A few newspapers have done their best to persuade Labour to adopt more radical economic policies, but it seems there is little chance that Miliband and co. are going to risk further upsetting the CBI. Challenging tax avoiders to keep their noses out of Britain`s political affairs seems about the limit. The best hope is that they can set up some form of government after the election, and that the left-wing Green party and the SNP don`t take too many votes away from Labour, thus enabling the Tories to continue with their plan to take us back to the 1930s.
However, there are still a number of actions Miliband can take before the election to enhance his party`s chances of victory, despite their insistence on maintaining austerity policies. With the right-wing media obsessing about Churchill, and totally ignoring the dangers attached to Tory plans reaching fruition, Labour looks like it needs a few ideas. Here are five:
The re-nationalisation of the railways, for argument`s sake, can come under the auspices of a Labour transport policy, which could prove to be the vote-winner the party desperately needs. As Owen Jones recently wrote, the opinion polls show that such a pledge could win over "well-heeled Tory commuters and Ukip voters alike", and it has the added benefit that it needn`t break the bank, happening gradually as the franchises become available. Too many of Labour`s policies are not sufficiently different from those of the Tories, so this could be the "silver bullet" they so desperately need.
Despite the recent vote, its not too late to come out against wasting £100bn on Trident renewal, either. As the Star reported, even the Tory MP, Crispin Blunt, who worked at the Ministry of Defence, could not find one scenario when Britain using a nuclear weapon could be necessary or justified, not to mention the argument that the weapons can only be used when the Americans give the okay. On the subject of what clearly needs to be a more ethical foreign policy, there is no argument in favour of Britain`s retention of the Parthenon marbles. What a wonderful opportunity to display to the world the Labour party`s intention to be different from its predecessors, and the return of the artefacts to their rightful owners would provide a massive boost to a beleagured Greek economy! How can the actions of a greedy British aristocrat, stealing sections of another country`s magnificent heritage, have been defended by governments for over 200 years?
Thirdly, with Tristram Hunt still blathering on about the lack of "character" and "resilence" in state schools, not to mention his insistence on promoting Performance Related Pay, a sensible move on Miliband`s part would be to transfer him to a post more suited to his abilities. The teacher vote is too important to lose, but the longer Hunt displays his ignorance of the excellent work being done in the state sector, the nearer that defeat comes. There must be someone on or near Labour`s front benches who can empathise with teachers` problems, and formulate ways of reducing them. Even ex-corporate lawyer, Nicky Morgan, is making a show of her "concern" for the teachers` workload!
The ignorant jibes from Cameron and Osborne about Labour "taking orders" from their "paymasters", the trade unions, will continue regardless, so the Labour leadership should do everything in its power to win the support of the 6m trade union voters. They won`t vote Tory, but there is a danger that they won`t vote Labour either. Labour should be proud of its union roots, and not open to attacks from the likes of Leanne Wood, that it is "embarrassed" by its history. (Morning Star,20/01/15) Defending the right to strike, and lambasting the Tories for their plans to restrict union rights, would be a start; for too long Labour`s timidity has prevented them from supporting justifiable strike action, and look where it`s got them!
Finally, Labour still faces a problem at the polls because of the leader`s image, one which can be improved simply by him not appearing as a carbon copy of the Tories. He is never going to be as "cool" as Obama or the Syriza leader,Tsipras, but looking less like a City-gent, ditching those awful shirt collars, and maybe trying button-down ones instead, would be a start. Is a tie always essential? Young voters, especially, will appreciate a politician looking as though he actually lives in the 21st century, but that does not mean denims! Please remember what an idiot Clarkson looks! Using social media will help, and why not accompany each tweet with a different Miliband photo, in casual gear? The Tory media machine will ridicule, of course, but only because they fear him, and realise Miliband has the intellect to keep the Tories out of government for years.
Five ideas to help Labour oust the most callous government in modern British history, and take steps to restore fairness and justice to our society; if only one was adopted, chances of election victory would increase dramatically!!