Ed Miliband’s stance is the opposite of pragmatism…….

I, for one, never really quite expected to live to see the day when a strike could command 61% support in an opinion poll. However, today ComRes found exactly that for the Day of Action on November 30th over pensions. Naysayers will say its only one poll, which is true but it follows other polls which show a similar pattern of broad sympathy for the unions position. This follows hot-on-the-heels of polls showing public sympathy for the ‘Occupy’ movement.

Clearly something is afoot. With regard to the strike on Wednesday it should be quite clear to everybody that we no longer live in the 1980’s (though you would hope not to have to point this out) – trade unions are not viewed as negatively as they were during this period and the public are clearly more willing to hear their case. Despite this, the Government is continuing to address themselves to the unions as if this was the 1980’s and Ed Miliband continues to fear association with their aims and objectives. As always, the political class are behind the times.

I think it’s also quite clear that people know what isn’t working – and that includes the way they are represented at Westminster – but they don’t quite know what they want in its place and finally, the support for the strikes show that the government is far more unpopular than Labour is popular. An element exists in the support for the unions of admiration of anybody who is simply willing to stand-up to the government and resist them.

All of this should add-up to a huge political opportunity for a bold Labour Party to step up to the plate and be a party of radical change. It is, however, an opportunity we are missing due to timid leadership which spends far too much time playing it safe. Given the evidence of public opinion its hard to argue the ‘pragmatism’ line – in fact, Ed Miliband’s refusal to be bold is the opposite of pragmatism. It’s dogmatic because it’s rooted in groundless and spineless fear.  Although he wasn’t gambling as much as people surmised, it is perfectly true to say that Mr Miliband shone during the phone hacking scandal. He has since retreated back into exactly the position he was in before, of weak vacillation, with the public unsure of what he thinks and unsure of whether he is speaking his mind when he does pipe-up. He is becoming a big reason that Labour is missing a historic opportunity to fulfill its founding purpose and change a shattered society radically and forever. In the long run this will only damage himself, the Party and the country so he would be wise to reconsider his position and offer the unions his clear support.



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4 responses to “Ed Miliband’s stance is the opposite of pragmatism…….”

  1. john reid says :

    I recal helping hte Nirses and Ambulance dirvers when they were on strike 25 years ago, the dsockers wnt on strike about that time but called it off as tehir hearts weren’t in it,the nurses strike was the first time that the public had swung back around supporting the Unions in the 80’s having gone form supproting the print workers/ Miners in the early aprt of those strikes to the public losing sympathy to them by the end, I cna’t recall if neil Kinnock literally said the ambulance drivers on strike was A godd thing, AS tehy and the nurses were working for free on those days!! for fear if tehy had technically striked then people would have died, the comment on strike action and oppostion to teh government actually comes from people anger at things like cutting sure start or putting up vat,or getting rid of child support for those on the higher tax bracket. Ed miliband may have been agisnt Iraq, but labours lack of high lead in the opinion polls hints at the public just haven’t forgave laobur on iraq,plus Cameron has pushed home the myth the the CUTS are due to laobur over spending NO Questoin!!, the News that Boris is 8% ahead of Livingstone yet Laobur are 8% ahead of the Tories also shows that the Public have falled for the tory lie that they haven’t cut fornt line polcing when they clearly have, Plus Livingstone is suffering the same fate as laobur in that for all the good thay hethey have done, teh public still remember 1 or 2 things


  2. john reid says :

    Tony Blair being booed at the party conference may take solace in
    The last time a labour leader was Booed by name at the labour party conference was Neil Kinnock when taking on militant


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    The point is that no strike is ever a ‘good thing’ – the question is whether its a necessary thing. I dont think you can really use the Boris/Ken poll as evidence of too much because the simple fact is it was a mistake to stand Ken again not because of his politics but because he had lost previously. I think our lack of a high lead is a combination of a number of factors, some you mention.


  4. John Reid says :

    Between 1955 and 2005 there were 8 governments who were relected, 7 of them lost by elections seats that they’d held at the previous election,and then they went on to win the next election

    In 1957 Prime Minister McMillan lost A tory seat in A by election to Labour, yet he was returned to power in 1959
    Labour Prime minister Harold Wilson Lost a labour seat in A by election In 1965, Yet was returned to power in 1966,
    Laobur won the Feb 1974 election then Lost A by election Couple months later and then Won the Next election In Oct 1974
    P.M ,Margaret Thathcer Lost 3 By elections in 1981 Where the SDP/Liberals Won tory seats ,Yet she was retunred to Power in 1983
    In 1986 Labour Won the tory seat Of Hammersmith Yet the Tories were re-elected in 1987,
    The Conservatives Lost 4 By elections where they lost their seats to the Liberals In 1990, Yet the Tories were reelelcted in 1990
    Labour won the 2001 elelction, In 2004 Labour lost A by-election to the Liberal dems In Brent Yet, Labour were returned to power in 2005
    the Only Exception was that The labour government of 1997-2001 that Labour never lost a Seat In a By election that they had previously Held.


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