Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/761/16509
Ineffectual Ed visits South West
Chris Moore, Gloucestershire Socialist Party
Waiting for Labour leader Ed Miliband to arrive in Stroud as part of his whistle stop election tour of the South West, one person asked which direction he was coming. "Probably from the right," was one crowd member's reply. Miliband's High Street performance to a crowd of 100 was a classic example of appearance over substance.
Gloucester resident Sharon Hendry asked: "When are you going to do something for the poor and what about the bedroom tax?" Miliband ignored the first question, but said he would repeal the tax. He rightly said it was "unfair and unjustifiable" but recently Labour MP Helen Goodman made it clear that Labour are not against the bedroom tax in principle. Others from the crowd wanted to know if he would commit Labour councils to no evictions for rent arrears due to the tax, again silence.
Pensioner and TUSC candidate Claude Mickleson asked: "When are you going to ditch New Labour?"
"We're moving on," was the mysterious response.
Despite former prime minister Tony Blair's concerns that Labour is going too far to the left, Miliband supports Labour's conversion to a pro-big business party. He's made clear the savage Con-Dem cuts will not be reversed by a Labour government.
Miliband again spoke of his 'one nation' vision of Britain. It makes you feel he's on a different planet, when the UK's richest 1% are worth more than the bottom 50%.
One crowd member had a placard that read: 'I left the Labour Party over Workfare.' This referred to Labour MPs abstaining on the Con-Dems' 'emergency' legislation to stop compensation to 231,000 people who had their benefits illegally sanctioned.
Many workers are also concluding that Labour is just like the other parties. TUSC is standing five candidates in Gloucestershire as we strive to build an alternative to the cuts and privatisation policies of all the main parties.
In The Socialist 17 April 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party workplace feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news