With Miliband and Balls at the helm, and the Daily Mail waiting on the wings,the Labour party has changed, but, sadly, not in the way Miliband`s Marxist father would have liked; New Labour may be in a long overdue decline, but its replacement may as well be called the Lab-Lib Dem party!
The evidence for this is clear to see, starting with Miliband`s conference speech; despite Clegg having given him so many reasons in his speech the previous week to go on the offensive, with his spurious claims that he and his cronies, complicit in most things Cameron, had prevented the Tories from passing right-wing legislation, Miliband refused to take the bait. Instead, we hear of some centre-left policies, albeit welcome ones in the form of ending the bedroom tax and freezing the prices of greedy and profiteering energy companies. We are told, too, of a proposal to introduce a mansion tax, an idea originally from the Lib Dem party! The message is clear! The Labour party is filling the vaccuum left when the original Lib Dems sold their soul to the Tory-led coalition. By doing this, of course, it appeases the "suppering classes" of the marginal south-east seats, and paves the way for a coalition with Clegg, should he and his power-at-any-costs companions.
What we didn`t hear at the conference, and in the weeks since, is even more revealing. If Miliband had spoken out against the Royal Mail privatisation fiasco, and pledged the party to re-nationalisation after the election, the City fat cats would not have been so keen to dip their greedy paws into what always should be seen as a public-owned institution.
Clearly, price-freezing energy prices, again a centre-left populist move, didn`t go far enough; the announcement by SSE of an 8% price rise this week, no doubt merely a harbinger of more to come from the other 5 energy companies, shows the need for nationalisation as the only means of stopping endless greed.
Of course, this would seemingly be a step too far for this Miliband, too worried by assertions from the likes of posh-boy Osborne that he was part of a "communist plot". If he, with his background, cannot defend himself against such obvious idiocy, he is in the wrong job.
Even with the united teaching unions carrying out industrial action and demonstrations against Gove`s attempts to create a two-tiered education system and a non-qualified "profession", Miliband stays silent. His shuffling of his shadow cabinet was welcome, but will the teachers` optimism be raised by the appointment of Tristram Hunt as shadow spokesperson for education. Will he be seen at any of the demonstrations? Of course not.
Nothing, either, on moves to a more progressive and fair tax system; we hear opposition against the tax reductions for the super rich, but why should the very rich escape scot-free from any increase? Aren`t people earning three times the national average deemed to be rich by this Labour party? Isn`t there a real case to be made for a new income tax band of 45% for the £75-149,0000 earners? Of course there is, but it`s not going to happen.
How can it, when Miliband`s party is one dedicated to being centre-left and more Lib Dem than Clegg ever was?