Following on the theme of predictive accuracy here at roughsociety, it appears as though Ed Miliband has decided to follow his shadow chancellor’s lead by taking a populist and nonsensical centrist stance on yesterday’s nationwide strikes. Miliband chose to describe the actions of hundreds of thousands of public sector workers as ‘wrong’, as negotiations were ongoing between unions and the government.
Ed Miliband was elected to lead the Labour party by the unions. Despite having lost in terms of vote share across both MPs and party members they dragged him across the finishing line to provide a more left of centre leadership than there would have been under his brother. These latest comments, regarding the actions of public sector workers, would seem to indicate an apparent rejection of this position. In every single area of leadership, it appears as though he is weaker and less able than David Miliband. His one true hope was his ideological commitment to the left. Without this, he provides nothing for the party.
The electorate are also faced with a challenge. If Cameron continues to hammer home his message that Labour created this mess (as opposed to the selling of sub-prime mortgages in America, the bankers greed and the inherent inevitabilities in Capitalism) Miliband is going to struggle to win support. He is not providing an alternative, a very dangerous game to play a year into his leadership. As we have pointed out before, without a clear divide (and politics is division by definition) there is no difference between the three major parties. Labour must prove worthy of votes, instead of relying on their misplaced belief that people will flock to the party because of the cuts.
Continued denigration of the actions of the workers of this country will only end badly for Labour. They want to appear as moderate as possible to ensure they can appeal to middle England. However, we must remind ourselves that the situation we are in is broadly and generally speaking very unique to modern politics. Labour must ensure that this government is in place for as little time as possible and to do this requires decisive action, not the cowardly back turning occurring at the moment.