I am beginning to feel like this more and more often.
I am beginning to sound like an Anti-Ed briefer. I’m not.
I am, however, continually disappointed by some of the directions in which the triangulators are taking my party.
Today’s article in the mail, which I avoid most of the time, came up on twitter and started a storm of angst and anger.
As a party we can do immeasurable damage by going for easy votes. Just because the press has decided that there are deserving and undeserving poor, and armies of scroungers raping the system doesn’t mean that we need to chase after the people who accept this as fact.
Yes, there are people who play the system and there are those who defraud the benefits system. Improve the system and accept that no system is unplayable and let the legal system deal with any frauds.
What we do not need is a vilification of those on benefits. Nor do we need mr ‘Faux pas’ Byrne cutting loose with some sort of US style welfare system based on paying in before getting out. It is missing the point. The benefits system is to protect the weakest in our society and ensure that some of Beveridge’s great ills (want and squalor) are met and addressed. This seems to have been lost in the trying to out tory the Tories on being tuff!
Focus on education as the real driver of progress and improvement and the idleness will be addressed effectively over time.
FFS! we are not the Tories and yet over much of the last decade evidence of that has become harder and harder to find. Red Ed was cast as an insult but at least it put some clear space between us and them.
The right of the party (who will claim all the success of 3 election wins) are still calling the shots in terms of image and trying to appeal to middle England (which is inherently Tory BTW) have cost us much of our traditional support by their pragmatic approach (and professionalism of politics) and a departure from our founding beliefs and principles.
The electorate are increasingly lost as to where we stand on the things that matter and that is killing Ed’s chances of making it to the next election. It is impossible for Ed to be seen as a leader when we have no real principle based approach to policy. At least we know Cameron is a C***.
The savage attacks on the benefits system will result in deprivation on a massive scale. The measure of a society is how it treats its weakest. The carpet bombing in the media of those on benefits as some sort of enemy is the most vicious I have seen, and here we have a labour Leader attacking and not defending the weakest. This is, in the words of my daughter, an epic fail.
The silence on the treatment of the disabled is cowardice of the highest order. But why is Ed silent? is it because he would advocate something similar? I bloody hope not. If he does advocate this he is far from the membership that I work with and campaign with. Most of them are red to the core and confused by Ed and the party stances.
Attacking those on benefits as scroungers is cheap and beneath our party. Responsibility at the top and bottom of our society – is the code phrase. What about 30 years of failed neo-liberal economics? Address that!
The justification for this populist position? We are hearing it on the doorsteps. Well FFS argue that without robust benefit systems the cost for our society is even greater. Voters want capital punishment on the door step, and no immigration – should we say ok to that too? Grow a pair and argue our values (if the strategists remember what they are).
If I hear another Mea Culpa on anything I’ll thin we are sorry for existing. We need to stand up and say we got things right!
This is the most incompetent Government I have seen and yet we are still neck and neck with them. It is a signal that something is wrong.