel is disappearing. My DD is currently preparing for GCSEs. What is the best advice I can give her for a good future? Thank you.

purits Thu 01-Dec-11 08:54:02

Do you regret the change in the national psyche that Labour has brought about?

The one where everyone seems to think that they have an entitlement to state handouts; where families on above-average income still expect to get tax credits.shock How can we ever get out of the financial mess if people are expecting to take out of the pot, instead of putting in.

I know that it helps Labour's election chances if everyone is thinking "those lovely Labour people give me money, I'll vote for them" but how can you run a world class economy on a dependecy-culture?

Masserrato Thu 01-Dec-11 09:11:41

Ed ( I can't call you Mr cos you are younger than me!)

I think it's fair to say a lot of us are worried about what has happened to the moral code of the country, for example the riots this year.

Do you think it's possible that the youth of today have seen so many *high profile people behaving in an atrocious manner without any comeback that the rioters etc wonder why they shouldn't do the same.

*the bankers for example who have behaved with absolute recklessness dishonesty and yet for some reason are not yet facing the courts.

*the Government of the day, who were supposed to be governing the banks, allowing this to happen.

*MPs who we should expect to be of high standards abusing the system for their own gain? (expenses scandal). How many have actually been prosecuted for their dishonesty??

Crumblemum Thu 01-Dec-11 09:58:35

Hi Ed

Who does your twitter feed? It always seems a bit static and formal. I understand you can't do it all the time, but maybe you should go down the route of Obama (and the xfactor contestants) who does some himself but lets it be known when his staff are doing it - with (HQ) at end.

Peachy Thu 01-Dec-11 10:06:53

I am a Carer for two autistic children who desperately wants to get back to work next summer.

All I can see is a pile of schemes to help every other type of unemployed group, and cuts to the services we rely on.

It feels as if we are being attacked from all angles: for needing help and for wanting to change things ourselves.

After 12 years of coping I was diagnosed with stress on Tuesday, and a lot of that is the over whelming feeling that nobody is fighting for people like us: plenty of grandstanding on bankers and middle incomes but nothing relevant to helping us. ATOS continues to cause distress for people, Carer's and other national charities warn of disabled people being hit under the new criteria and not a peep from anyone.

As a Labour member who desperately wants to believe that someone is fighting our cause, please talk me into not cancelling my membership (yes, I did vote for you). I have gone from being asked by a leading university to join them to study Social Policy and offered an MRes place by another to focus on child poverty, to thinking politics is completely irrelevant to us in any real terms and all we can do is hunker down and pray we can still eat and pay the rent. That improving our situation is a chance that passed us by simply because my specialism is a charity / public sector one (autism).

griff31 Thu 01-Dec-11 10:18:33

whats fave biscuit?

why cant you outline a credible economic policy and global crisis aside admit labour did overspend and keep nothing aside for rainy day.All the ideas seem to involve spending and borrowing more.

If you were honest and admitted where labour did go wrong maybe i give you a fresh look.

galettes Thu 01-Dec-11 10:44:17

In the uk people with alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency are being denied augmentation therapy which slows the lung decline in this terminal genetic medical condition for which there is no cure. The alpha1 produced by the liver is misfolded and retained causing fibrosis and cirrhosis. The lungs are not protected as there is hardly any alpha1 in the blood to prevent emphysema. Augmentation therapy, which replaces the alpha1 to a level of protection in the blood, has been available in america for over 20yrs and most european countries, but is denied by the nhs. My question is what can you do to help people with alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency get augmentation therapy in the uk? Thank you

snottynoseseverywhere Thu 01-Dec-11 10:48:00

Hello Mr Milliband,

I would like to ask a question about local government. The council area I live in appears to have been Conservative led since God was a boy, which may in part be because at local election time, candidates from feasible opposition parties are few and far between.

In some cases, councillors are elected unopposed because they are the only candidate, or voters have as few as two choices of candidate.

I know that it can be difficult to encourage people to take on what is a time-consuming (if done properly) and not always well-paid role, but what are you and the party doing to encourage people to stand as councillors?

DamnYouAutocorrect Thu 01-Dec-11 11:02:20

Hello Ed

With your ex-DECC hat on: what do you think about the upcoming UN talks on climate change? Is the negotiating situation as hopeless as everyone says (and if so, who do you think should blink first?) Do you wish you could go or are you rather glad to be out of it?

clairethewitch Thu 01-Dec-11 11:05:23

Would you be in favour of making party manifestos more legally binding? Many voters read them and voted accordingly only for it all to be thrown in the air with the coalition, leaving a rather bitter taste in many people's mouths and many people feeling disillusioned as to the whole election process.

galettes, my mum has alpha1...you've opened my eyes to something today. She had to have a double lung transplant almost 3 years ago due to the state of her poor lungs. I never even knew of this alternative. I, therefore roundly second your question to Mr Miliband.

As for my own question, Mr M: I work for the prison service and would like to know whether you agree with the current method of dealing with inmates and overcrowding at the moment. Namely, shutting prisons or privatising them. Giving that private prisons perform poorer than state run prisons and the current contract for prison transport is a joke (we have been advised by them that they do not care for the constant issues we have with them not picking up prisoners on time, if at all, nor checking the correct documentation so the liklihood of the wrong prisoners or wrong catergory prisoners being delivered to the wrong prison is very worryingly high at present) how can this combat the issues we are facing with crime in this country? How is this tackling the over-population of the prisons?

galettes Thu 01-Dec-11 11:30:45

Littlewhitewolf so sorry to hear that your mum has alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency and I hope she is breathing well with her lung transplant with so many thanks to the donor. Augmentation therapy slows the progress of emphysema - which is a terrible thing to have. Our group alpha1 advocay and action (https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/276897805671222/ )is campigning to get this replacement therapy available in the UK. At the moment the powers that be say it's available by the named patient system but the NICE "do not do recommendation" means that no lung alpha's get the treatment that would help them lead active lives. The doctors here are doing placebo clinical studies with augmentation therapy and this is only possible as augmentation therapy isn't licensed. If the treatment was given to people with alpha1 in the UK then the placebo trials would stop and imho the information put out by the alpha1 research centre shows that it's big business. The winners are the doctors doing the research and the drugcompanies and the losers are uk alpha1 people who are denied proper treatment. It's just so awful that being disabled because of alpha1 is allowed to happen in the uk.

galettes Thu 01-Dec-11 11:31:42

(apology for the spelling!)

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 11:34:24

We have had a couple of questions come in via our Facebook page

Erika-Maye Davies says Can we have a private rendition of "Endless Love", please, Ed? They were discuss your liking for it on HIGNFY.

Sarah Brown says Could you ask - Work by the Fawcett Society and other womens organizations has shown how the cuts have disproportionately affected women. If back in power how does he propose to tackle this problem? Many thanks!

galettes Thu 01-Dec-11 11:37:04

littlewhitewolves here's the link & hope it works this time smile https://www.facebook.com/Supernova1963/posts/118838924889368#!/groups/276897805671222/

Thank you galette, I will follow that link. She is doing much better, but she had to spend 6 months in hospital and nearly died more than once from complications. She is still registered as disabled though. You're right that if there is preventative treatment available, why is it not being offered?

JanetNaylor Thu 01-Dec-11 11:48:29

Hello Mr Miliband.
Bankers Bonus Tax.
What would be the tenth spending commitment for this and how much would it be for?

JanetNaylor Thu 01-Dec-11 11:50:03

Hi Ed,
Can you explain how increasing the countries debt will actually decrease the countries debt? Not sure I can quite grasp that one.

galettes Thu 01-Dec-11 11:52:01

Happy to hear that she is much better. Many best wishes to you and yours. I hope that Ed Miliband will have some answers and can help to get this alpha1 replacement treatment in the UK.

JanetNaylor Thu 01-Dec-11 11:57:41

Where can I find a job as a dinner lady, a cleaner or a nurse that pays £572,000 pa? (or the cost of a weeks skiing per week)

greenlady78 Thu 01-Dec-11 11:59:28

Dear Mr Miliband,

I'd like to ask as your view on the Maternity Allowance for self-employed/business owners mothers. It seems very unfair that someone that is employed by a company is allowed to start their own company while on Maternity Leave but a self-employed person is not allowed to keep running their business, that is not even allowed to email, answer a phone call while on Maternity Allowance - apart from 10 days (however even if you only work 30 minutes in a day it is considered a full day)

I do understand that Maternity Allowance is designed so that you can spend time with your baby, but I fail to see how using a few hours a week to maintain your business afloat while on Maternity Leave is of any problem. A bigger problem is to have to shut down your business completely to go on Maternity Leave or have a month off only and have to go straight back to work full-time on your business.

The rules for Maternity Allowance for self-employed/business owners mothers are completely unfair and deserve to be looked at and changed. I would very much appreciate to hear your views on this and how this can be improved.

Many thanks.

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 12:04:00

What do you think about the fact that some of the poorest families in Britain are going to be faced with stark choices next year when the Tax Credits cuts start to bite? I personally will have to make a choice between only putting half a week's electric on the meter, or not buying ANY food for my family for one day a week - that is the difference that uprating TC's at LESS than the CPI will make. There IS no wriggle room in my budget, and nowhere else to cut costs except on essential utilities or food.

Do you plan to try to get the current Government to uprate Tax Credits in line with the CPI as promised or not?

niceguy2 Thu 01-Dec-11 12:09:20

Hi Ed

My question would be the following:

Given that Labour accept (along with all mainstream parties) that cuts to our expenditure are necessary, it seems strange to me that your party seem to oppose every single proposed cut the coalition have made. Can you name a single proposed cut you agree with or if not, name one which you would make if you were PM?

Empress2 Thu 01-Dec-11 12:14:32

Hi Ed, please tell us that something is going to be done to support the children with parents who need to move because of the housing benefit cuts.

Children in nursery/school will need to be pulled out, losing friends parents lose local support systems - Surely this is desperately wrong and breeding an unworthy impoverished state of mind to single parents and the children in these unforeseen circumstances.

Please answer, this is all I think about.

oldteacher Thu 01-Dec-11 12:23:13

I have taken 6 years out of work to bring up my family. I am now trying to get back into work, but there is no support to help me. I'm not classed as unemployed, so I'm unable to get any help from places such as the job centre. I have good qualifications and a solid work background, I have used the time to gain transferable skills and build on different experiences through voluntary work. There are many women like me who are faced with the same circumstances. What would your party do to help me and those in similar circumstances?

Mr Miliband

Surely it is time to admit that Nu Labour is not working so when will the party be returning to its roots and actually supporting those who make up the Labour voting demographic?

NorfolkNChance

Becaroooodolf Thu 01-Dec-11 12:31:47

Hello Mr Milliband.

Could you tell me why successive (not just labour) governments are so against sahp's, the vast majority of whom are women???? And why the cuts are disproportionately affecting this section of society???

bellsofchange Thu 01-Dec-11 12:31:47

As we all know, this financial crisis and the Tories' alarming programme is sacrificing not only jobs, but families, homes, mental wellbeing, our necessary infrastructures... The Conservatives readily sweep this under the carpet, variously blaming others for their mess (Labour, the world...) and demonising the very people hit hardest.
I feel that Labour needs to do even more, at every opportunity, to really give voice to the human consequences. Your thoughts?

MincePieFlavouredVoidka Thu 01-Dec-11 12:34:44

Ed,

As the parent of a disabled child, I worry about the cuts to services, DLA reforms and lack of funding. Could you explain how you would remedy these problems faced by parents all over the country whos children have additional needs.

notsomumsie Thu 01-Dec-11 12:36:24

How about you resign and let your brother have a go? That way we might have a chance at the next election?

Scottie77 Thu 01-Dec-11 12:42:58

Isn’t a bit over the top that Unison are taking legal action against Jeremy Clarkson?

AmyjH Thu 01-Dec-11 12:45:32

How would you get the bankers to pay more to reduce the debt?

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 12:47:49

Ed,
my problem is that there are essentially only two political parties left in this country. The Conversatives don't give a hoot about the public sector as they don't use it and are only interested in partnering with their banking buddies whilst penalising women and children with higher childcare taxes, tax benefit cuts and so on.
The Labour party on the other hand didn't act quickly to stop the credit crisis, they were too soft on benefit claimants, too soft on immigration issues and too soft on the unions.

I don't think any party has what it takes to lead this country. So how can you convince me that my vote is actually worth anything at all?

kaytola Thu 01-Dec-11 12:51:08

Dear Ed,

You are my MP, I voted for you. I am a lifelong member of your party and I should be getting a christmas card from you any time soon. However, I am appalled that you have not been more vocal about many of the issues affecting us ordinary working people. Why no support of the strikes? My union dues and labour party membership fees support you, and you are not prepared to support me? Tsk. Stand up for your constituents instead of the bankers please!

Kaytola

alex321alex321 Thu 01-Dec-11 13:04:29

Will you be spending Christmas Day with your brother this year?

alex321alex321 Thu 01-Dec-11 13:07:38

Oh, and how many different ways can we spend a tax on bankers' bonuses?

sophable Thu 01-Dec-11 13:08:57

Ed, did you take David Cameron's accusation of you being 'left wing' as a slur or a compliment yesterday? The fact is that Blair's govts were more right wing than John Major's in terms of policy and that New Labour has left us with 2 parties fighting it out for reactionary mondeo man's/mumsnet woman's vote.

Isn't being in opposition an opportunity to be bold/brave and actually become the socialist party that Labour was and should be? Times have changed and the British public might actually be ready for something different.

jaquelinehyde Thu 01-Dec-11 13:23:47

Hi Ed

Can you tell me when you plan to come out shouting and fight the disgraceful actions of this coalition government. Regardless of what people think of Tony Blair he came to power on a landslide election win because he managed to win over masses of middle of the road voters. I am Labour through and through so my vote doesn't need winning, so when will you start concentrating on those who do need winning over because that is where the key to victory lies don't you agree?

Secondly, can you have a word with those at Labour party HQ please, I had to take a couple of months break in my Labour party membership payments and then rang back up to re-start the direct debit and was told I would have to pay for all the months I had missed (4 or 5) before I could re-join!!! So I paid it but I am bloody fuming about it, get it sorted out please!

tocha Thu 01-Dec-11 13:30:08

What do you have to say to the disabled people and their families who are desperately worried about reforms to DLA and/or ESA proposed by the Coalition?

WilliamandOscarsMum Thu 01-Dec-11 13:39:20

Hi Ed - How do expect the public to trust you when you stabbed your brother in the back?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 13:40:50

Testing, testing (tis MNHQ, BTW, Ed here shortly)

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 13:41:03

FFS - he stood in a legitimate election. He had every right to do so. How on earth is that stabbing his brother in the back?

Can you not ask a more intelligent question than that?

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 13:43:14

BIWI,absolutely right.

DillyTante Thu 01-Dec-11 13:43:30

Are you going to answer all of these (great) questions with pre-prepared sound bites that don't actually answer the questions at all?

sophable Thu 01-Dec-11 13:44:14

we fear the worst and hope for the best i guess dilly.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 13:44:30

<sigh> Our welfare state is at risk. Sensible questions people please. This is the leader of the opposition. Let's encourage him to oppose by asking the important stuff.

TeWiharaMeriKirihimete Thu 01-Dec-11 13:45:15

Hi Ed,

Could you explain why the labour party never seems to spend any time/effort campaigning and explaining their policies in Tory safe seats?

This is the third Tory safe seat I've lived in, and every single one did a woeful job of getting their candidates into the public eye, did no door knocking etc. Nobody will change their vote if they don't think labour cares enough to even bother popping a flyer around...

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 13:46:15

How do you get to the webchat please? (Thats not a q for Ed btw lol)

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 13:46:26

<pops Mr Tumble on for the toddler, settles toddler in his train (cardboard box) and settles in>

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 13:46:41

You are here Jax

NESSAtheredROSEreindeer Thu 01-Dec-11 13:46:57

JaxV your on it.

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 13:47:05

This is the webchat, Jax! We're just waiting for it to start ...

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 13:47:10

grin at Jax.

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 13:47:24

DOH!

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 13:48:36

13.48 here....where are you Ed?smile

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 13:48:51

Ed Miliband is caught in traffic so has promised to stay late. Eta of chat now 2-3.
Thanks for your patience smile.

alex321alex321 Thu 01-Dec-11 13:48:55

FFS our welfare state is not 'at risk'. Even this Govt will be spending over £100bn on benefits every year after the reforms

galettes Thu 01-Dec-11 13:49:05

I just have a small window of opportunity here whilst mr. Tumble is on ...

LadyMontdore Thu 01-Dec-11 13:49:20

Ed,
When is the Labour Party going to take responsibilty for creating a massive debt burden for our children, and admit that their extravagant overspending (which some might call vote buying) in the 'years of plenty' has messed up the economy for years to come?

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 13:49:33

Bugger..i've got to go out.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 13:49:49

Educate yourself Alex. The welfare state is not just benefits. It's the NHS, social workers, education etc etc etc

NESSAtheredROSEreindeer Thu 01-Dec-11 13:49:51

Thanks. gives me time to put DD to bed for her nap.

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 13:50:52

Do you read the papers, alex? Have you seen the cuts that have already happened/are about to happen? Have you seen what's happening to the NHS?

sophable Thu 01-Dec-11 13:51:15

but the tired old dichotomous argument:

our welfare state is at risk/welfare state is cause of all ills is just bolleaux isn't it?

the welfare state clearly and urgently needs reform. we need more money into it as a percentage of GDP, but equally we need to encourage work rather than lifetime/intergenerationally transmitted no work as way of life. and there are loads more complex equations than just privatise vs subsidise.

i'm so so tired of politicians simply going for the headlines they need in order to play to the lowest common denominator: fear.

something different please.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 13:51:33

reelingintheyears

Bugger..i've got to go out.

Will try to make sure he gets to your question in your absence Reeling.

sophable Thu 01-Dec-11 13:52:06

sorry for the hideous layout/syntax/general grammar in that last post.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 13:52:28

Definition of welfare state here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_State

Reform might be needed but demolishing the principles it stands on? No.

sophable Thu 01-Dec-11 13:53:04

kate it is so bloody far away from the principles it was founded on it's untrue!

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 13:53:07

LadyMontdore probably never, because they weren't responsible. If that was true then this wouldn't be a global problem.. Greece, Italy, Iceland, Portugal, USA.... hmm

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 13:53:54

Note to all - only one question each please. There are an enormous amount of questions already, and we can't guarantee to answer everyone but am sure he'll try his best. If you ask more than one, though, it most likely won't get answered.

insertcleverusernamehere Thu 01-Dec-11 13:53:56

Where is he? choosing a biscuit, I suppose...

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 13:54:08

typically late.

David wouldn't be late.....

ElderberrySyrup Thu 01-Dec-11 13:54:09

Dear Ed, please sort the Labour Party out so I can vote for you again.

In particular I would like to be able to trust you on the economy but at the same time I would like to rely on Labour not sucking up to the bankers Tory-style.

Thank you.

SugarAndSpiceMistletoeAndWine Thu 01-Dec-11 13:54:14

Dear Mr Miliband,

What do you think of the government's plans to help first time buyers and what would your party do, or do you see this as less of a priority?

sophable Thu 01-Dec-11 13:54:59

again lubey/vs ladymont it's not one or the other. it's both. there is a global crisis AND labour overspent. it's not simple and the sooner politicians stop pretending it is the better for all of us.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Dec-11 13:55:48

Ed, seeing as the nhs pension scheme pays in £2billion pound a year more than it takes out and is forecast to continue like this for 21 years and it was adjusted three years ago to make it more affordable (no longer a final salary scheme, etc for new starters) surely you can see why its so unfair to change it again when it is affordable.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 13:55:51

Employment is a key principle of the welfare state. The ConDems have already started to remove some employment rights and are consulting on more including a consultation about TUPE regulations. TUPE is what protects your employment contract if your employer sells the bit of the business where you work to another employer. If your rights under TUPE weren't there then your labour is effectively being sold. Modern day slavery.

(I know TUPE regulations have not been touched by what they heck are they consulting on?)

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 13:55:53

Id like to scrub my last question please and ask this instead:

We are a family with one income, I stay at home to care for our daughter and will continue to stay at home to home edcuate her. We rely on tax credits as my partners income is less than 16k per annum - if the welfare reform bill is passed, where will that leave us - will I be forced to send my child into a school system I have no faith in and go to work?

herbietea Thu 01-Dec-11 13:56:25

Message withdrawn

birdofthenorth Thu 01-Dec-11 13:56:26

Hi Ed. Firstly, don't let the bastards get you down- you're doing a pretty good job & I think people are slowly appreciating what you stand for!

My question is, from the period when labour were last in power, what one thing are you most proud of, & what one thing would you do differently with the benefit of hindsight?

teddyandsheep Thu 01-Dec-11 13:57:53

I would be interested in Mr Miliband's view on the provision of pre-school education. The current system (which I think was put in place by the Labour government) has resulted in a number of pre-schools closing and a two tier system as nurseries withdraw from providing 15 hours "free", as funding at just over £3/child/hr is clearly inadequate. I would be very interested at how would you address this given other pressures.

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 13:59:03

Thanks,will try to get back.
Ask him if Justine is an MNer grin

Not YOU Justine of course but the other Justine!

JanetNaylor Thu 01-Dec-11 13:59:32

How about a Footballers Bonus Tax?

alex321alex321 Thu 01-Dec-11 14:00:32

Ed could spend that ten times too

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:01:01

Ed Miliband is in the building and ready to go in a sec.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:01:13

Hello everybody.very sorry I am late. Coming from q and a with women. Will do extra time!

Firefly2 Thu 01-Dec-11 14:02:05

brew

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:02:22

Hi Ed and welcome!

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:06

Hello Ed.

JanetNaylor Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:07

so is it women's fault you're late?

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:30

I would like to second Vivalebeaver's question and add my own...
Surely if the NHS pension scheme was run in a way where that £2billion surplus was ringfenced and invested every year the scheme would be sustainable?
I don't understand why the surplus goes back into treasury coffers currently... I don't work in the NHS nor am I a teacher, but having found out the facts I totally support their strike action as this seems to be a stealth tax on public sector workers. Please start sticking up for ordinary people!

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:32

biscuit not a 'no comment' biscuit, but a real one to dunk in Firefly's tea...

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:34

Welcome smile

<settles down with brew>

Really looking forward to the answers.

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:44

Will you (Labour Party) consider making All childcare 100% tax deductible?

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:46

Women? What all of them?

WHICH women? We are not a homogeneous group you know hmm

FFS

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:03:48

oh hello!

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:04:14

Welcome.

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 14:04:23

Stop apologising Ed, feck it! Be strong! Get angry dammit!

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:04:45

[coughs politely]

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:04:50

teddyandsheep

I would be interested in Mr Miliband's view on the provision of pre-school education. The current system (which I think was put in place by the Labour government) has resulted in a number of pre-schools closing and a two tier system as nurseries withdraw from providing 15 hours "free", as funding at just over £3/child/hr is clearly inadequate. I would be very interested at how would you address this given other pressures.

I know lots of people are going to be affected by the cuts to nursery and childcare provision. Much of it is a false economy--bad for women and men who want to work, and for their kids. What we can do will depend on the situation we inherit but I am worried the government is going backwards on this.

MyRealName Thu 01-Dec-11 14:05:01

A Q&A with women no less, heavy stuff.

Anyway, welcome. Will be watching with interest.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:05:19

Stop apologising Ed, feck it! Be strong! Get angry dammit!

ROFL

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 14:05:40

Pesky women! Always bloody talking.

Oh, wait ...

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:06:15

KateMiddIeton

Women? What all of them?

WHICH women? We are not a homogeneous group you know hmm

FFS

It was an audience of 100 women from around the country representing different organisations and professions

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:06:17

I second Caramelwaffle's Q.

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:06:37

Is Ed a one-fingered typist perhaps?

kerstina Thu 01-Dec-11 14:07:12

Hi Ed just wanted to say think you are doing a great job loved your speech at the Labour conference (watched it on tv). Please stay true to your gut left leanings as your passion will shine through smile

ComradeJing Thu 01-Dec-11 14:08:02

Dear Ed,

What can the labour party do to appeal to those who think of themselves who are on the right of the center?

Thank you. smile

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:08:17

f5 f5 f5 f5 f5

Welcome, Ed.

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:08:21

Welcome! The votes of older people are going to become ever more important. What do you see as the three most important things the Labour Party can do to persuade us that they are the party of the second half of life, (as well as of the first!)?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:08:34

northeastofeden

I would like to second Vivalebeaver's question and add my own...
Surely if the NHS pension scheme was run in a way where that £2billion surplus was ringfenced and invested every year the scheme would be sustainable?
I don't understand why the surplus goes back into treasury coffers currently... I don't work in the NHS nor am I a teacher, but having found out the facts I totally support their strike action as this seems to be a stealth tax on public sector workers. Please start sticking up for ordinary people!

I agree on the stealth tax - 3% tax rise on public sector workers not to help their pension but for the deficit. The government claims that John Hutton endorsed this in his independent report but he didn't. And it will affect many low paid part time workers. The government should give ground.

luzluz Thu 01-Dec-11 14:09:24

Hi Ed,

I wanted to ask, do you think that we can ever get a capitalist market economy system to work in a fair way? Will there always be poverty at the bottom and fat cats at the top?

Thanks in advance if you get a chance to respond.
Luz

JanetNaylor Thu 01-Dec-11 14:09:35

Do you ever have a solution that doesn't involve spending more taxpayers money that we don't have?

I've already asked my question, but just to intercede: I don't think anyone here wants to read a barrage of answers blaming the current government. We want to hear what you oppose, why, and how you would do it differently.

As you were. smile

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:11:16

GeraldineGransnet

Welcome! The votes of older people are going to become ever more important. What do you see as the three most important things the Labour Party can do to persuade us that they are the party of the second half of life, (as well as of the first!)?

Decent pensions in the public and private sector, dignified and adequate care for those who require it, and the sense that the country being passed onto the next generation is one where they will be ok. Older people want to know that future generations are going to have decent lives.

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:11:32

LittleWhiteWolf - seconded

I'm with you littlewhitewolf smile

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:11:48

Follow up question to the one so kindly answered:

Could you please answer my serious question? I've cut and pasted to be helpful

Mr Miliband, what are you doing to stop the coalition demolishing our welfare state? Why aren't you making more noise and attempting to break up the coalition? You are in opposition so please strap on a pair and oppose!

Sincerely KM #frothers

Bucharest Thu 01-Dec-11 14:12:05

Is there something you haven't understood about "one question" Janet Naylor??? hmm

SenseofEntitlement Thu 01-Dec-11 14:12:18

Labour voter, member and small time activist here - don't you think we need to fight back more strongly? There is a huge amount of support for yesterday's strike action, yet when I tell people to join Labour they don't see how they connect. When you cancelled your appearance at the Durham Miner's Gala, you disappointed those of us who were hoping for a return to Labour's roots - supporting the workers and the disadvantaged, and you haven't done anything to reassure us.
Will you be coming out in favour of unions and robust industrial action, or will you stay in the middle and lose voters at one side to the tories and at the other to distrust, apathy and the extreme left?

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:12:39

Janet - you appear to have misread the webchat guideline at the top.

Here I'll re post them for you:

MN WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus a follow-up question if appropriate, ie once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't be disappointed if your specific question doesn't get answered and do try not to keep posting "What about me?". 4. Do be civil/polite.

<helpful>

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:12:41

Yes with LWW too. Why is he going from the end of the thread not the top?

greenlady78 Thu 01-Dec-11 14:12:46

Dear Mr Miliband,

I'd like to ask as your view on the Maternity Allowance for self-employed/business owners mothers. It seems very unfair that someone that is employed by a company is allowed to start their own company while on Maternity Leave but a self-employed person is not allowed to keep running their business, that is not even allowed to email, answer a phone call while on Maternity Allowance - apart from 10 days (however even if you only work 30 minutes in a day it is considered a full day)

I do understand that Maternity Allowance is designed so that you can spend time with your baby, but I fail to see how using a few hours a week to maintain your business afloat while on Maternity Leave is of any problem. A bigger problem is to have to shut down your business completely to go on Maternity Leave or have a month off only and have to go straight back to work full-time on your business.

The rules for Maternity Allowance for self-employed/business owners mothers are completely unfair and deserve to be looked at and changed. I would very much appreciate to hear your views on this and how this can be improved.

Many thanks.

montmartre Thu 01-Dec-11 14:13:02

Ha! was about to pull her up on that myself bucharest smile

insertcleverusernamehere Thu 01-Dec-11 14:13:16

'Like' littlewhitewolf

Secondtimelucky Thu 01-Dec-11 14:13:50

I agree with Littlewolf. I want to like you Ed, I really do...

<bows>

strandednomore Thu 01-Dec-11 14:14:28

How realistic do you think it is to make more, many, many more, jobs part-time/job share in this country? And I mean all sorts of jobs, not just the usual low-paying part-time jobs that are all that is available.
I am a SAHM and it's just not worthwhile my going back to work full-time. On the other hand, my husband would love to work less. If between us we could work one full-time job and at the same time provide, between us, full-time child care, I think we would all be much happier.
I know there have been a few efforts to job-share at a high level (eg I believe there have been Foreign Office Ambassadors who have job shared?) but I don't see any real effort in this direction.
Thanks for coming in.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:14:58

JanetNaylor

Do you ever have a solution that doesn't involve spending more taxpayers money that we don't have?

First of all, the government is spending 158bn pounds extra as the price of their economic failure. Putting more money into people's pockets with a cut in VAT, taxing the bankers' bonuses to get the unemployed back to work would help growth and a sustainable deficit plan. We also have to change our economy, for example reforms to the banks so they work properly to help our industrial base and lend to small businesses...

Ed - how about some specifics? You have had 18 months in Opposition, and so far not been clear on one single thing that you would do if it were you in Number 10 instead of David Cameron.

Does the Labour party have a plan other than 'The Government are wrong'?

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:15:33

Dear Ed,

There are some very important questions on the first page of this thread (including mine) Just pointing that out smile

<anxious about first page being missed>

lookoveryourshoulder Thu 01-Dec-11 14:15:35

.. Please can you tell me where I can find out about specific Labour Policies online.

I have tried the Labour Organisation website but I can't find anywhere on there where it tells me what Labour actually stands for ???

Bucharest Thu 01-Dec-11 14:15:38

Don't answer any more of hers now please.<gavel>

wishes Thu 01-Dec-11 14:15:45

Will Mr Miliband be signing and supporting the forthcoming debate on extradition reform? Does he not agree that imprisonment without trial, and extradition on unsubstantiated allegations are abhorrent and should be abolished?

BCCubitt Thu 01-Dec-11 14:16:06

The cuts to tax credits announced this week will save £900 million and affects the poorest families. Contrast this with the £900 million that is being spent on the planning stages alone of High Speed Rail 2 in this parliament.

My question for Mr Miliband is this. Does he think the Coalition has their priorities wrong on continuing to spend millions on HS2 while cutting everything else?

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:16:27

Hi Ed - Thanks for coming back to me - please be more vocal about this stealth tax, and the government's misleading claims. I was quite shocked at some of the blatant untruths being spouted by government ministers.

PS do get more angry, so many of us are thoroughly pissed off with the condems, I voted libdem last election, never again, please give us a strong viable alternative.

Crumblemum Thu 01-Dec-11 14:16:37

"what we can do will depend on what we inherit". Umm I'm a labour supporter, but isn't that just a tad complacent? Not much room for complacency."

CMOTdibbler Thu 01-Dec-11 14:16:41

Dear Ed (did you ever actually do anything personally to reduce your carbon footprint btw ? Last time you visited, you told us you couldn't use cloth nappies as you tumble dried everything), Labour had a long time in power to improve things for people with disabilities, but you didn't achieve very much. Where do you think Labour went wrong in this area ?

How does taxing bankers get the unemployed back to work? Can you explain please?

And the VAT cut wasn't well received by businesses, large or small, because of all the extra workload it gave them.

herbietea Thu 01-Dec-11 14:17:34

Message withdrawn

shouldnotbehere Thu 01-Dec-11 14:17:42

oooh, not read thread, will go back through it.

I work in private sector, never worked in public. DH has his own business, where he employs one FT person, and I'm now self employed.

I resent public sector workers thinking they have a right to a job for life and golden handcuff pensions? comments Nobody owns a job.

I don't think there should be such a thing as a career politition. I think all politicians should work in private sector for at least five years Both prime minister and chancellor are career polititions. Are you any better, with experience of private sector? The chancellor has a degree in history, should we have a pre-requisite that chancellors have experience of running a profitable business?

I don't mind paying my taxes. I want the services the government provides. When I've dealt with the public sector, the WASTE, it is horrendous, and widespread. Would love someone to sort this out. I liked David Laws, and was sorry when he left the cabinet.

I resent my money being frittered.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:17:48

lubeybaublely

Dear Ed,

There are some very important questions on the first page of this thread (including mine) Just pointing that out smile

<anxious about first page being missed>

Don't worry it's not been missed - Ed's just dived straight in but we will make sure he sees the early ones too.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:17:56

SenseofEntitlement

Labour voter, member and small time activist here - don't you think we need to fight back more strongly? There is a huge amount of support for yesterday's strike action, yet when I tell people to join Labour they don't see how they connect. When you cancelled your appearance at the Durham Miner's Gala, you disappointed those of us who were hoping for a return to Labour's roots - supporting the workers and the disadvantaged, and you haven't done anything to reassure us.
Will you be coming out in favour of unions and robust industrial action, or will you stay in the middle and lose voters at one side to the tories and at the other to distrust, apathy and the extreme left?

I understand where you are coming from. The point I made on strikes was that nobody, least of all those who went on strike, wanted them to happen. But they felt they had no alternative. I think you saw pretty clearly at PMQs the difference between me and david cameron...he wanted to demonise those going on strike. I refused to condemn them and say the government must move.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:18:19

woollyideas

Hi Ed and welcome!

twofingerstoGideon

I would like to know when the Labour Party is going to start providing proper opposition to the coalition. Is this really the time to be sitting on the fence on issues like public sector pensions?

It's important to hold the Government to account for mistakes which take Britain in the wrong direction and damage our country's future. But it's not about complaining for the sake of it. There are steps we should be taking now to get Britain working again and build a better economy for the future - one which works for most people and helps Britain pay its way in the world. As for public sector pensions, I've been clear that a Labour government would have tackled difficult issues like entitlements, contributions and retirement age. But that means negotiations, not the "take it or leave it" final offer tactics this Government has used. That's why I stood up in the Commons yesterday and told David Cameron I would not demonize cleaners, teachers and dinner ladies.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:18:33

Not a question but a statement: If you worry about what you'll inherit stop them now. Break up the coalition. Do something

pfilfaerie Thu 01-Dec-11 14:18:34

Why is the government seemingly able to pile drive mad changes through without a by or leave. Will the child benefit cut off point be made fairer, ie total home income rather than one rule for one earner and another for two?

MyRealName Thu 01-Dec-11 14:18:43

I would like to be a labour voter, but if there was an election tomorrow I would struggle to bring myself to actually vote for a party not knowing what they really stand for. I don't think this is an uncommon view. What will you be doing to make the labour party credible again, and when will you be getting off the fence on a range of issues that affect everyone (the strikes, as one example)?

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:19:35

Thanks Justine.

I second KateMiddleton!

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 14:20:54

KateMiddIeton: "Not a question but a statement: If you worry about what you'll inherit stop them now. Break up the coalition. Do something"

Hear hear!!

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:21:09

shouldnotbehere

oooh, not read thread, will go back through it.

I work in private sector, never worked in public. DH has his own business, where he employs one FT person, and I'm now self employed.

I resent public sector workers thinking they have a right to a job for life and golden handcuff pensions? comments Nobody owns a job.

I don't think there should be such a thing as a career politition. I think all politicians should work in private sector for at least five years Both prime minister and chancellor are career polititions. Are you any better, with experience of private sector? The chancellor has a degree in history, should we have a pre-requisite that chancellors have experience of running a profitable business?

I don't mind paying my taxes. I want the services the government provides. When I've dealt with the public sector, the WASTE, it is horrendous, and widespread. Would love someone to sort this out. I liked David Laws, and was sorry when he left the cabinet.

I resent my money being frittered.

Lots of questions here. I think politics is what can change people's lives and I am proud to be in it. Of course it is good to have politicians from different backgrounds--we have Dan Jarvis who used to be in the military and Rachel Reeves who used to be at the Bank of England. But the most important question is not what professions you have been in, but can you understand people's lives and listen. There are people who have done lots of jobs and can't.....

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:21:45

I have to leave in ten minutes to pick up the dc's from school. If I don't respond to the answer to my question - I'm not being rude. <<As you were>>

herbietea Thu 01-Dec-11 14:22:03

Message withdrawn

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:22:40

"EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:18:19
There are steps we should be taking now to get Britain working again and build a better economy for the future - one which works for most people and helps Britain pay its way in the world."

Make ALL types of childcare 100% tax deductible and there is a huge step right there.

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:22:41

(KateMiddIeton) "Not a question but a statement: If you worry about what you'll inherit stop them now. Break up the coalition. Do something"

Fourthed!

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:22:54

JaxV

KateMiddIeton: "Not a question but a statement: If you worry about what you'll inherit stop them now. Break up the coalition. Do something"

Hear hear!!

I would love the coalition to end before 2015 but in the end its the Lib dems who would have to make that decision---to leave the Tories.

Same here HuntyCat. Was just looking at the clock and hoping grin

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:23:22

KateMiddIeton: "Not a question but a statement: If you worry about what you'll inherit stop them now. Break up the coalition. Do something"

This is what we want to see, action, not placating words. #frothers.

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 14:23:29

It's all very well telling us what the government are currently doing wrong, I seem to remember them doing the very same thing when Labour were in power. We all know what they are doing wrong, what we want to know is what you will do instead.

Briefly then, 4 ways to cut the deficit that you would enforce if in power.

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:24:07

There are many more people underemployed than unemployed.

I would love the coalition to end before 2015 but in the end its the Lib dems who would have to make that decision---to leave the Tories
Interesting So us #frothers better keep on at the lib-dems

herbietea Thu 01-Dec-11 14:24:57

Message withdrawn

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 14:25:01

Ed:I would love the coalition to end before 2015 but in the end its the Lib dems who would have to make that decision---to leave the Tories.

Who would be in power if that happened?

Noodlemacdoodle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:25:18

I'd like to know whther Ed could take up the cause of pediatric cancer care. One child in 750 is diagnosed with cancer, and treatment involves life changing side effects including: learning disabilities, nerve damage, permanent baldness, infertility, mobility problems... to name a few. Despite this horrendous treatement, survival rates are regrettably low. If this was his child, would it be good enough? In this time of auterity measures, does it make sense to create disabled children, to create a drain on teaching resources (as one local headteacher kindly put it to me).

We have, despite the cuts etc, blah blah, a world leading health system, something to be proud of (on the whole). What would Ed do to focus this great resource on improving treatment and cure rates? A clue: Only 3% of cancer research funding is spent on ALL types of pediatric cancers, including solid and blood cancers. How could he change this?

And if he's not willing to... what can I do?

Agree with KateMiddleton wholeheartedly.

Firefly2 Thu 01-Dec-11 14:25:28

I would like to see something passed in Parliament which results in the ability of deducting CSA payments in the same manor as my student loan is deducted from my salary. When I start a new job, I do not inform anyone and I automatically get deductions from my salary for my student loan (and rightly so). When I attempt to claim CSA however, it can take months (up to eight now and still waiting...) to recieve a payment, or in my case, to discover he has now left that employment so the chase starts again. Do you think this system is in need of a shake up and what are your thoughts on trying to match the CSA service to that of the student loans? This really needs someone to take us out of the dark ages...absent parents should be made to pay.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:25:48

The Lib Dem's won't break up the coalition. They've got their sweaty little hands on power and that's the way they like.

Ed, were you surprised when the Liberal Demopcrats "got into bed" as it were, with the Conservatives?

I know I was!

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:25:51

Again not a question: Make it attractive to the Lib Dems to end the coalition. Show you are an alternative with real principles. The Lib Dems had principles at the last election that have been dropped in favour of being in government. They have forgotten that there is no point of being in a government that does not act in the interests of the majority. Remind the Lib Dems of what they once hoped to be and offer them an alternative to a Conservative coalition.

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:26:15

I agree with the other posters that I haven't seen much in the way of teeth from Ed Miliband - not demonising teachers etc is fine but not very helpful - rather too woolly. They need your support not a lack of demonisation. They need someone to stand up for them and put their case forward. Not just Union leaders but the party that is meant to represent them.

Get some teeth Labour!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:26:17

herbietea

I agree with Alibaba.

I asked this question very early on this thread. Please don't cherry pick the easy to answer questions. Please tell us what the Labour Party would do if they were in Government.

Hi Herbietea,
I'm sure that Ed will get to your question but of course he has to start somewhere. Please be reasonable and remember our webchat rules. Thanks smile.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:26:24

MyRealName

I would like to be a labour voter, but if there was an election tomorrow I would struggle to bring myself to actually vote for a party not knowing what they really stand for. I don't think this is an uncommon view. What will you be doing to make the labour party credible again, and when will you be getting off the fence on a range of issues that affect everyone (the strikes, as one example)?

We stand for a fairer, more equal society. In my conference speech, I talked about how we needed to build a different, more responsible capitalism, where the top 1% don't see runaway rewards, while the 99% are squeezed, where there is hope for the next generation, and where people feel their values are reflected in the way our country runs.

Let me give you one very clear example: the Tory-led government cuts tax credits to pay for youth jobs, we said we would have taxed the banks to pay for it. Across countless areas, we see that type of unfairness....

Noodlemacdoodle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:26:56

Forgot to add hearing loss to those 'side' effects above.
Ed, please please reply. It is so very important.

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:27:01

Eagerly awaits answer to Firefly2's question about the CSA...

Peachy Thu 01-Dec-11 14:27:12

'does it make sense to create disabled children, to create a drain on teaching resources '

You realise you just referred to my children as a drain on teaching resources?

Shame, we've experience of cancer (survival anot) and it was a great question until you completely offended me. Cheers.

herbietea Thu 01-Dec-11 14:28:05

Message withdrawn

LeNameChange Thu 01-Dec-11 14:28:12

What do you think of the Leveson Inquiry? Should the regulation of the press change?

Peachy Thu 01-Dec-11 14:28:29

LMAO @ Herbie

True.

Noodlemacdoodle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:28:45

Not my words. The words of a headteacher in the local primary. I was equally offended, I can assure you.

Empress2 Thu 01-Dec-11 14:28:52

Please tell us what is going to happen to the poor single parents who have made up home to now be ripped out because of the LHA rate cuts and also the children being torn out of school to be place in another borough... all in all both losing local support network!

Ed - do you agree that the Coalition breaking up would be likely to cause the interest rate Britain is paying on the debt to rise (due to political instability and Labour's well known penchant for spending money they don't have), therefore increasing the deficit and all the related problems in the economy?

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:29:05

Peachy - I think that poster was repeating a comment that had been told to her by a HT, not stating that as her OWN view.

Masserrato Thu 01-Dec-11 14:29:29

Did you tell Ed that he will get a VERY bad name if he picks and chooses questions?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:29:34

herbietea

One thing he has in common with DaveC is he is a slow typist!grin

Another, final, reminder Herbietea to follow our webchat rules - ie please be civil or don't be here.

MincePieFlavouredVoidka Thu 01-Dec-11 14:29:37

does it make sense to create disabled children, to create a drain on teaching resources

Sorry to Hijack - but can you explain this comment.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:29:52

KateMiddIeton

Again not a question: Make it attractive to the Lib Dems to end the coalition. Show you are an alternative with real principles. The Lib Dems had principles at the last election that have been dropped in favour of being in government. They have forgotten that there is no point of being in a government that does not act in the interests of the majority. Remind the Lib Dems of what they once hoped to be and offer them an alternative to a Conservative coalition.

If the Lib Dems want to carry on supporting the terrible plan for austerity that this government is imposing, there is really not that much to stop them. We have set out an alternative for now: labour;s five point plan for jobs and growth. Cut VAT, a bonus tax to help the young unemployed, bring forward investment in infrastructure, cut vat on home repairs, and provide a national insurance holiday for all small firms.

Masserrato Thu 01-Dec-11 14:30:02

It looks as if he is seriously picking and choosing questions at the monent.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:30:20

Alibabaandthe80nappies

Ed - do you agree that the Coalition breaking up would be likely to cause the interest rate Britain is paying on the debt to rise (due to political instability and Labour's well known penchant for spending money they don't have), therefore increasing the deficit and all the related problems in the economy?

No.....

MNHQ have tweeted a pic of Ed at MNHQ, he is concentrating hard ladies give him a chance!

they're not youth JOBS anyway are they - just free labour to tescos and a fiddling of unemployment figures.

i'm going to shout because i'm desperate for you to answer this: WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET THE LIBERALS TO DUMP THE TORIES AND GET A GENERAL ELECTION SOONER?

you are politician you know what works - how do we do it? because it's the only hope it seems so what do you think would make them do it?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:25

herbietea

I would like to know when he is going to stop bleating that the Government are doing everything wrong and start telling us what the Labour government would do if they were elected, especially how they would reduce the deficit.

If we were in government, we would have made cuts too because paying down the deficit matters massively. But this government is cutting too far and too fast - creating a vicious circle in which it becomes harder to pay down the deficit. It's why George Osborne has to borrow £158 billion more to pay the bill for unemployment benefit and his failed economic policy. Anyone with a debt knows you have to make savings but you can't pay it off if you don't have a job. That's one of the big problems with the economy now - people are losing their jobs and Britain is losing their taxes and the contribution they would make to the economy.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:27

Masserrato

Did you tell Ed that he will get a VERY bad name if he picks and chooses questions?

He has to pick by definition but he's just asked me what are the difficult ones, so again, please be patient!

Secondtimelucky Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:29

Ok, my questions. Other than bank taxes what would you do to build a "fairer more responsible capitalism"? You say you have lots of examples so please can we hear some?

The one you've chosen is a bit, well, obvious banker bashing populism? I want to feel Labour could really be trusted with the economy and at the moment it feels like a choice between bad plan and no plan.

VenetiaLanyon Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:30

Hi Ed,

Can I ask you if you would ever consider reducing the 50% tax rate if you got into power, or is it a) a fair rate for the better-off that's here to stay or b)a rate that can't be reduced as it would be electoral suicide to be seen to do something for the rich, even if the rate is proved to be counter-productive for the economy as a whole?

Thanks smile

Thanks for answering smile

Masserrato Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:36

Oh come on....you've jumped from the first question aeons ago and come to the last question. Sad.

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:39

I have copied my question from pg 2:

What is Labour doing to oppose the Coalition with regards to leaving people with disabilities with no income. By leaving them with no income, I mean people being refused ESA as they are not 'disabled enough', but also being refused JSA as they are not fit for FT work. While they are appealing the ESA refusal, they may have 6 months plus with no income. Do you have any plans to try to get the Coalition to close this loophole?

HuntyCat, #frothers.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:49

LeNameChange

What do you think of the Leveson Inquiry? Should the regulation of the press change?

Yes. The current Press Complaints Commission is not working. We need wholesale change. I think the testimony at Leveson has been shocking, including the Dowlers, the McCanns and others....

greenlady78 Thu 01-Dec-11 14:31:52

Here is my question once again

Dear Mr Miliband,

I'd like to ask as your view on the Maternity Allowance for self-employed/business owners mothers. It seems very unfair that someone that is employed by a company is allowed to start their own company while on Maternity Leave but a self-employed person is not allowed to keep running their business, that is not even allowed to email, answer a phone call while on Maternity Allowance - apart from 10 days (however even if you only work 30 minutes in a day it is considered a full day)

I do understand that Maternity Allowance is designed so that you can spend time with your baby, but I fail to see how using a few hours a week to maintain your business afloat while on Maternity Leave is of any problem. A bigger problem is to have to shut down your business completely to go on Maternity Leave or have a month off only and have to go straight back to work full-time on your business.

The rules for Maternity Allowance for self-employed/business owners mothers are completely unfair and deserve to be looked at and changed. I would very much appreciate to hear your views on this and how this can be improved.

Many thanks.

Masserrato Thu 01-Dec-11 14:32:22

I would like to ask how Ed Milliband can stand in the House of Commons at question time and behave as if HIS party has nothing to do with the current crisis. I would like to see MPs agreeing on this issue and getting down to work together and at least pretending to support each other, instead of shouting at each other like hooligans.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:32:22

If the Lib Dems want to carry on supporting the terrible plan for austerity that this government is imposing, there is really not that much to stop them.

You, Ed! It's you that can stop them, you are the opposition!

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:32:57

arf @ the "no"

haha!

arrgghh i have to go sad

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 14:34:09

Can I ask what type of biscuit he prefers? <evil grin>

How mad would you all be now if he answered that eh?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:34:24

Masserrato

Oh come on....you've jumped from the first question aeons ago and come to the last question. Sad.

Don't be sad, Masserrato, think Ed is answering your question right now smile.

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:34:41

greenlady lots of people were in the queue before you...

luzluz Thu 01-Dec-11 14:34:42

'I talked about how we needed to build a different, more responsible capitalism, where the top 1% don't see runaway rewards, while the 99% are squeezed'

Great sentiment, but I'm at a loss to know how that's going to be achievable in a global economy. It's so important because how we organise the economy underpins all of the other concerns that people are raising above.

CardyMow Thu 01-Dec-11 14:34:47

Me too, northernmonkey. sad.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:35:09

Ooh Rhubs, you are NORTY.

I think everyone needs to calm down a bit and let him answer some more questions before C+P their stuff again otherwise it just gets far too difficult.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:35:36

Masserrato

I would like to ask how Ed Milliband can stand in the House of Commons at question time and behave as if HIS party has nothing to do with the current crisis. I would like to see MPs agreeing on this issue and getting down to work together and at least pretending to support each other, instead of shouting at each other like hooligans.

Question Time is a terrible advert for politics. I take responsibility for some of the things we did wrong - like not regulating the banks properly. But I'm afraid I don't buy the Tory argument that Labour overspending caused the crisis. President Obama isn't facing a high deficit because of the last Labour government. All countries are facing these issues but the question is how to deal with them. The government's austerity is failing... see my answer earlier on our five point plan for jobs and growth.

strandednomore Thu 01-Dec-11 14:35:40

I like to think he's a little on the slow side because he is actually thinking and typing his answers himself rather than having a few soundbites prepared in advance and typed in by one of his advisors...

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:35:46

Rhubarb Mumsnet tweeted a photo of Ed in MNHQ with an UNTOUCHED plate of chocolate digestives at his elbow.

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:36:21

Waiting patiently and hoping here smile and f5 f5 f5 f5!

please, please, please find a minute or two to write some advise to those of us who are really ready and willing to act to get rid of this government - how do we influence things and what would help.

a group of us are really keen to do everything we can about this now before they can bring through their latest cuts and schemes in ways that can't be reversed.

sorry to jump up and down like a child who needs a wee but it's important grin

LindsayWagner Thu 01-Dec-11 14:37:18

Hello Ed, thanks for coming back!

Are you supporting the Mumsnet's Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care? I know as Leader of the Opposition you can't sign EDMs - but is there anything else you can do to help get the Miscarriage Code of Care implemented nationally?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:37:44

luzluz

'I talked about how we needed to build a different, more responsible capitalism, where the top 1% don't see runaway rewards, while the 99% are squeezed'

Great sentiment, but I'm at a loss to know how that's going to be achievable in a global economy. It's so important because how we organise the economy underpins all of the other concerns that people are raising above.

I don't agree there is nothing to be done in a global economy. We need more middle income jobs, so that demands a proper industrial policy, we need those at the top to show responsibility which is why I say have an ordinary worker on the remuneration committee of every major company, and I support fair taxes, like the introduction of the 50p tax rate.

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 14:38:06

HuntyCat - I hope he gets to your question... that's a shocking situation for anyone to be in angry

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:38:22

Urgh I don't like chocolate digestives either <finds some common ground>

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:38:25

You did already answer a question from me so I don't expect an answer to this but I would like to know:

In your 5 point plan how will you fund the infrastructure developments you are proposing to bring forward - will it be with PFI's?

MyRealName Thu 01-Dec-11 14:38:42

Thank you for your reply, and I really hope that is true. 'A more responsible capitalism' would be a good thing to have, and taxing the banks appeals to most people's sense of justice. But if it were that easy and noble, I wonder why in all those years labour were in power none of you did anything about it? I suspect it is not as straightforward as all that, but I wish you well in your bid to decrease the actual and perceived unfairness in this country.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:38:48

TheRhubarb

Can I ask what type of biscuit he prefers? <evil grin>

How mad would you all be now if he answered that eh?

Jaffa cake but I am currently eating a nice bourbon cream thanks to Mumsnet

sfxmum Thu 01-Dec-11 14:38:54

I would like to see a stronger constructive opposition please, no sugar coating but please regarding the fuzzy Big Society 'concept' why was the initiative of cooperativism and decent localism been taken over?

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:39:30

By the way thank you for coming to talk to us all. grin

Rhubarb should go sit in the corner now!!!!!!

bourbon cream? that's a bit scabby isn't it when you've got the leader of the opposition in?

you'd think they'd run to a decent biscuit.

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 14:39:55

lmao!

MincePieFlavouredVoidka Thu 01-Dec-11 14:40:21

Jaffa Cake are not biscuits angry

yes i second northeastofeden - thank you and you are doing rather well.

notsomumsie Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:03

FFS Asking (and answering) about bloody biscuits perpetuates the myth of stupid women. Get a grip.

HugosGoatee Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:12

Do you agree with tax relief on biscuits pretending to be cakes?

MincePieFlavouredVoidka Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:14

Having said that - DV said Oatcakes didnt he. hmm

kettlecrisps Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:28

The global perception that we are able to deal with this deficit is essential. Economies thrive/die on confidence and the perception of it. It is essential we act on tackling the deficit. The mess we would be in if we lose the perception we are coping with our debt is unthinkable.

Why are you playing politics over this issue. We have seen countries in Europe across the political divide have to unite and explain to the country clearly there is no alternative.

Labour are playing a dangerous game- the government are being the strict mummy and handing out the discipline and medicine but Labour are playing the good time Daddy turning up and acting like Mummy's making rather a fuss over nothing! We all know it ends in tears. Is this not an issue to be a grown up about?

Why can't Labour be honest over this issue? Would you rather see the country implode under the idea that there is actually some golden alternative? There isn't. It's shit either way. The country needs to appear united and strong. Do you realise how damaging you are being to the global perception.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:41

JAFFA CAKE?

That's a CAKE not a biscuit. grin

Christ, I can just see it now on the front page of the Daily Mail "Milliband lies to middle classes about biscuit preference - EVIL!"

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:48

Oh. My. God.

Justine - you are EVIL!

<goes off in a huff>

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:41:53

swallowedAfly

please, please, please find a minute or two to write some advise to those of us who are really ready and willing to act to get rid of this government - how do we influence things and what would help.

a group of us are really keen to do everything we can about this now before they can bring through their latest cuts and schemes in ways that can't be reversed.

sorry to jump up and down like a child who needs a wee but it's important grin

Maybe you would expect me to say it, but joining the Labour Party, standing for the council, and being part of our campaigns will make a difference. We have 65,000 new members...smile

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 14:42:28

So many important questions up the thread... Not one about biscuits sad

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:42:44

Argh @ biscuit talk when I'm still awaiting many of the first page questions to be answered (including mine)

Do you know how many men on twitter think all we do is ask questions about biscuits? Ignoring all the decent, relevant questions we have asked. Doing nothing for ourselves here <rant over>

KalSkirata Thu 01-Dec-11 14:42:51

just popped in to see if nappy question for disabled children answred.

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:43:10

"northernmonkey Thu 01-Dec-11 14:39:38
Rhubarb should go sit in the corner now!!!!!!"

Absolutely not; I am waiting to sneak in a second question at the end regarding Bucks fizz on Christmas morning: Yay, or nay?

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 14:43:26

Felicity - perhaps its because i'm not middle class but I couldnt give a stuff about the classification of jafa cakes raspberry

Noodlemacdoodle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:43:50

The headteacher in questions was explaining he is making redundancies in teaching staff fue to budget cuts next academic year. Therefore he was not interested in taking on a child with SN because they would be a 'drain' I was gob smacked and sad and shock and angry. I'm glad people on here share those emotions, but would be interested to hear what Ed has to say as it is actually a common disease and i heard somewhere something like 1/3 of adults will die of cancer in the future, so it is actually really important to get thsi on the agenda of the world leading NHS. It would also make economic sense for the UK as we could then market our medical experitse overseas, I would have thought ... Ed???

well yes but how do we make the liberals wake up and stop this mess?

thanks for answering - wouldn't want to cause a puddle in here grin

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:44:10

PetiteRaleuse

Dear Mr Miliband,

Our current 'government' is starting to make some scary noises about Iran, despite having cut the defence budgets.

If the worst was to happen and they drag us into another pointless war on the US behalf, please can you confirm that you would oppose this? I am aware the last two weren't your fault so won't have a go at you for TB's war lust. But out of interest, did you support those wars?

The first thing I would say is that the attack on our embassy this week was appalling. I am glad the Government has made this clear to the regime.

Our embassy staff are men and women doing their jobs far from home and their safety must be ensured at all times.

The important thing for stability in the region is to continue efforts to ensure that Iran is never able to gain access to nuclear weapons.

I was against the war in Iraq but I support our mission in Afghanistan. I've been there and witnessed first hand what a brilliant job they're doing, risking their lives on our behalf. I know how much we owe them and how important it is that they know people at home are supporting them.

Hear hear kettlecrisps.

notsomumsie Thu 01-Dec-11 14:44:23

What's the strategy for winning the next election Ed?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 14:44:32

FelicityNavidad

Ooh Rhubs, you are NORTY.

I think everyone needs to calm down a bit and let him answer some more questions before C+P their stuff again otherwise it just gets far too difficult.

Quite right, it doesn't help if you do this, just makes answering the questions harder.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:44:46

HuntyCat

I have copied my question from pg 2:

What is Labour doing to oppose the Coalition with regards to leaving people with disabilities with no income. By leaving them with no income, I mean people being refused ESA as they are not 'disabled enough', but also being refused JSA as they are not fit for FT work. While they are appealing the ESA refusal, they may have 6 months plus with no income. Do you have any plans to try to get the Coalition to close this loophole?

HuntyCat, #frothers.

I know lots of people are worried about the way the medical tests are being done and the new rules. It is something we are pressing the government on. I will look into the specific issue you raise....

HugosGoatee Thu 01-Dec-11 14:44:53

If you think that the angry posters should join the Labour party, you need to show them that you feel the same. Have you read the thread 'Frothing Beserkers' on here? I suggest you do. People are angry at their betrayal by the government, they want honest, angry politics.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:45:19

uh, it was a joke aimed at the Daily Mail always saying that MN is stuffed to the brim with MC Mummies Jax.

Of course we all want answers to our questions, but let's be honest - probably not going to happen is it?

caramelwaffle
You dont need the answer to that question, Its christmas morning, ITS THE LAW to drink Bucks Fizz

Now I am with katemiddleton. Lots of important qs to answer

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:46:22

kettlecrisps

The global perception that we are able to deal with this deficit is essential. Economies thrive/die on confidence and the perception of it. It is essential we act on tackling the deficit. The mess we would be in if we lose the perception we are coping with our debt is unthinkable.

Why are you playing politics over this issue. We have seen countries in Europe across the political divide have to unite and explain to the country clearly there is no alternative.

Labour are playing a dangerous game- the government are being the strict mummy and handing out the discipline and medicine but Labour are playing the good time Daddy turning up and acting like Mummy's making rather a fuss over nothing! We all know it ends in tears. Is this not an issue to be a grown up about?

Why can't Labour be honest over this issue? Would you rather see the country implode under the idea that there is actually some golden alternative? There isn't. It's shit either way. The country needs to appear united and strong. Do you realise how damaging you are being to the global perception.

You clearly don't agree with us! The deficit matters but without growth it can't be tackled. Hence the government's failure....

Noodlemacdoodle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:46:51

ahem...

oh yes huntycat!! a couple committed suicide over that sad they went through hell stuck on the not disabled enough/not well enough fence - absolutely tragic.

Ed the rather patronising ..... at the end of answers to questions from people who clearly disagree with you is not endearing.

Would you do it if you were responding to a man?

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 14:48:47

Can I just say that the biscuit thing came about years ago when cod asked it of Tony Blair and he answered, ignoring all the very pertinent and relevant questions we had spent ages constructing.

I have gone on about it ever since in a very high and mighty way.

I should have foreseen that just one mention of it was all it took for Justine to get her own back of my criticisms of Mumsnet at that time!

Justine - you owe me another pint of Guinness for that one! AND a job like the one you offered Quint!

Or I'm on strike..........

Ed there are numerous questions regarding disability, carers, welfare reform, cuts to education and health provision for people with disabilities and the strain we're under with coalition policy. Any chance of taking a look at those?

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 14:49:54

Mr Milliband

You should make note of this - hashtag frothers on Twitter

(my computer is not letting me put in the hashtag symbol)

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:50:20

TheRhubarb

Ed,
my problem is that there are essentially only two political parties left in this country. The Conversatives don't give a hoot about the public sector as they don't use it and are only interested in partnering with their banking buddies whilst penalising women and children with higher childcare taxes, tax benefit cuts and so on.
The Labour party on the other hand didn't act quickly to stop the credit crisis, they were too soft on benefit claimants, too soft on immigration issues and too soft on the unions.

I don't think any party has what it takes to lead this country. So how can you convince me that my vote is actually worth anything at all?

I agree with you on the Conservatives! On us, we didn't get everything right in government, including on the way we handled Eastern European immigration. We should have had longer transitional controls and done more to stop the sense that people's wages where were being undercut. But it was a good government in my view, including on investment in the NHS and schools.

And this government is showing comprehensively it is on the wrong side of the majority of people....

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:50:52

Yup Glitternickaz, the ones on the first page... am hoping by the time I post this there may be another answer answer or two to those ones...

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 14:51:39

Ed makes a good point in reference to kettlecrisps questions - growth means greater tax receipts which means we can pay down the deficit quicker and with less pain. It is like working harder and getting a payrise when you need to pay off a credit card. You might accumlate a bit more interest in the short term but can pay if off quicker so it works out better overall. That assumes it is possible to create growth in the current climate which would be challenging for anyone.

Thanks for answering my question. I agree, our troops rock and it isn't their fault their budget is being cut. And the attack on the embassy was appalling.

I don't trust the government and the US not to take us into another war though and that is very scary.

I hope MNHQ find you some jaffa cakes soon.

what are you on alibaba!? how is... offensive to you and so offensive you decide to be rude and time wasting in the midst of what is actually emergency situation?

most bizarre. i'm a frothing feminist as most know and i don't find ... to be a sexist issue somehow. he's typing fast and doing better than most at getting through a decent amount of questions. the ... denotes that much more could be said but he's cracking on.

how very rude you are!

MrsChristmasDB Thu 01-Dec-11 14:52:03

It's because it is an unelected govt !

Please join in with the frothers. We want to make a difference.

notsomumsie Thu 01-Dec-11 14:52:09

And this government is showing comprehensively it is on the wrong side of the majority of people....

Yes, but I would argue that you are not presenting an effective and coherent opposition. What are YOU going to do about that?

sandysmum Thu 01-Dec-11 14:52:10

Hi Mr Miliband,
Thank you for doing this webchat.

I am confused by your points re the Tories' economic failure. As you pointed out President Obama and the Eurozone are all facing economic crisis - how exactly could the current government have avoided this in their 18 month tenure? Labour had 13 years to prepare for the inevitable 'bust' in the cycle.

Two other points (not questions- following the rules smile!)
1) I feel the Labour Party has given up on Scotland and giving an adequate opposition to the awful SNP
2) My husband is a farmer who, to make his farm run efficiently, pays himself the bare minimum, which is our sole income (figure too embarrassing to type!). He pays 15% into a private pension. Please don't mention public sector pensions!!!! I say this as a SAHM and 'retired' NHS midwife! There are private sector workers who work 80 hour weeks and have NO public appreciation.

Thanks again

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:52:31

The elipses are at the end of all his responses alibaba - poor show to you.

<makes notes>

I like that answer, Ed, it seemed genuinely honest, albeit just the tip of the iceberg. Wish you'd take that kind of verve to the Lib Dems and show them that you believe you could do better with them....

shouldnotbehere Thu 01-Dec-11 14:53:13

Ed Miliband

Thank you to replying to my post.

I'm sure all parties have a wide range of backgrounds. I admire David Davis background, and that he worked for private business (Tate and Lyle).

I want a politition to be straight, not reply in a way that does not answer any one question, or give a rose tinted view on things. You did not answer any of my questions. When, I see Vince Cable on telly, he always appears to give a direct answer. Neither Cameron nor Toby Blair did/do this.

I would love to see commonsense reform of the public sector, and the redtape cut, and some people's public sector mentality changing. Current spending is surely unsustainable, and our children will be paying for it?

I want a smaller government, surely we could reduce MP's by at least 100?

I would love someone leading the country who has worked, and understands how the private economy works, and take a common sense approach. We only seem to have a choice of career polititions at present.

I'm a voter who sits on the fence, I don't like big government, and would love the country to be alble to straighten its books by reducing the huge overspend, without the social gains of the last century being thrown away. I don't see the current Condem government achieving this.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:53:23

notsomumsie

What's the strategy for winning the next election Ed?

I think we will win the next election by showing that our values and the kind of country we want to build reflect the values of the British people. A huge issue in our politics is going to be whose side are you on? I think the government is showing it is not on the side of the 99% who it is making pay for the 2008 crisis without regard to fairness.

TheRhubarb Thu 01-Dec-11 14:54:16

<hmpf!>

You still owe me a pint Justine...

and for what it's worth, the last government was rubbish. They forced us into a war we could neither afford nor wanted. Blair lied to get us into that war. People died because of him. That does not make a good government.

Ahzrei Thu 01-Dec-11 14:54:24

Dear Mr Milliband,

is it time for the Labour party to stop being funded by the Unions, seeing as even you and Mr Balls found it impossible to defend the irresponsible strikes yesterday?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:54:58

northeastofeden

Ed makes a good point in reference to kettlecrisps questions - growth means greater tax receipts which means we can pay down the deficit quicker and with less pain. It is like working harder and getting a payrise when you need to pay off a credit card. You might accumlate a bit more interest in the short term but can pay if off quicker so it works out better overall. That assumes it is possible to create growth in the current climate which would be challenging for anyone.

Thanks I agree. Growth can be created with the right measures otherwise we are in a 1930s mentality that says nothing can be done.

MrsChristmasDB Thu 01-Dec-11 14:55:24

Do you see yourself being Labour Leader at the next General Election ? And if not, who would you like to see ?

kettlecrisps Thu 01-Dec-11 14:55:28

Good answer. Not! The question is why don't you stand behind the country for once and stop playing political point scoring? You've merely read my question and observed that that I don't agree with you.

My question is that in other countries they have had to put their party issues aside and be honest that the debt needs tackling. Growth etc. lovely when it happens but we're all reacting to ever changing circumstances.

What we can do is ensure we are able to keep our government borrowing rates down as low as we can. All the rest of the political issues become rather irrelevant unless this is achieved.

I think it is irresponsible of you and Ed Balls is to continue to behave in this manner. There is no golden alternative. Tell it as it is and as bad as it is to do otherwise is dangerous. Do you want the country to implode.

Some people actually believe what you say you know!

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 14:55:56

Ask him about Justine Justine,is she an MNer?

Is she here now?

i think you'll win the election from people having seen what the tories are really about again and having had a recent labour government to be able to see and feel the difference. then hopefully they won't go back to sleep and vote the greedy boys back in next time they get bored/worried and think a change of face might be nice hmm

it's amazing how people forget.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:56:32

Ahzrei

Dear Mr Milliband,

is it time for the Labour party to stop being funded by the Unions, seeing as even you and Mr Balls found it impossible to defend the irresponsible strikes yesterday?

We are part-funded by millions of working people, who are members of trade unions. I disagree with you and I am proud of our link with them.

TeWiharaMeriKirihimete Thu 01-Dec-11 14:56:56

kettlechips Erm, yes, because it makes sense. Noble prize winning economists also agree that all cuts and no growth is totally stupid - why don't you?

pfilfaerie Thu 01-Dec-11 14:57:06

Ahzrei, the strikes were not irresponsible, you would have done the same if someone had decided to change your 'contract' to your detriment would you not?

HugosGoatee Thu 01-Dec-11 14:57:29

Why are you stopping short of expressing support for the strikes? confused

ok random question in case you get time at the end:

how does someone get into politics who isn't from a public school background or young or well connected? oh and who is female and has a child i guess.

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 14:58:03

I think you'll win the next election too,i always voted Labour and stupidly voted LibDem last time.

I will never do that again.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 14:58:13

KateMiddIeton

We are the frothers LittleDonkey and Ed you can join us here www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/a1353521-Im-not-quite-a-frothing-berserker-but-I-am-getting-rather-cross-with-our-government-messing-with-the-good-stuff#28761113

We're not political. We've just had enough.

#frothers is our hashtag. Because we are getting organised...

I am not surprised you are angry about it. I support the campaign against what is happening. #frothers

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:58:35

Please answer some of the questions from the first page of this thread sad

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 14:58:36

I'd like to know that too SwallowedAfly!

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:58:46

I think Labour will win the election most by the massive swing of poor deluded libdem voters who have been horrified by the coalition.

MrsChristmasDB Thu 01-Dec-11 14:58:55

YES !

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 14:59:23

Thank you for the support Ed grin #frothers

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 14:59:39

haha! yaya! #frothers!

swallowedAfly, don't you think thats a lazy way to win an election? It does strike me that nothing is being done, no true opposition because there's an assumption that the worse the ConDems make it the easier it'll be for Labour to win without really trying. I'd rather vote in a party who opposed the ConDems now, who stood up for the people it claims to want to protect and became proactive.

MrsChristmasDB Thu 01-Dec-11 15:00:38

Maybe we should be #Ed's frothers grin

Noodlemacdoodle Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:01

Ed, please could you answer the question about cancer research for children.

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:14

Are we there yet?

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:15

Thank you Ed. Now, how about having a look at the first page of questions please?

#frothers an accidental revolution

kettlecrisps Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:18

I didn't say all cuts and no growth. The growth however won't come out of the public sector. People react to what's happening at the time. I don't think when government came in the Eurozone issue was on the piece of paper everyone was working from? Yes growth is obviously lower than anticipated but then look out at the world. Then look back here and thank our lucky stars what the government borrowing interest rate is currently.

LadyMontdore Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:18

Ed,
Why can't the Labour Party admit that there is no choice but to make cuts and act in the interest of the country? Or would that be too much like admiting you got it wrong when you were in power?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:33

lubeybaublely

Dear Mr Miliband

I would like to know what your thoughts are on housing and the coalitions 'social cleansing' policy. Namely the capping of housing benefit to levels that force the working poor (and all poor) to move away from the jobs they have and areas where they and their children have been settled all their lives, or be poverty stricken in order to meet the shortfall between benefit and rent.

With a lack of Affordable Local Authority and Housing Association properties and also NO regulation on what private landlords charge, it puts people in an impossible, unfair and unworkable situation. What can Labour do to oppose or change this, or what would Labour do if back in government about these issues?

Sincerely LB #frothers

I'm in favour of reform to Housing Benefit but I think the Government is going about it in the wrong way, cutting too far and too fast with counter-productive consequences. Even before the cap is introduced, we're seeing people forced to leave their homes and go on the homeless list - and that may end up costing the taxpayer more in the long term. And yes, I agree, there should be better regulation of private sector landlords.

Ahem, cross posts.

jaquelinehyde Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:57

Blimey it's taken me ages to read through from when I last posted!

Answer my question please Ed and Merry Christmas!

HugosGoatee Thu 01-Dec-11 15:01:59

Ed - thank you for supporting the frothers and please get your staff to keep an eye on us. Our views are what I think Labour should be standing for and we are currently rudderless.

KalSkirata Thu 01-Dec-11 15:02:18

Ed didnt answer numerous emails regarding the failure of labourt towards disabled children and incontinence products. This is why I left the Party, among other things.

littlewhitewolf i don't give a flying how we win it so long as the tories fingers are snapped out of the till asap before they sell every remaining asset we have off on the cheap to their pals. it really doesn't matter.

it goes beyond party politics for me - there are basic issues of morality that the tory party is in utter opposition too.

BCCubitt Thu 01-Dec-11 15:02:35

Before you go.... Spending £900 million on planning HS2 in this parliament - is this the right priority for taxpayers money while cutting essential services?

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 15:02:38

Hooray for #frothers! [shameless plug...]

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:02:42

Iggly

I'd like Ed to remind the PM every now and then of the human stories behind those affected by the cuts and stick up for the little people.

I agree with you....I heard from someone who works in the House of Commons canteen about why she was going on strike, taking home £1100 a month, looking at working much longer, paying more,without feeling there had been proper negotiation. She didn't want to, but felt the government had given her no alternative

luzluz Thu 01-Dec-11 15:02:57

Thanks for repsonse.
One last thought. In the film Spinal Tap, the Tap complain that the support act were so bad the crowd were still booing when they played their set - remind you of anyone??? smile

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:03:23

BCCubitt

Before you go.... Spending £900 million on planning HS2 in this parliament - is this the right priority for taxpayers money while cutting essential services?

I am for HS2..I think it part of building a modern country and good for the economy

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 15:03:30

Thank you Ed for answering my question. I'm very pleased to see you agree it's being gone about the wrong way - something for you to consider in your manifesto against the opposition I hope. Have a Jaffa Cake on me grin

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 15:03:36

Ed's frothers? <splutters> A-political we are. Although he is welcome to join us wink

MrsChristmasDB Thu 01-Dec-11 15:03:50

You are coming across much better Ed, than Dave did on This Morning.

Just sayin' like. smile

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 15:04:03

kettlecrisps I don't understand why you think Ed Miliband is not being honest about the debt. Labour have repeatedly said that paying down the deficit is important. Just look at some of the earlier answers on the thread - I quote from
Mr Miliband today 'If we were in government, we would have made cuts too because paying down the deficit matters massively.' How is that deficit denial?!

It seems to me that Labour are simply focussing on developing growth in order to tackle the deficit rather than just austerity measures which seems to be the current govts plans.

MrsChristmasDB Thu 01-Dec-11 15:04:49

Joke, Kate. grin

I am sure he will be joining us, and voicing his support !

oh and please pass on how utterly disgusted we are at spending £37k on a bloody portrait let alone the idea of paying millions for gove's ego trip giving autographed bibles out to school kids. what the actual f is that?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:05:17

Glitterknickaz

I would like to ask why despite requests there hasn't been representation for people with disabilities who are going to be
hit hardest by the Welfare Reform Bill. This applies to working age people and children. Is he aware of the impact the cuts to Universal Credit is going to have on my family as despite needing constant supervision two of my three disabled children don't qualify for the highest rate of DLA so we'll lose £200 a month.

Carers save this country £18 billion a year and what little we have to live on is being further eroded when the cost of everything is rising. Will you help us?

Points taken. Will make sure we take up the first issue, which I think we have already raised. I agree with you on the work done by carers, and the way in which they aren't properly recognised....

kate you're just saying that because you're holding out some hope that the liberals can come back from this utter betrayal. i dont' think they can.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 15:06:09

Yes the Michael Gove Bible!

Staggering arrogance.

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 15:06:37

Don't start talking about Michael Gove! [spits]

I do see your point swallowedAfly and agree that I would also like to see the tories gone. I just don't necessarily want to vote for a party who could be doing more now to stop things before they get even worse and who would rest on their laurels expecting an easy ride. I want to vote for a party I believe in.
smile

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 15:07:30

BIWI,quite right!

lubeybaublely Thu 01-Dec-11 15:07:37

Thanks again Ed, just realised I forgot these thanks

HugosGoatee Thu 01-Dec-11 15:07:50

Can I echo what SwallowedaFly said about Bibles for schools? As a teacher and head of department with a budget cut in half, it's literally like Gove is laughing at us.

well you've got two choices littlewhitewolf - which seems the lesser evil? of course they need to get better but given the alternative.....

i'll go with not throwing disabled mothers out on the street.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:08:17

Noodlemacdoodle

I'd like to know whther Ed could take up the cause of pediatric cancer care. One child in 750 is diagnosed with cancer, and treatment involves life changing side effects including: learning disabilities, nerve damage, permanent baldness, infertility, mobility problems... to name a few. Despite this horrendous treatement, survival rates are regrettably low. If this was his child, would it be good enough? In this time of auterity measures, does it make sense to create disabled children, to create a drain on teaching resources (as one local headteacher kindly put it to me).

We have, despite the cuts etc, blah blah, a world leading health system, something to be proud of (on the whole). What would Ed do to focus this great resource on improving treatment and cure rates? A clue: Only 3% of cancer research funding is spent on ALL types of pediatric cancers, including solid and blood cancers. How could he change this?

And if he's not willing to... what can I do?

This is a really important question. I have a friend whose child has had cancer in the last year and I know from a distance what a trauma it is. I can only imagine what it would be like to be in that position with my kids. I didn't know how little was spent and again will look into it....

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 15:08:29

I'm saying that because it's true. Floating voters are the majority and win and lose elections. It doesn't matter what your traditional political association to feel something is very wrong.

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 15:08:53

Also want to register my disgust at the whole bible thing. Is Gove a total narcissist?

Thanks for answering my question upthread, Ed.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:10:08

reelingintheyears

Ask him about Justine Justine,is she an MNer?

Is she here now?

Justine at work. Not a regular MNer but really it's between her and her computer....

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 15:10:41

I second what KateMiddIeton just said.

Echoes Hugo et al

I'm a HOD for RE and I find Gove's arrogance staggering as regards the Bibles for schools.

sorry i was just messing kate. you are absolutely right of course.

reelingintheyears Thu 01-Dec-11 15:11:13

So she is an MNer then..grin

northeastofeden - it is all very well to say 'yes we would have made cuts too', but Labour never say what they would have cut. Everything that is being cut they say 'the government is wrong', which leads you to think they wouldn't cut anything.

I genuinely cannot see why, in 18 months of Opposition, Ed and his shadow cabinet have not been able to put a credible program together of where they think the cuts should have taken place, along with some figures of how they would have funded the areas they wouldn't cut.

SaF - I wasn't rude, I just disagreed.

lookoveryourshoulder Thu 01-Dec-11 15:12:42

.... pretty please (and sorry to repeat myself) but where can I find out what Labour Policies are - preferably online . thank you...

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 15:12:46

Bible and portrait both disgusting, I agree, what a waste of money.

I am off now, but thanks once again to Ed, I think you have come across really well.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:12:47

HuntyCat

What do you think about the fact that some of the poorest families in Britain are going to be faced with stark choices next year when the Tax Credits cuts start to bite? I personally will have to make a choice between only putting half a week's electric on the meter, or not buying ANY food for my family for one day a week - that is the difference that uprating TC's at LESS than the CPI will make. There IS no wriggle room in my budget, and nowhere else to cut costs except on essential utilities or food.

Do you plan to try to get the current Government to uprate Tax Credits in line with the CPI as promised or not?

One of the most disgraceful things the government has done is to cut tax credits this week. one billion pounds taken away from poorest families and research we are releasing today shows that 77% of the tax rises and cuts announced on Tuesday fall on women and only 23% on men.So much for the government understanding lives and needs of women. And by the way, they have delayed tax on private jets so there can be smooth transition!

no you accused someone of being sexist and patronising on the basis of their punctuation. that's not disagreeing so much as.... meh. whatever. talking to tories gives me headaches.

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 15:13:05

I agree with Kate - #frothers must be apolitical because there must be high numbers of ConDem supporters who are also beginning to froth and we need to get them on board, as well.

[disclaimer - definitely not a ConDem myself...]

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 15:13:13

That'll be a yes then...

And on to getting Britain working - 100% tax deductible childcare (?)

BCCubitt Thu 01-Dec-11 15:14:17

You say you are for spending £900m on HS2 in this parliament, £34bn in total, yet then you say "One of the most disgraceful things the government has done is to cut tax credits this week. one billion pounds taken away from poorest families". Where will the money come from for HS2?

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:14:18

lookoveryourshoulder

.... pretty please (and sorry to repeat myself) but where can I find out what Labour Policies are - preferably online . thank you...

labour.org.uk

sandysmum Thu 01-Dec-11 15:15:32

hello
again, Mr Milliband! After your point to Iggly re the lady earning £1100 per month , I am going to bite the bullet !!! My husband pays himself £800 per month - £120 which goes on a pension - we do not receive tax credits as he is self employed so his profit share is seen as his income. However he need this £ to feed cattle, sheep and fuel his guzzling tractors. He has to various tasks set by a myriad of govt agencies(created by your last govt!). And he will be trying to do a very physical job until he is nearly 70. Have you tried rolling out a one tonne straw bale at your age - exhausting at 30 something.

What can you do to help farmers -Labour never seems tohave an interest in agriculture???

Please answer my question

HugosGoatee Thu 01-Dec-11 15:16:04

Eh? How can you agree with Afghanistan?

Feels like a macho thing, that if you don't support wars you're not viable to run a country. Very American.

aargh!! going to be late for school. just in case anyone else has missed this fact - SCHOOL! luckily only 5mins away. thank you ed and well done for getting through so many q's. good luck and do try and answer the q about how to get into politics for us less conventional types smile

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:17:00

sandysmum

hello
again, Mr Milliband! After your point to Iggly re the lady earning £1100 per month , I am going to bite the bullet !!! My husband pays himself £800 per month - £120 which goes on a pension - we do not receive tax credits as he is self employed so his profit share is seen as his income. However he need this £ to feed cattle, sheep and fuel his guzzling tractors. He has to various tasks set by a myriad of govt agencies(created by your last govt!). And he will be trying to do a very physical job until he is nearly 70. Have you tried rolling out a one tonne straw bale at your age - exhausting at 30 something.

What can you do to help farmers -Labour never seems tohave an interest in agriculture???

Please answer my question

I understand the difficulties that farmers have been through. And indeed how difficult it is for anyone self-employed to get a decent pension. That needs to be addressed but levelling down the public sector pension in the way the government is doing is a bad answer.....

northeastofeden Thu 01-Dec-11 15:17:57

Sorry alibaba I just saw your comment - that is a fair point, and I agree that Labour need to get a bit less woolly on lots of things. My original comment was in relation to kettlecrisps effectively saying that Labour were acting as though the deficit didn't exist - which is untrue.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 15:18:35

AS it's slowing down now, Ed could you please look at the question about the CSA upthread?

I'd love to hear your take on Firefly2's question.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 15:19:13

Yes that is an awesome question about CSA.

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:20:11

swallowedAfly

aargh!! going to be late for school. just in case anyone else has missed this fact - SCHOOL! luckily only 5mins away. thank you ed and well done for getting through so many q's. good luck and do try and answer the q about how to get into politics for us less conventional types smile

Thanks. Haven't seen the question. Best to join the labour party and become a councillor.....

Bucharest Thu 01-Dec-11 15:20:27

<decides not to be polite and patient next time there is a webchat but just jump in and shout "me me mine mine, answer mine">

And I am one of the 2 (AFAIK) people on this thread who voted for you. <sulks> (was it me mentioning Ann Widdecomb that put you off? Are you scrubbing your eyes with a brillo pad?)

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:21:02

LindsayWagner

Hello Ed, thanks for coming back!

Are you supporting the Mumsnet's Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care? I know as Leader of the Opposition you can't sign EDMs - but is there anything else you can do to help get the Miscarriage Code of Care implemented nationally?

Am very supportive of the campaign.

MincePieFlavouredVoidka Thu 01-Dec-11 15:21:33

Thank you for answering one of the many questions about disabled children and their carers. There are alot of us out there that are very worried.

BIWI Thu 01-Dec-11 15:21:37

... and I'm the other one, Bucharest!

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:21:56

JanetNaylor

Hello Mr Miliband.
Bankers Bonus Tax.
What would be the tenth spending commitment for this and how much would it be for?

Our bankers' bonus tax would be used to fund 100,000 jobs for young people and build 25,000 more affordable homes. That's a good policy - in contrast to what this government is doing in giving the banks a tax cut this year while piling on the bills for everyone else.

JaxV Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:01

I have to go now but thanks. Still not convinced Labour have any real answers and i'm quite disapointed about your stance on Afghanistan - do you get handed the information you base your opinion on or have you done your own research? If the former, I suggest you do the legwork and think for yourself instead of being told what to think.

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:06

Chance of being elected a labour councillor where I live (London Borough of Richmond) as a labour candidate about 0. Is yellow and blue all the way here. Currently rather blue. Pun intended.

sandysmum Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:35

Thank you very much for your answer, much appreciated.
However I think public pensions will still be far more generous than a private pension - as most disappeared in value with recession! Asking us to help fund theirs seems a little galling.

P.S. maybe you could get out of the City and see how farmers and other rural people are struggling with making a living in the recession too ? grin
We can vote too!

MincePieFlavouredVoidka Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:40

Bucharest - I think I make 3!

EdMiliband Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:51

Thanks everyone. Have to go but will do this again soon. Ed

lookoveryourshoulder Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:51

... really ? I have checked there first before I asked my question - it tells me how I can be a member, volunteer, support, donate and a brief section on "Who we are"... and the "shop"... Various other sections detail the Party and structure, history and achievements etc etc

...but I can't find anywhere on there what Labour's current policies are ... maybe I am looking in the wrong place..

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 15:22:53

I've just called the CSA actually to chase up my claim. The arrears have to reach £500.00 before they can start court proceedings (or 13 weeks of non payment)

Good job I don't rely on the paltry £40 / week which the father of my children is meant to pay or I would be in serious financial trouble.

Something really needs to be done about this. Honestly.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 15:23:54

whoops. Too late now I guess.

Keep meaning to start a bloody caMPAIGN THREAD ON IT ACTUALLY.

<SIGH>

LadyMontdore Thu 01-Dec-11 15:24:36

What does 'funding jobs for young people' actually mean? Are you going to pay them to dig holes or something?

Won't the bankers just go elsewhere if you tax them more? Seems a bit unkind when you were so happy to encourge them so much not so long ago!

KateMiddIeton Thu 01-Dec-11 15:24:38

Thank you for answering the questions you have Ed. I am conscious I have monopolised much of your time.

Would you please send answers to the questions you didn't get round to direct to MNHQ to add to the thread please?

thanks

Bucharest Thu 01-Dec-11 15:24:51

Oh 3 with Mincepie!

<and still, I get ignored>

grin

Ne'mind. I still believe. <mantra>

Could you do it now, while its fresh in your mind Felicity? It sounds utterly dire. sad

Thats a good idea KateM. Seconded.

caramelwaffle Thu 01-Dec-11 15:26:00

I think you should re read All the questions that have been put to you and make a stab at answering them - here - at a later date.

Goodbye and have good Christmas.

FelicityNavidad Thu 01-Dec-11 15:26:34

LWW - think I will.

Bucharest Thu 01-Dec-11 15:26:57

Thirded!

woollyideas Thu 01-Dec-11 15:27:14

Won't the bankers just go elsewhere if you tax them more? Seems a bit unkind when you were so happy to encourge them so much not so long ago!

Poor little bankers. Might someone be unkind to them? My heart bleeds for the fuckers