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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Labour struggle on the economy

After Labour's policy chief, Jon Cruddas displayed a barely-literate understanding of the economy and taxation policy on last night's Newsnight, Ed Miliband must be hoping that his big speech on the economy today will help to turn the tide in his party's favour on the key issue of economic-competence.

According to the Telegraph the first people the Labour leader needs to convince are senior members of his own party. The paper says that a significant number of the his front-bench team are demanding a tougher line to convince voters that the party can be trusted with the public finances again:

One senior party source told The Daily Telegraph: “We have got a big credibility issue. We have to show what we would cut now and we haven’t.”

“If the economy starts to recover, the Tories can say, ‘there is a bit more pain, stick with us

“There is a significant body of opinion inside the shadow cabinet which thinks the only way to get credibility is to sign up to the Tories’ spending plans.”

Other shadow cabinet sources privately concede that the party has failed to convince the public that it has a credible economic plan and must do more to reassure voters.

In the past two weeks, a succession of senior Labour figures including Tony Blair and the former Cabinet minister, Alan Johnson, have warned that the party must produce more policies urgently.

Mr Blair said Mr Miliband faced a significant challenge to translate his vision into practical plans but must do so within months.

Despite all this today's speech will contain no new policy initiatives. No wonder the brothers and sisters are restless.
The Yougov poll doesn't suggest that they should be that worried to be honest. They are miles ahead, although mostly due to Tory incompetence than their own efforts.

In fairness to the Lib Dems, they're not doing too badly in the latest poll either.
Labour do not have the inkling to engage the most thoughtful centrist hobbling economists out their or any lefty-middle businessmen, they will leave it to the politicians with only a smattering of what they are talking about
Desperate stuff Peter. Good speech today from Ed Miliband and there will be more policies to come. UK Labour is definitely moving in the right direction. Jon Cruddas is one of the few politicians in the UK who is interesting and is prepared to think outside the box. A bit like Cable until he decided to join Clegg and the Speedster in a dance of death with the Eton Taliban.Cruddas is just the sort of politician on the Left who pre the 2010 suicide pact many Liberal Democrats would find common ground with. Just as in the 1930s Liberal Democrats need to start thinking where they really stand on the political spectrum. You can either become National Liberal Democrats and eventually like Selwyn Lloyd become fully signed up members of the Tory party or you can regain some radicalism and return to the Left. At the moment you are struggling on everything and are likely to suffer the same fate as the Liberal Party after the collapse of the Lloyd George Coalition in 1922.
"... and there will be more policies to come (from UK Labour)"

I'm inclined to agree with Jeff Jones - seems I have thrown my hand in with UK Labour (of which I was a member for some years); I now write for Labour Finance & Industry Group (LFIG) - interpretation: I have given up on the Tory/Lib Dem coalition. Given up because this coalition is relying on old ideas instead of developing new ideas to fix the economy. LFIG (affiliated with the UK Labour Party) is coming up with the ideas and policy suggestions to get the UK back on track competing with China et al.
Christopher Wood
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