Labour Party

Oh, has there been a Labour Party Conference?

One or two commenters have pointed out, quite reasonably, that HP should have posted something on the Labour Party Conference.   A couple of things stood out for me in Ed Miliband’s speech.  First, the much discussed ‘I am not Tony Blair’ line – I can’t say it distresses me that Ed Miliband is a gnat’s crotchet or two to the left of TB, but the way he invited and encouraged the whoops from the audience was plain annoying.  However I did rather like this bit:

Only David Cameron could believe that you make ordinary families work harder by making them poorer and you make the rich work harder by making them richer …

How dare they say we’re all in it together.

I won’t dwell on the speech, though I’ll be interested to read further comments, but will link to these three pieces offering very different perspectives.

This morning I received a copy of a pamphlet, ‘Labour: a year in review’ in the post.  It contained nice photos of Ed Miliband, looking hardly weird at all, and a picture of Cameron and Osborne looking smug and sinister.

There wasn’t a huge amount of substance in this publication.  Tory cuts were mentioned, but more to create mood music, seeing as the Labour Party isn’t making any promises about reversing (all of) these.  A couple of concrete ideas were included – a proposed repeat tax on bankers’ bonuses to help create new jobs, and – something mentioned in the speech – ‘jobs for contracts’:

… a plan which would require any company wanting to provide goods or services to the public sector to have an apprenticeship scheme.

The section on ‘taking responsibility’ also picked up on themes covered in the speech – irresponsible bankers, fraudulent MPs and unethical journalists are targeted , but so are benefits cheats and rioters.

Our whole country is held back by irresponsibility, wherever it is found.  It can only be solved by addressing it right across our society, from bonuses to benefit.

Going back to the conference, one of the stories which caught my eye was this piece about Labour’s lack of attention to the various cuts to disability benefits.  It seemed an odd omission, as this is surely an issue which many could sympathise with, and which has been fairly widely covered in the media.  I wondered whether Labour might have chosen not to focus on disability because they think the government are about to make concessions on this issue to appease the Liberal Democrats – and to win some popular support.