Mr Miliband’s sleight of hand…
I thought we were over this; I thought we were passed treating politics like a slightly more sophisticated game of Scrabble and that our media policy was moving beyond the Malcolm Tucker age. How wrong could you be? Look at events today for a perfect example of what I mean. A memo mysteriously leaks revealing that Ed Miliband has, forthwith, deemed the use of the word ‘Coalition’ taboo; from now on, its going to be a Conservative-led government with a right-wing agenda.
At first you think, so what and then you start to wonder. You see, its possible for a party to move somewhere without actually moving anywhere at all. Don’t want to actually be a radical opposition? The solution is simple. Manipulate public opinion to make them think your opponents are actually the ‘ideological’ and, by implied criticism, slightly barking ones. This isnt a shift of focus to attacking the Conservatives at all; what it is is actually a rather cunning ploy by Mr Miliband to convince his own Party he is going somewhere he patently has no intention of taking them.
Labour will look like a ‘left-wing’ opposition because it will define its opponents as ‘right-wing’ and therefore the term will assume a relative value. Many in the Conservative Party can attack the British National Party from the left but that doesn’t make them ‘left-wing’. Mr Miliband, however, seems to have lost even the small increments of boldness that he seemed to possess during the leadership contest.
We have a problem. I am becoming less and less convinced that this leadership is capable of taking Labour Party in the places it needs to go. I doubt its ability to lead the Party in a way that will rise to the challenges presented too it; of new movements, and vicious attacks on ‘our’, naturally Labour, people by a government which governs on behalf of the very wealthy and very elite. Also, the challenges of a resistance to these attacks which is growing-up outside of Labour.
Whether it lacks the will or means (due to the manner of its election and an inability to face down the PLP) is pretty much an academic question at this stage. Whenever, the next election comes we need to present a programme that brings together two interrelated but crucial elements when it comes to rebuilding after the crash and the cuts. Consistent democracy to give politics back to the people and social justice to both empower people and remind the City of a simple truth; it is the servant not the master of this country and it provides for us, not the other way around. I don’t think this leadership will give us such a programme so the only solution to the problem is for the left in Labour, which still is organised and thinks like leaves on a roaring river of events, to unite and fight for such a programme; in the process renewing our internal democracy and our Party so it is fit to govern once again.