BBC News: “Defence Secretary Liam Fox, what are your thoughts of the leak of this letter, today?”
Liam Fox: “As a result of the terrible legacy left to us by Labour”.
What the hell? This has to be some sort of record. Usually it takes a Tory or Lib Dem, on average, about 2 minutes before they try to defend their ridiculous ideological cuts to public services, with the words “terrible legacy left by Labour”, however the Defence Secretary today not only managed it in less than two seconds, but also managed to fit it into an answer to a question that wasn’t actually asked. That’s almost impressive. I am going to start every answer now, with “due to the terrible legacy left by Labour”, even if it isn’t warranted. “Jamie, where are the car keys?” …. “Due to the horrendous legacy left by the Labour Government, I have put the keys on next to the phone.“
It was inevitable that the Conservative Party and it’s Right Winged friends in the Media would immediately begin to paint Ed Milliband Red the moment he won the Labour Leadership race. It is true, that Ed is further to the Left than his brother, and runner up to the Leadership, David Milliband, but Ed is certainly not far left unionist old Labour. Not by a long shot. Both have claimed in interviews very recently that they consider themselves socialists, but then defined what they believed socialism to mean, and both pointed out that the job of contemporary socialists is to admit that Capitalism is a fact of life now, and try to fill in the caps that capitalism leaves open to injustice and inequality.
I am waiting to see substance in the form of policy, from the new Labour leader, if he is going to win my vote in five years time. I would rather throw myself in front of a train than vote Conservative, and after the Lib Dems gave my vote to the Tories this year, even though my vote was an anti-Tory vote……. I wont be voting Liberal Democrat every again. As I suspect, a hell of a lot of others wont be voting Lib Dem again. They are a dead party, being propped up by the Tories. But in order for Labour to win back my vote, they have to really present a progressive alternative. I do think Ed is a better choice than David. David to me, whilst more charismatic than Ed, is too much of an extension of the Blair years. He represents the centre ground far more, and whilst Ed is certainly not some sort of Leninist as the Sun seems to be suggesting; he is a little more to the Left.
Their father is the ex Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband. Having a Marxist father would drive Americans insane with rage. Luckily, we’re not mad Americans, and we think far more rationally. My own political stance is far more in tune with Miliband Snr than both of his sons. As a boy, Ralph had stood at the grave of Karl Marx, in London, with his clenched fist raised, and vowed to fight for the rights of those less fortunate. Clearly living in a Marxist household, would have had profound affects on both Milibands, whom have since developed their own opinions. I cannot imagine their dad would have voted for either of them at the leadership election.
Ed’s speech was intriguing. I quite liked this:
Every day out of power, another day when this coalition can wreak damage on our communities, another day when we cannot change our country for the better.
And let us resolve today that this will be a one-term government.
The Conservatives (as pointed out in my previous blog) are winning the propaganda war because they have shaped the political discourse away from the fact that it was the private sector that caused the economic mess, and have somehow managed to blame the entire thing, on the Labour Government. The root causes of the Financial sector meltdown, can actually be traced back in a perfectly straight line….. to the last Tory government, curiously. This new Labour party needs to provide a different understanding of the problems, and bring the discourse away from the Right.
The Tories spent the last election campaign blaming Labour for not closing the roof when the sun was shining; in other words, not saving money when times were good.
This was a nice little addition:
The old way of thinking said that public services would always be second-class. But we defied the conventional wisdom.
I come from a generation that suffered school lessons in portacabins and crumbling hospitals. I tell you one thing, for the eighteen years they were in power the Tories did nothing to fix the roof when the sun was shining.
I had to disagree with Ed when he said:
This new generation that leads our party is humble about our past and idealistic about our future.
Firstly, both Miliband brothers had been in the previous Labour cabinet, and spent months sticking up for the way the Party was being run. Gordon Brown was the best man for the job, they both chanted constantly. My issue is, I consider myself an idealist. I was a Party of the left, to be run by thinkers and intellectuals, not the same old politicians we all despise. I don’t want a leader to simply be pandering to the popular opinion and conventional wisdom of the time. On immigration, I was a truly progressive politician who does not give in to the “I was born here don’t you know!!! Bloody pakis taking over!!” bigoted idiots, and then claim they aren’t bigots, just ordinary people worried about jobs. They are bigots. They are also only capable of responding to the conventional wisdom. The reality of migration, as I have said previously in blogs, is that it cannot be solved by closing Britain. The only way you fight immigration is firstly accepting that Britain’s colonial history has sent shockwaves through the centuries, that are still felt today throughout the Middle East and Africa. And secondly, accepting that Nation States and Capitalism are massively incompatible. And thirdly, you have to have a genuine commitment, internationally, to fight global poverty and inequality. Mexicans try for a better life by illegally crossing the border into America, because the balance of equality has tipped far away from them. Since the opening up of trade in Mexico, the Mexican class of poor has expanded, the Middle Class has contracted, and American business interests are flourishing. There are no health benefits, and no educational or societal benefits, and so the poor in Mexico are suffering. And then Americans wonder why they want to leave. They weren’t given any choice. It wasn’t a case of being freed. They have become trapped. And it is a similar story across the World. It is the root cause of mass migration. This is what needs to be conveyed to the public, if Labour want to be truly idealists and progressives.
I also liked this line, of Ed’s speech:
This generation wants to change our society so that it values community and family, not just work, because we understand there is more to life than the bottom line.
I have been waiting for a politician to point out that life is not just about what you do for work, for a very long time.
He then took a well deserved swipe at the Coalition’s debt reduction plans, with:
You see, it’s obvious really, when you cancel thousands of new school buildings at a stroke, it isn’t just bad for our kids, it’s bad for construction companies at a time when their order books are empty.
It’s not responsible, it’s irresponsible.
We must protect those on middle and low incomes. They did nothing to cause the crisis but are suffering the consequences.
I say the people who caused the crisis and can afford to do more should do more: with a higher bank levy allowing us to do more to protect the services and entitlements on which families depend.
He made a point, that struck a chord for me. Recently, my grandparents have become far less mobile. They are in the mid-80s, and they are in and out of hospital almost on a weekly basis. They cannot walk to the shop, and it’s a struggle for them to even wash their clothes. They have a new care worker, who spends most of the day washing for them, making sure they keep as mobile as they can, going to the supermarket for them, cleaning the house, cooking the food, she does absolutely everything, she’s on call at night. A real credit. People like her, are heroes in my estimation, and society should reward them. She is paid next to nothing. Miliband said:
What does it say about the values of our society, what have we become, that a banker can earn in a day what the care worker earns in a year? It is wrong.
If you’re a free market fundamentalist, it is perfectly fine that a banker or a businessman who spends most of the week playing golf, can earn in a day what a person who is actually providing a real social good, earns in a year. It is the height of human freedom apparently. If you are like me, you see something massively wrong and skewed in a system that allows that. And that is why you, like me, are not in the Conservative Party.
The Tories pointed out that Ed is only the leader now, because he received the backing from the Unions, and just how dangerous this is. They claim Ed Miliband must now be in the pockets of the Unions which apparently is a disaster. The media tends to agree. I wonder, why is it a disaster to have won the votes of the Unions, yet no one in the media bats an eyelid, at the fact that when David Cameron tried to argue the case for sudden and quick cuts, he presented a letter signed by a bunch of business leaders; one of whom was a man named Paul Walsh, owner of Diageo PLC, who according to a Guardian Report, have actively avoided tax for years. And a huge number of signitures on the list, including J Sainsbury, Philip Harris and Simon Wolfson, are all members of the Conservative Party! Why is that any different, or any better? why is a Country run in the interests of big business, based on long stressful soul destroying hours for fuck all pay, consider the height of a wondrous free society? Sir Peter Bonfield CBE, FREng, C.U.N.T of BT saw BT share price go from £14, to £5, under his control. He then left BT with over £6,000,000 whilst thousands of workers lost their jobs. Why are we listening to these people? The are the old, grey haired generation that has left my generation with no affordable homes, and a fucked climate. Thanks for that. I for one, am not going to pay attention to the old generation, for another second.
Finally, my favourite part of Ed Miliband’s speech, said like a true progressive:
Here is our generation’s paradox: the biggest ever consumers of goods and services, but a generation that yearns for the things that business cannot provide.
Time with your children.
Love and compassion.
Overall, I have quite high hopes for this new generation of Labour. Although something tells me they aren’t going to be all that different to the last lot.