Clive Soley is typical of Labour`s right-wing critics within the party, attributing problems in a recent Guardian article to a lack of "vision", whilst making subtle criticism of the leadership. Is it not possible that the acceptance of such advice in the past is the reason Miliband is in this mess? Soley`s "vision" for the party with its emphasis on "growth in the UK economy" and a "growth-led agenda in Europe" sounds like it has been pilfered from the back of Nick Clegg`s cigarette packet. Does he really think such economic jargon will stop the haemorrhaging of votes, especially as the public is already being constantly informed about "growth" in the economy, without feeling any benefit? Miliband`s leadership began well because he seemed to be promising a "different" party, one which would tackle "predatory capitalism", and transform our society, but Soley`s aim for Labour is neither different nor radical!
Of course, he is right to say "there has to be more than NHS and education", but wrong when he attempts to analyse the cause of the problems. He blames not the "individual policies" but the lack of "overall vision", without realising that the two are inter-connected. By having policies which merely tinker, and change little, there can be neither vision nor transformation, and the UK after five years of a Miliband government, would be pretty similar to what it is now, something the electorate clearly understands.
Will current Labour policies close the equality gap, and move the UK out of its appalling 28th position in a league table of 34, or end tax avoidance and collect the missing £35bn? Will the City institutions finally be made to pay their fair share through a transaction tax, will social mobility return as an objective of education policy, will profiteering landlords be forced to reduce rents and improve their properties? Will corporations still be getting £85bn a year in government grants and loans, when the public favour some re-nationalisation? How many of the 200,000 houses built will be either social or affordable housing? Is a minimum wage of £8 an hour, but not until 2020, expected to show voters Labour is on their side?
There can be no pointing the country in a specific direction and no vision for the future if Labour`s policies aim merely to amend things here and there, and repeal the most obnoxious of the coalition`s reforms. A vision for the country, where workers are treated fairly and where inequality is reduced, where war is declared only on tax avoiders and evaders, and where nuclear weapons are scrapped so that resources are freed up to benefit society as a whole, demands policies with transformation at their core, not moderation and compromise!