Opinion: Ed Miliband is out of touch

On Monday, Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition, launched the Labour Party’s local election campaign.

Ed proclaimed that the government is “out of touch”, and challenged us on growth, fairer taxes and a stronger society.

On growth, he claimed that we need to deal with the deficit otherwise we won’t have growth in the future.

On fairer taxes, Ed said we “are raising taxes for pensioners but cutting them for millionaires”.

Actually, this month has seen the personal tax allowance for pensioners increase, and from next year they are frozen until the personal tax allowance catches up. Or does Ed believe that pensioners should get a bigger tax break than working people?

 A stronger society can only be achieved by local people and government, local and national, working together. That is something that the Labour party seems to be incapable of doing. Instead, Labour wants to tell local people what they can and cannot do.

Ed calls this government out of touch; this is coming from a man who thinks being in touch means a photo opportunity in Greggs.

On policy, Ed showed it was the same old authoritarian Labour. Instead of finding innovative ways to solve the roots of the problem, he simply wants to tell companies how to run their business.

On jobs, Ed said that if he was Prime Minister he would guarantee jobs for young people. How out of touch with reality can you be? Nobody can guarantee jobs unless Ed thinks that jobs grows on trees.

On crime, Ed talked about restorative justice, which is something that Brian Paddick has been campaigning on in London with the fantastic “You break it, You fix it” posters. Last September, Nick Clegg told conference in Birmingham:

“So we have to push ahead with the Government’s rehabilitation revolution: Punishment that sticks, that changes behaviour. An end to the corrosive cycle of crime. And I want the criminal to look their victims in the eye to see the consequences of their actions, and to put it right. That’s why there will be community payback projects in every city affected. Why we are investing in drug recovery wings in our prisons. Tackling gang culture. Tougher community penalties. Effective justice. Restorative justice. Liberal justice.”

The Labour party and Ed Miliband are either in fantasyland or they are nicking Liberal Democrat ideas.

Labour is the party that ran out of money in government, and in opposition ran out of ideas. What’s worse is that they are incapable of being innovative, so are incapable of getting us out of the hole that they helped to create.

* Nicola Prigg is a member from Ayrshire and Arran who is standing for Ayr West in South Ayrshire in May. She blogs at priggy.wordpress.com

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Richard Dean 5th Apr '12 - 10:15am

    Our own leader needs a boost in the popularity ratings – only 5% think he would be a good PM according to the latest YouGov poll.

  • SURESH CHAUHAN 5th Apr '12 - 2:05pm

    I suggest you study some basic facts.

    The Coalition governments reduction of the higher tax rate, from 50% to 45%, will benefit about 350000 rich individuals to the tune of about £11,100 each,per year or £213 per week . The annual cost to the revenue will be about £3.9Billions

    The freezing of retired peoples allowance, glibly described as a ‘simplification’ move will cost millions of poor retired people £83 per year, or £1.60 per week. This is after taking into account the benefit of increased personal allowance that Nicola is talking about.

    Give such stark contrasting figures, to pontificate about the adequacy or otherwise of Ed Milliband seems rather childish. One should , instead the characteristics and suitability of the likes of Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander. Were they not supposed to be memebers of the Lib Dem party?

  • Hi Nicola. I write with the forthcoming local elections in mind. I live in a part of the country where Labour do not stand a cat in hells chance of returning a candidate and in any event I have always voted LibDem. I will not do so this time. You see for me personally your polemic against Miliband and Labour misses the point. I simply do not trust you or the party to do what you say you will do. It now seems to me that a LibDem vote is a vote for the Tory party. I know there’s the blah blah about moderating the exceses of conservative policies but these policies wouldn’t be a reality without LibDem support e.g. the NHS. I would ordinarily wish you well on the doorsteps over the coming weeks but more practically let me wish you well on your having more cogent reflections come the May results.

  • Stuart Mitchell 5th Apr '12 - 7:15pm

    Nicola, many of your criticisms of Miliband are fair.

    However, I would say this. Tomorrow, tens of thousands of the poorest families in Britain will lose nearly £4,000 per annum thanks to the changes in Working Families Tax Credit. Which is the only party in the UK speaking up for these people? Labour. The Lib Dems don’t give a monkeys.

    Contrast this with the recent tempering of the child benefit changes. Faced with the prospect of people on £45,000 suddenly losing their child benefit, Nick Clegg talked of a “cliff edge” and declared that Something Must Be Done. The people who will be hit tomorrow are facing a much steeper cliff edge, but who in the Lib Dems speaks for them?

    I’m afraid the only conclusion I can draw from that is that Lib Dems are terribly concerned about people who earn £45,000 but don’t care a jot about a woman who works 20 hours a week in a supermarket (like the mother of 5 featured on the BBC news tonight). And it’s because of that that Miliband is entitled to say some of the things you refer to.

  • Dear Ms Prigg,

    I’m not trying to be rude, but that article is really very poor. It is devoid of facts and coherent argument .

    Just look at today’s headlines “Poorer families face £3,000 tax bombshell” (Independent) and then consider the tax reduction for the rich and also the Coalition’s dismal record on unemployment, growth and deficit reduction.

    But whats at the top of dear Nicks priorities? Lords Reform!

    Now who’s out of touch?

  • Jayne Mansfield 5th Apr '12 - 11:02pm

    It must be galling when one lives in a constituency where labour increased their of vote in 2010 , but if this article is an example of Liberal Democrat thinking and reasoning, the return of a Labour MP is hardly surprising.

    Instead of jumping on the populist ‘Ed Miliband is a loser’ bandwagon, perhaps Miss Prigg should reflect on the reality of the damage that Con Dem Policies are causing to millions of vulnerable people.

    I voted for Lib Dems at the last election . For may own part, I must now reflect and live with that.

    One thing is for sure, there aint going to be a ‘Vote Lib Dem’, Poster in my window any more.

  • @Stuart: quite, And what is more, the LD front bench have been shouting regularly about the increase in personal allowances which again are all very well for those who reach the required level, but no help at all for those who face the most intense hardship – the part-timers on poor wages, the disabled, the jobless (and the forthcoming austerity cuts will create plenty of them). I never imagined I would have been part of a party that seems so unaware of its part in chopping the bottom rung off the ladder.

  • Richard Dean 6th Apr '12 - 12:47am

    @Stuart. Quite right. The changes that further impoverish the poorest seem to be truly astonishing. How can anyone accept this idiocy? Are there compensating changes? – not according to today’s News programmes. Where is Shirley Williams on ths one? Look for more George Galloways in future.

  • …………………………Tackling gang culture. Tougher community penalties. Effective justice. Restorative justice. Liberal justice.”…………….
    Such statements have been part of EVERY party’s promises for ‘yonks’. Tony Blair made a similar pledge in 2005 and again in 2007 (I’m sure, if I look, I’ll find he said the same thing in 1997)….Everyone promises it and, because of its complexity, no-one solves it.
    However, please write another thread when you do.

    does it;tme nae

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