An ironic gift to Miliband from some of his opponents

Ed MilibandAmongst the political obstacles between Ed Miliband and No. 10 Downing Street are a closely entwined pair related to deficits: how much control over him is wielded by the trade union bosses* and does he have a credible alternative to the government’s economic policies?

Labour has often been very coy about quite what it would cut and how much it would cut. Ed Miliband’s speech at the anti-austerity protest march today did not shed light on matters.

However, rather than that being a problem to him, his political opponents to his left have kindly helped out.

Those who dislike even his vague and tepid comments about some cuts being necessary – and so had decided well in advance of hearing the first words of his speech that they would boo him – have ironically done him a favour.

After all, what a handy way to look like someone who is willing to take tough financial choices by being up on stage, booed for having dared say you wouldn’t oppose all cuts. How generous of his left-wing critics to help out in this.


* I pick the word advisedly, because as with other organisations and even firms, those in charge at the top do not always represent the views and attitudes of those elsewhere through the organisation. The executive committees of trade unions, for example, contain far more people who voted Labour in 2010 than they would if they reflected the voting patterns of their own union members. Moreover, the decisions on how much to donate to Labour, when and with what strings attached are not made by the membership at large of trade unions.

* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Disagree.

    The fact that he is speaking there reminds people he is alligned to the unions. Getting booed just make him look clueless.

  • I thought anyone else had “a credible alternative ” to the Government’s economic policies?

  • Miliband’s social awkwardness belies his intelligence. He knew he was going to get booed and that it would help him by showing that he’s prepared to take the flak from the extremists, at the same time as differentiating himself from the coalition by turning up to the event. Elections are won in the centre ground, as the Lib Dems will learn from their ill-fated right-wing coalition.

  • Bob – I agree, but Miliband ain’t on it.

  • Slight correction, Elections are won by those who appear to be on the centre ground…..
    Otherwise Blair would never have won 3….

  • Bob, the coalition ain’t over yet..!

  • I’m struck by the reduction in the numbers of people who’re attending anti-cuts marches now compared to when they began.

    My view is that like ’em or loathe ’em, the public is gradually facing up to the reality of current government spending policy and any anti-coalition momentum is dissipating as Labour MPs wake up to the real possibilities of future coalitions.

    In this light Miliband looks like nothing more than a bandwagon-jumper (ahem, ambulance chaser), leaping on at the tail end to tell the unions its already over like an usher before the intermission.

    That’s not exactly leadership, it’s more like defeatism.

    No longer anti-cuts (just anti- these cuts), no longer anti-coalition (just anti- this coalition) he’s completely reversed on his two single identifiable positions – what does Ed Miliband stand for?

    Who will be Labour’s prime ministerial candidate at the next General Election?

  • I like Ed Miliband.

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