Wednesday 3 October 2012

Ed Milliband - An empty Prime Minister to be

At least we know now, Ed Milliband knows absolutely nothing about economics. So little that in his most heralded ever speech, he managed just 30 seconds on the economy.

Compared to over an hour of hand-wringing, lefty whining about how the world is not a very good place and would all be better if we were just a bit nastier to the rich and nicer to the poor.  Apparently this follows in the footsteps of Disraeli or some such.

I have been unable to listen to the whole speech in full, given more pressing commitments. On balance it is quite worrying. Labour are likely, barring some large external event, to romp home to an election victory and Ed Milliband will be Prime Minister. To have such a political wonk, with no real experience of running anything, real people or an understanding of how the world works rather than how a wonk thinks the world may work, is pretty worrying.

With the Lib Dems having shaved 10% off their vote the majority of these votes are going to go to Labour if anywhere. So Labour will beat its 29% of the last election and reach more like 35% at worst. So level pegging with the Tories, who seems unlikely to increase their vote and may indeed lose some to UKIP.

Level even being a couple of % behind the Tories will make Labour easily the largest party and Ed Milliband Prime Minister. How Labour fail to get 35% of the vote is beyond me. A lack of Constituency Boundary reform, as Nick Drew wrote here, has sunk the Tories for a generation.

So what Ed Milliband says is of real importance and yet what he actually says turns out to be of no interest or meaning. No policies except further attacks on the Banks (which are OK as things go and are in reality quite small moves from where things will end up under Vickers) and a promise to soak the rich with higher taxes of an undefined nature.

What about the Deficit? What about the National debt? How do we cope with the continuing huge influx of immigrants? How will we keep paying for the NHS? What about really reforming education? What about Trident? What about independence for Scotland?

The list goes on, nothing about any major policy decision. The obvious answer to this to say why give hostages to fortune so far out from an election - my conclusion however is that they don;t have any answers. Just like they didn't last time - spray money around and hope that keeps enough people happy to vote for us. Another dose of this is not going to do the UK any good.


roym said...

'To have such a political wonk, with no real experience of running anything, real people or an understanding of how the world works rather than how a wonk thinks the world may work'

equally, you could be talking about the current administration!

to be fair to EdM i think he did mouth some stronger together platitudes re scotland

there is a clear issue that our current generation of politicians simply do not have the inclination to think strategically for the good of the UK. to whit, this morning's revelations on train franchises and the way the DfT is not taken seriously by ministers. of course energy is extensively covered here. Is anyone keeping count of u-turns that have arisen to date due to lack of thinking things through?

Bill Quango MP said...

Today's train shambles does rather make one think of the Major-Blair battle.
The public had a deep, deep distrust of the high taxing, high spending and utterly union dominated Labour party.

But Major had made so many cock ups, had offered so very little, that even his government's relative economic competence wasn't enough to save him from an embarrassing and heavy defeat.

Miliband is looking like the next PM, even if just on the maths. And like Blair he's going to be so nervous of not having enough votes he'll offer pacts and deals to every fringe group in the land, until he realises he won't need them after all. But it will mean a really bizzare set of manifesto commitments for his first term.

And he will get two terms. Because if we haven't any growth by 2015 then we'd have been in the worst recession in recorded history.

CityUnslicker said...

ROYM - there is a decent elite-led consipracy to prevent anyone of experience getting near politics now. I voted David Davis in 2005 for Tory leader, he would have been much the better now.

Noticeably none of the main rivals to Ed or Dave have any background at all and the rising stars are as bad or worse. Complete fakes like Chuka etc.

BQ - We are pretty much nailed on for 10 years of pain at least, so thatis to 2018 - but your right, that leaves a window for the economy to turn itself and Labour to claim the credit. Who would have thought 2 terms of Red Ed?

Jan said...

In reality does it make any difference who the PM is or even which party is in power when their hands are tied by vested interests and the Civil Service?

hatfield girl said...

The speech is empty because it doesn't deal with Europe.

Renegotiation can only be undertaken by leaving first; there is no Treaty provision (pace my view that the Treaties provide for almost anything) for recasting relations with Europe from within the EU.

Any UK political party not, as a central and priority policy, discussing an exit route for the UK from the EU is collaborating in advancing its own irrelevance.

CityUnslicker said...

I think it does Jan. Shoolz 'hospitals not so much - general taxation very much so. appealing to the client state is the central plank of both parties - with Labour in power that is large-scale redistribution efforts from away from the middle class.

andrew said...

This makes us sound depressingly like Japan.
The real difference between what the Tories are doing and Labour say they will looks to be getting close to a rounding error on the big issues.
At that point voters will gravitate to someone - anyone who can persuade us iti s someone else's fault and point a way forward.
I predict the rise of UKIP in terms of %, but not seats (safe bet)
I also predict a lot of conservative candidates coming up with a curiously consistent form of words on europe in their personal statements, at which point, curiously, UKIP will not stand against them. (not such a safe bet)

Changing the subject, now we know the real reason why they shuffled the Transport Minister.

Demetrius said...

My I protest about using Wallace in your post. He is a giant of intellect and a man of rare administrative talent compared to Ed. Ask Ed's wife.

measured said...


Ed is memo man too apparently. Admittedly Wallace has more important things to write about, like cheese, as opposed to being cheesy.

Electro-Kevin said...

The BBC give them an easy ride. Ed Balls makes me want to vomit. How is he allowed to get away with what he did ?

rwendland said...

Re trains fiasco: to be fair to Justine Greening, it wasn't she who recently changed the franchise system. It was Philip Hammond who announced it, but I think it was dreamed up by someone else (anyone know who?) while in opposition (like the NHS changes).

The new scheme gets rid of the previous "Cap and Collar system" which provided for risk-sharing with government regarding future demand, and creates a scheme where the new operator is exposed to far more risk in guess-timating future demand. Over 15 years the risk is pretty much putting the whole company on the line, so luckily they have an option to walk away from the contract if they want to. It is intended to provide greater incentives for cost reduction by operators. But I struggle to see that it is a better idea - seems closer to gambling than the previous scheme, which must put up the cost of any capital they need.

Anonymous said...

Agree with EK re Balls.
But seriously who the hell gives a damn what Ed M says ? In fact I can't be bothered to go......

rwendland said...

... NB it was Theresa Villiers who formulated the new train franchise system, which makes sense as she was Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from 2007, then Minister of State for Transport until a month ago. Strange that, leaving a long-running job a few weeks ahead of the shit hitting the fan!

Elby the Beserk said...

No boundary changes - and NO answer to the West Lothian question. Meaning we will once again be held to ransom by a bunch of bastards who already have their own parliament.