At the Care Images blog we try to steer clear of politics but the Labour leadership issue can’t pass without a mention. I have been following proceedings from a distance and two points stand out clearly.
Firstly, after the election debacle, Labour have to do something to claw back a core vote that saw them retain power for 13 years and then in May that deserted the party. There is certainly an argument that under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, New Labour washed with same whiteness (or with plenty of stains) as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Given that Ed Miliband is seen as a more traditional union backing Labour leader, his election does at least give the party a clearer identity to move forward with. Whether the electorate will swallow this possible shift leftwards is another matter.
Secondly, whatever spin the coalition government puts on the scything cuts in public services they are about to make, the fact remains that the incompetent buffoons running our banks, who, to some extent are the cause of the economic mess we are in, have got off lightly. While thousands of public sector workers lose their jobs in the coming weeks and people reliant on public services will find many basic facilities cut, bankers and fund managers will be swigging champagne while stuffing £50 notes into scantily clad lap dancers at London’s most expensive revelling establishments. Vince Cable was spot on describing these masters of the universe as ‘spivs’ but it does beg the question as to why his party has got into bed with the Conservatives, who don’t seem to be too bothered about the banking excesses.
Yes, Ed Miliband needs to walk a tightrope between new and old Labour. But he also needs to use the anger that will come from having services slashed to the advantage of his party, whether new or old Labour.