Monday, September 26, 2011

Two Eds are really no better than one. #lab11

Ok, so there's a cheap gag at the expense of the Labour Leader and the shadow chancellor, just because they share the same name.

Of course, both of them have been talking a right load of old balls...

This isn't getting any better is it?

On Saturday, after an almost Trappist silence on the policy front from Labour, Ed Miliband announced that they would cap university tuition fees at £6000. This, as has been widely pointed out, will do nothing for those on lower incomes, and will only help those who enter the job market with a starting salary of around £38,000.

In fact, those who end up in lower paying jobs will be better off already under the coalition's arrangement than they were under the scheme Labour introduced.

And maybe we need to remind people that it was Labour who introduced fees after promising that they would not.

And now we have Ed Balls, who has spent the last year telling everyone who will listen that the Coalition is the spawn of the Devil and doing evil things. now says he won't reverse them.

Is there something about watching others clean up the mess you left that makes you cynical and cocky?

He knows perfectly well that if by some miracle Labour had won the last election, he as Chancellor would have had to make pretty much the same cuts - £7 for every £8 - to avoid us having a Greek style meltdown.

And Balls' big idea on the economy? A VAT cut. Because that worked so well when Labour did that in 2008. Let's be clear. People who are worried about whether they'll have a job in 12 months' time aren't going to think "Oh, VAT's gone down, let's have a new kitchen."

And retailers, especially wee corner shops,  wouldn't be too chuffed either, having had to alter their software twice in two years already.


If this is the best we can hope for out of the Labour party after a year in opposition, I really despair. They are coming across as nothing but a bunch of chancers. They made the bulk of the mess - and the foundations for that were laid way before 2008 when they spent too much in the good years. The mark of a good blogger is that you remember what they write - and that's why Nick Thornsby is such a worthy winner of Lib Dem Voice's Blog of the Year. A few weeks ago he gave us this wee diagram which showed that Labour, rather than cut borrowing during the good economic years, just kept on spending, putting nothing by for the rainy day to come. That rainy day turned out to be a bit of a flood of biblical proportions.

This is not untypical of how Labour behave when they get their hands on public money - spend first, ask questions later, leave your successors in such a mess than hopefully you'll be voted back in next time. Their almost criminal irresponsibility in leaving Edinburgh with next to nothing in its reserves when they left office in 2007 led to the incoming Lib Dem led administration having to make some pretty tough decisions. Despite that, though, they are now up for a public service delivery award and have cut homelessness and improved social care, including building new care homes.

It all goes to show what you can achieve in tough times when you have a people centred approach to what you are doing. But Labour have never been good at that. They see people as a homegenous blob to be told what they need and what they're entitled to. It's all about the collective and not about the individual to them.

Labour seem to be manipulating and spinning, and there's literally nothing coming from them with any genuine, emotional, heartfelt substance. All Ed and no heart - they still have a long way to go before they are, or if they become, fit for Government again.

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