Margaret Thatcher once coined the now famous phrase “U-Turn? You turn if you want to – the lady’s not for turnng!” but perhaps Ed Miliband should rephrase that as “U-Turn? I’ll turn if you want me too. It that far enough?”
As the labour conference kicks of in Scouseville, it seems that not only are the knives coming out ready to stick in his back, but the rank and file are opening doubting whether he has the qualities to make a credible Prime Minister. The voters can’t see it, and that worries the delegates.
Also when contenders like Ed Balls say that they don’t want his job ‘because there isn’t a vacancy’, then you know he’s after it really and he can see a glimmer of a chance…
Miliband has already done a u-turn on tuition fees by watering down his outright opposition to a policy he helped to introduce when in government to a reduction instead of a reversal. Now it seems he knows where his master’s voice is coming from and is watering down his opposition to the public sector strikes over pensions.
After being booed and jeered at the TUC by saying he wouldn’t support strike action over pensions whilst negotiations were on-going, he now says that the party should support nation crippling strikes of the government continues to appear ‘unreasonable’.
Miliband has also had to do a u-turn over his plans to break the unions’ grip on party policy with the use of the infamous block vote. That now won’t be debated until next year.
So having proudly pronounced when he won the leadership that he was ‘his own man’ and wouldn’t dance to the unions’ tune, it would seem that he is now doing precisely that.
Are we really surprised?