Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not-So-Red Ed - cross post from Vicky

Cross posted :

Last week, everyone had gone gooey for Diane Abbott. On Saturday, when it emerged that Abbott had failed to electrify trades union voters, the left placed its hope and aspirations on someone else’s shoulders. “Ed Miliband’s victory can open a gap”, said Socialist Worker, without elaborating further. “This is a change in the situation socialists can capitalise on,” argued Workers Power, after making noises about a return to old Labour. The Communist Party of Britain went even further, helpfully produced a “ten-point programme for Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet” that bears a remarkable resemblance to their beloved People’s Charter.

The centre ground has certainly shifted- but not to the left, like half of the press would have you think. There’s no greater evidence of this shift than the reaction to the election of Ed Miliband, Red Ed.

The only thing about the nickname that works is the rhyme.

Post-victory Ed Miliband himself could barely contain himself as he rushed to declare that there would be no “lurch to the left”. Well, of course not. A man on a leftward trajectory would not have received juicy campaign donations from Lawrence Staden, a multimillionaire hedge fund owner, who made millions in profit from the recession.

In his first article as Labour Leader – published in The Torygraph - Ed declares that his “aim is to show that our party is on the side of the squeezed middle in our country and everyone who has worked hard and wants to get on.” The squeezed middle? Try being part of that rather more squeezed socio-economic group right at the bottom of the ladder.

Ed Miliband is not left-wing. He’s the continuity candidate. Not a Blairite, certainly, but he did write the last Labour manifesto. Radical document it wasn’t. On Question Time, Miliband told a London fire fighter that she didn’t have the right to strike, despite being threatened with the sack if she didn’t back a contract change that will knock hours off the night shift, leaving the capital city vulnerable.

Today, Ed Miliband once again came out against the Unions, announcing that “The public won’t support [strikes]. I won’t support them and you shouldn’t support them either.”

Miliband voted for the anti-terrorism laws that undermine the civil liberties of us all. He voted for ID cards. He didn’t oppose the Iraq war at the time but he did oppose an investigation into its legality.

Even worse, Miliband’s sense of “justice” keeps being attributed to Marxist parent, Ralph Miliband. Really, stop blaming poor Ralph for his son.

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