LABOUR LEADER Ed Miliband last week threw away an opportunity to trash the cruel and divisive economic policies of the Con-Dem Coalition and establish himself as a credible leader to fight on behalf of Britain’s working class.
Instead he used his speech on Tuesday to the London Citizens’ Organisation at the Oxo Tower to be apologetic about previous Labour governments and say that his economic policies would not be that much different to what we have now.
He targeted his speech, as usual, at the “squeezed middle” classes — meaning the better paid working class that still has jobs and homes but is considerably worse off now because of Con-Dem cuts.
He totally ignored the utterly crushed lower paid workers, those who have lost or are about to lose jobs and homes, pensions, disability benefits.
And he said not one word about saving the NHS from the privateers.
Miliband said he can deal with the spending deficit and still “deliver fairness” in tough times by taking on vested interests and rebalancing the economy.
He said a more unjust society was not inevitable and that a “changed” Labour Party would make better choices than the coalition on public spending.
He repeatedly insisted that his party was now different from the Labour Party of Blair and Brown but failed to provide any evidence of this.
He also said he would have a go at the energy companies for their profiteering at the expense of everyone who needs to keep their homes warm.
But his speech was notable more for what it failed to say.
He failed to criticise the incompetent economics of Cameron and Osborne which are leading rapidly to a double dip recession, because so many people now are too impoverished to spend and markets are failing.
He failed to attack the cuts that are leading to millions of job cuts and throwing people on the dole and costing the country billions in benefits that must be paid and taxes that can no longer be paid by those workers.
He failed to attack parasite profiteering private landlordism that is costing taxpayers a fortune in housing benefit while the tenants are living a miserable life of poverty and insecurity.
Miliband failed raise a single protest in defence of the disabled who are facing absolute destitution through benefit cuts and legal aid cuts.
He failed to mention introducing a “Robin Hood”, or transaction tax on the parasite bankers that would cream off a small portion of their huge profits for the benefit of the general population. And this is a measure that is supported by other European Union governments and is behind Cameron’s Brussels walkout in December.
Cameron may talk about introducing checks on top directors’ pay and “crony capitalism” but they will be purely cosmetic. Cameron is one of the banking fraternity’s biggest cronies and will defend their right to screw the rest of the world’s population as long as he is allowed to.
But Miliband gave no indication of making any serious attempt to stop him.
Miliband failed to promise to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on invading and terrorising other countries. Far from learning from Blair’s huge and bloody blunder in Iraq, Miliband is still supporting the attack on Libya and threats against Syria and Iran.
Miliband failed to say anything about rescuing the NHS from Cameron’s current carve up that will put the bulk of the NHS budget in the hands of parasite private companies — who will be hired by GPs because they are doctors and not accountants and there are not enough hours in the day to practice the two professions.
He also failed to promise to end the PFI contracts that are gradually sinking the NHS foundation trusts with unpayable debts.
Miliband is almost as out of touch with the rising anger of the workers of Britain — and especially those at the bottom of the income pile — as Cameron and his banking cronies are.
The union leaderships are getting more in touch with this anger but Miliband is drifting further away.
There are many better possible leaders in the Labour Party who would work with the unions and would voice the anger of the oppressed workers every day in the House of Commons; who would harry Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Cable from pillar to post for the damage they are doing to us. In other words do what the Labour Party was founded to do.
One of those is John McDonnell of the Labour Representation Committee.