Politics Magazine

Right Said Ed

Posted on the 25 September 2013 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

Team Miliband has been releasing policy documents like there’s no tomorrow at Labour Party Conference, which is being held in the bustling bohemian seaside resort of Brighton and Hove. The hope is that the vacuum of policy and ideology which was a few months ago threatening to implode Miliband’s leadership will be filled once and for all. Miliband said the day before Conference that Labour is “rebuilding democratic socialism”. And in fact, this seems to be true if you look to the headlines produced by Conference, though I note that the (welcome) resurrection of the word ‘comrade’ in the Labour leader’s vocabulary is much less visible compared to last year!

Though I’ve yet to watch Miliband’s speech in full, I have read and reread it and understand it was very well received by the audience. Though I must say, the “Britain can do better than this” theme, though a particularly apt one, did not endure the somewhat laboured (no pun intended) repetition that it was subjected to. However, though it is rare for a red-blooded socialist such as myself to so absolutely agree with the Labour leadership, when Miliband articulated the futility of the “Global Race” that the Conservative Party is so keen on, I was tempted to sue Miliband for plagiarism:

Britain can’t win a race for the lowest wages against countries where wages rates are pennies an hour and the more we try,the worse things will get for you. Britain can’t win a race for the fewest rights at work,against the sweat shops of the world and the more we try the worse things will get for you. And Britain can’t win a race for the lowest skilled jobs against countries where kids leave
school at the age of 11.

We desperately need a government that understands that.

The part of Miliband’s speech that attracted most media attention is a policy announcement which has caught many of us by surprise. Labour would freeze gas and electricity prices until 2017 if it wins the general election which is rapidly accelerating towards us. It will simply prohibit energy companies from raising tariffs during the 20 month period, in which it would also move to break up the “Big 6″ cartel of energy firms which have inflicted double digit energy price rises on British households every year since 2009. The details are inevitably vague: Labour must anticipate and close any loopholes that may exist in the policy.

The media hates what they are calling “70s style price controls”. The energy industry within minutes was warning of power cuts, spiralling carbon emissions and the early coming of the Day of Judgment. The public, however, are seeing through the propaganda and see the situation as it is: at last, a politician who is actually on their side and prepared to smash vested interests to help them. No wonder business leaders are running scared: once the political quantum leap of the realisation that the markets aren’t always right is made, anything is possible. Look out, “one percent”! Our politicians are beginning to rediscover principle.

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