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Thoughts on Red Ed's relaunch

(66 Posts)
longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 17:06:41

As far as I can tell, he still has absolutely no theme - or vision of what Labour can achieve in a time when there is no money for more public spending.

I understand that he can't detail policy - after all, he disagrees with half the PLP, including Alan Johnson, on policy, and less snarkily, it may be politically unwise to reveal his hand too soon anyway.

In my mind, his biggest problem is that he doesn't even seem to be able to articulate his values though. In the leadership election, it was pretty clear: he was quite a lot to the left of centre. Now, though, it is totally ambiguous. He knows that he has to tack to the centre for credibility, but doesn't, at a gut level, understand how. Like Gordon Brown, he just doesn't "get" why 35% of the population ( far more than just the toffs) votes Tory.

The bit where he was asked what the squeezed middle actually was on the Today programme was hilarious.

longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 17:44:22

And it's not just me, and other Tories, saying this.

The left-wing media seems to think so as well.

The Guardian called Labour irrelevant in one of their recent editorials. And the People says his "well-meaning waffle doesn't cut it". ds-well-meaning-waff.html

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 17:48:41

Oh, a Tory's views on Ed Miliband.

I'm sure he'll be really sweating tonight, desperately upset that you might not vote for him - as a self-described Tory. hmm

Should add that as an Old Labour supporter, I think he's back on the right track, and was reasonably impressed. Could do better, but to give the guy a chance, he's only just started.

Certainly seems to have started off from the right point to regain Labour's core vote, and more.

longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 17:57:11

granted You see, that's the problem.

It's easy for a Labour leader to appeal to people like you.

The point is, there aren't enough people like you around to win an election.

The same is also true in reverse: there aren't enough true-blue Tories out there to win an election.

Ed Miliband just doesn't instinctively understand the floating voters. The biggest weakness of David Cameron, for all his strengths and political skill, is that he might not either.

The only two Prime Ministers in living memory to "get" the floaters instinctively have been Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

huddspur Sat 27-Nov-10 18:15:11

I think a problem for Miliband was that he took two weeks off for the birth of his son (not blaming him for this, it was obviously the right thing to do) but it has meant that he hasn't had the big impact that a change of leader can have in first few weeks in the job.

The main thing I think he needs to do is sit down with Alan Johnson and discuss their economic policies because at the moment it seems that Miliband is saying one thing and Johnson is saying something totally different eg graduate tax/50% tax rate.

He needs to decide where he wants to take Labour does he want to carry on the New Labour project or does he want to return it to its left wing roots. I think it would be a mistake for Labour to return to the the left as it wouldn't appeal beyond its core vote and this wouldn't be enough to win an election I don't think.

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 18:19:29

On the contrary, the damage that the Tories are inflicting on our poor country means that an increasing number of floating voters will turn left instead of right next election. That's the downside of deliberately setting out to impoverish the middle classes, you see - you turn all those middle-classes voters' allegiances away from the Tory ideals of aspiration and instead ensure that they identify with the 'working' (in the sense of 'hard-working families) class in future.

The Tories' focus on benefitting the rich is rather a short-term strategy - it forgets that in a democracy the rich may have more money but don't actually have more votes. Or not yet, anyway. shock

Plus you forget that Lib Dem support (the home of the floating voter, no?) will be decimated come the next election thanks to their broken promises. Meaning an awful lot of spare soft-left votes knocking around, looking for a home.

Which is why Ed Miliband has enabled Labour to overtake the Tories in the polls recently.

No wondeer you're worried enough to start silly threads like this one! grin

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 18:20:13

That was in answer to LFN, by the way, not huddspur.

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 18:23:02

I think he's in a difficult position at the moment. He's yet to make much of an impact on the public. But is stating the Labour "got it wrong" in the last few years - which is appalling (they were Govt, not opposition!) and unwise rhetoric.

Unless/until he can come out with solid, costed policies he will continue to look weak. The somewhat tired attacks on "nasty Tories" - which seems to be their current monologue - just isn't up to the job.

He's still pretty new, though. But if he isn't making an impact by early next year, then I think he's in trouble.

longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 18:27:45


I think you have hit the nail on the head - Ed Miliband is more or less irrelevant. He has no control over whether he will win the next election or not. It will be decided on the economy, and nothing else. He isn't in control of his own destiny.

If he was better able to articulate his vision for the future of Britain, he might be able to shift things himself, but he just can't.

Ultimately, if the economy is seen as getting back on track at the next election, then the Tories (or possibly the coalition) will still be in power. If it all goes wrong, then Labour will get back in easily.

Everything else is flim-flam.

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 18:31:16

Well, that's just a truism, isn't it - parties don't win elections, govts lose them.

Applies to David Cameron at least as much as Ed Miliband.

In fact, rather more so - for Cameron to have failed to win an outright majority in spite of the state of the economy was really astonishingly poor.

longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 18:35:11

I am not sure I completely agree with that. It is certainly true, but it is not the whole story.

John Smith would have won handsomely in 1997 as well, but wouldn't have had the scale of Tony Blair's landslide, I think.

Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher did actively win elections, even if the other side contributed in both cases by being feeble.

longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 18:39:00

And I do think the Conservative election campaign was a bit rubbish.

Cameron wasn't much good in the first debate, got into unnecessary hot water amongst the Westminster media classes about Lord Ashcroft, and wobbled a bit on policy.

He seems to have been quite lucky though. He is a left-winger by Tory standards, and he has nicely marginalised the Tory right with Lib Dems.

A few fewer Lib Dem seats, or a few more Labour seats, or indeed, a few more Tory seats, and the coalition wouldn't look so natural. And he couldn't possibly have gone into coalition with Menzies Campbell or Charles Kennedy - but could do so quite naturally with Nick Clegg.

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 18:39:36

If you're as old as me, you'll remember that a key part of the 1997 New Labour manifesto was the pledge to adhere to Conservative spending plans for the first years. This pledge was required to reassure those voters who lived through the economic chaos of 1970s Labour. Brown made his name for "Prudence" by following the Conservative blueprint. It helped they'd inherited an economy in good shape.

It all went badly wrong in the later years - eg deficit budgets long before international problems.

The Labour party is not the natural place to look for good management of the economy. And it won't be until they demonstrate clear policies, and costings, rather than repetitively bleating that cuts are nasty. Indeed they are, but without an alternative (costed) agenda they are unlikely to be credible.

longfingernails Sat 27-Nov-10 18:39:49

And of course, the Tories were hoping for Ed Miliband to win the Labour contest.

Not as much as they wanted Diane Abbott or Ed Balls, mind you - but they definitely preferred EdM over DavidM.

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 18:46:15

Well, that's one thing I have in common with the Tories, then.

Can't think of anything else.

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 18:48:06

In fact, it's odd - I know I read that Labour members preferred David M - but literally everyone I know, all my contemporaries, prefer Ed.

I am not alone!

Why is that? Am I part of a particular demographic or something? Or who were all these people who didn't think David M looked really weird?

claig Sat 27-Nov-10 18:50:36

'The main thing I think he needs to do is sit down with Alan Johnson and discuss their economic policies'

That won't be a long discussion, as neither of them have any.

claig Sat 27-Nov-10 18:54:52

'In fact, it's odd - I know I read that Labour members preferred David M - but literally everyone I know, all my contemporaries, prefer Ed.'

It was the usual media spin, it didn't reflect the truth. It was the same spiel that the media used in the general election, where they convinced much of the public that Clegg was Batman's sidekick, the Boy Wonder.

granted Sat 27-Nov-10 19:02:34

Which media, and why?

With what agenda?

Thank goodness for the unions, is all I can say.

byrel Sat 27-Nov-10 19:08:08

I think its somewhat out of Milibands hands, the next election will come down to how the economy performs in the next few years. If it goes well that I think Labour can expect to be in opposition for quite a long time but if it doesn't then I think they'll be back in 5 years time with a fairly large majority.

claig Sat 27-Nov-10 19:10:16

all of the media. The Guardian recommended that its readers vote for Clegg. They were all playing the same tune. The agenda was to build Clegg up, so that the winner of the election would have to be a coalition, rather than just the Tories. This would give them a large base of support to push through the cuts that they are making.

The unions are a joke. Quite a few of their leaders seem to use their £100,000 salaries to top up their suntans, rather than help their members.

cikals Sat 27-Nov-10 19:12:45

The biggest thing Miliband needs to do is to carry on with New Labour and tell the union bosses such as Crow/McCluskey where to go. If Labour lurch to the left then they will be hammered at the next election.

claig Sat 27-Nov-10 19:20:33

I think Ed Miliband will only be the interim leader, a bit like Iain Duncan Smith was. The media, including the left wing media, will eventually turn on him, and they will bring back the chosen one, David Miliband.

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 19:29:15

I was wondering if he would be an IDS; or might it be more of a Michael Foot?

catinthehat2 Sat 27-Nov-10 19:35:07

"Which is why Ed Miliband has enabled Labour to overtake the Tories in the polls recently."

I think this happened when he was on leave, so not really an Ed controlled thing.

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