Sunday, 3 August 2014

Observer Letter on Miliband and election

If Andrew Rawnsley is willing to acknowledge that Ed Miliband "may well be right" when he said that "ideas are the most underrated commodity in politics" and that "decency and empathy the most underrated virtues", why does he continue to write on a regular basis about the Labour leader`s "flaws"? (Ed Miliband`s lack of popularity is nothing to do with his photo-ops,27/07/14) Wouldn`t it be more sensible for him to concentrate on the important issues facing the electorate next May? It`s all very well to mention the "conspiracy" to focus on bacon-butty eating and such like, "between the Tories and their mates in the right-wing media", but to write so frequently about "the Ed Miliband problem" gives it an unmerited gravitas.
     "Decency and empathy" in politics certainly are worthy of discussion before the election, especially as both have been so notable by their absence during this government`s tenure. Would it not be worthwhile to remind readers of broken Tory promises like "no frontline cuts", "no top-down NHS reorganisation", "no VAT rise", and, just for a change, compare them with Miliband`s stance against Murdochism and the energy companies? Then there`s the duplicity of both ruling parties, with Liberal principles sacrificed at the power-altars, and "caring Conservatism" seen for clearly what it was, merely an election gimmick. Is it such a good idea to take state intervention back to 1948 levels, which is a Tory ambition? More discussion is needed on the pitfalls of privatisation, the need for progressive taxation and a de-bunking of the Laffer curve, along Piketty lines.In fact, having an election based on principles and policies might be the very thing to get all of the electorate interested, and voting!

     One hundred years after the gutter press prepared the British people for an unnecessary war, it`s now telling them that Miliband is unelectable; we do not expect similar messages from the Sunday newspaper of our choice.

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