Sunday, 11 August 2013

Labour leadership

The trouble is not with Ed Miliband, who is now widely scorned for not showing leadership, but with the Labour Party which is not giving him the ammunition with which to take its case to the country. Labour ducked out of formulating a clear agenda at its last policy-making conference. As a result, the shadow cabinet is forced into a reactive position, responding negatively and unthinkingly to each coalition government proposal. Too often this has resulted in a volte-face as the results from focus groups have come in; the benefits cap is a case in point.

Another handicap is that the internal strife between what are loosely described as the Blairites and the Brownites has not ended with the younger Miliband's election. In my opinion, this is another source of inconsistent messages from Labour's spokesmen and women.

I am sure Miliband craves an agreed policy platform. My guess is that he will have to wait until practically the last moment before the next general election, when a manifesto will be drawn up in reaction to the mood of the time and sprung on both the wider Labour party and the electorate.

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