O brave new year that has such people, innit? Well, that was a lovely festive season. I hope you all had a good one, too, even if it turns out to be the last one we enjoy if the Tories carry on with their policy of pillaging and both enabling and enobling the pillagers-in-chief.
With a hot new scriptwriter on the team, as splashed all over the media, you'd think Ed Miliband would have found his mettle, put on his big-boy pants and shown some sign that he is on top of the economic and social crisis unfolding like origami in a storm. I don't know what speech guru Asher Dresner is bringing to the table but it sure isn't renewed Labour principles.
Ed Miliband's Big Idea in the Daily Mail is to deflect anger away from the feral rich and their sticky-fingered bankers and politicians, and onto the poorest in society by declaring war on "benefit scroungers". He's exercised by one billion lost on poor benefit cheats yet forgets about the £16.5 billion that lies unclaimed by those who are entitled to it. How many billions lost on rich cheats? The subsidised rich? On recapitalising the banks? Tax breaks? Tax cheats? The top one percent have doubled their share of the national wealth in the past 30 years. Can we please have that back to pay off the deficit?
All the above and yet, according to the Guardian, Ed's going to be banging on about:
• How the deficit is tackled needs to include a proper plan for growth and jobs. He will highlight the five-point plans crafted by Balls, including a temporary reversal in the VAT rise to help guarantee 100,000 jobs for young people.
• Improving the kind of country today's leaders leave for their children will involve reversing, or softening, government decisions such as the trebling in university tuition fees.
• Labour will focus on "powerful vested interests", such as energy companies, to relieve pressure on the squeezed middle.
Tinkering at the edges, barely smouldering among the ruins while the rich fiddle like fury, we're going to hell in a handcart steered by Ed. Still, at least he's noticed the playing field is far from level.
Meanwhile, New Labour just won't give up and sod off to play with their millions. Tim Allan is doing his best to drag the beleaguered Ed to the right like a puppy on a leash, accusing him of being anti-business. 'Fonly! I'd like to see a strong Ed challenge the social engineering going on: hardwiring us via the mainstream media that the business class has the only game in town and to meekly accept that they wield more power than our democratically elected governments. A boy can only be so supine before he fights back. Can't he?
Harpy Marx on Ed Miliband's war on the poor.
UPDATE: It appears that Liam Byrne is pushing the Blairite line of attacking "benefit scroungers" while he claims over £2,000 per MONTH state subsidies. There's a name for people like him but I'm far too polite to say it here except that it starts with a "hypo" and ends with a "crite".
Labour, "benefit scroungers" and rightwing fool's gold by Willard Foxton in the HuffPo