Category Archives: Miliband

What shall we do with the EdStone?

Ed and Justine install a new granite worktop in their kitchen
(shamelessly nicked from Anna Raccoon!)
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Off script, Ed?

“Shit! I can’t find my script…!”

There seems to be glimmer of hope that it yet all go horribly wrong for Labour in next weeks election because it seems that the spectre of bigotgate is raising it’s head. Poor old Ed just can’t manage the awkward questions when he’s off script…

Last week on an unscripted LBC phone, he was handbagged by a woman from Manchester who’s mother died whilst being treated by the NHS. Ok, I feel for her but that’s not the main cause of her complaint. The woman said that her local Labour candidate had put the phone down on her when she rang him to speak about the treatment her mother received. Now I know the NHS is a sacred Labour cow never to be questioned, but nevertheless!

She asked him: ‘My mother died in an NHS hospital under Labour’s watch, how can Labour claim to be a party of the NHS?’

Miliband responded: ‘First of all Claire I’m incredibly sorry to hear what happened to your mum and when anything goes wrong in our NHS I think it needs to be properly investigated and properly dealt with. I know that won’t bring your mum back, but I’m incredibly sorry for what happened. I think the NHS is a fantastic institution, I think overall we’ve made progress in our NHS, but obviously that can never excuse any case that goes wrong.’

I think that at this point we need to look up the dictionary definition of ‘incredible’ which seems to be ‘something that cannot be believed’?

She continued : ‘I actually find it physically repulsive when I get documentation coming through my front door about Labour being the party of the NHS. She suffered totally avoidable, terrible, agonising suffering. Labour had been in for the best part of 13 years when she died.

Totally inadequate weekend staffing, routine operations prioritised over emergency operations, a total denial of inadequacy. Staff totally in fear and unable to whistleblow. Totally poor co-ordination of resources. One conversation I heard on the radio when a Labour spokesman said something about “oh we had record levels of patient satisfaction and family satisfaction during our time”. Well I only wish I could have been given one of these so-called surveys because her death was horrific and I have to live with that every day and you’ve not answered my question.

You pride yourself on being the party of the NHS through the ages. Why during 13 years did you let the NHS descend to such a level?’

Whoops! Here’s an unhappy Labour voter with some good questions! Miliband’s response? ‘As a prospective prime minister I understand why it went wrong and what lessons can be learned’ Usual standard claptrap basically followed by going back to the script about Labour’s plans for the NHS and how the wicked Tories really don’t care.

Labour has remained in charge of the NHS in Wales thanks to devolution. Waiting times are longer than in England, and access to cancer drugs is so bad that some patients have been forced to move to England. Not much of a plan is it, Ed?

But it’ll be alright because he’s said he’ll visit her personally to discuss the situation – no doubt accompanied by an entourage of spin doctors, press photographers and media commentators. It’ll make a great photo opportunity.

Let’s hop he forgets to turn the microphone off afterwards…

Caviar comes from the virgin Sturgeon…

If you didn’t see this, then it’s worth a look. Says it all really…

Manifestos – The Labour Party

Well, that ‘s the first big one out of the way. Ed Miliband yesterday launched his plan to make him President Prime Minister…

To be fair, it was a fairly impressive performance even if he was using an autocue, but I did feel it went downhill a little when he went of script to take questions. Plus the three interviews that Ed Balls gave on breakfast telly of all flavours lacked any sort of such panache.

But back to the Labour manifesto. I actually take the time to read these things which probably means I’m a little sad and short of things to do – but I have an interest in politics and like to give a fair shake to all colours of the political spectrum.

To me, the whole thing banged on about the same old dross that the Labour Party has been banging on about for the last 100 years – namely redistribution of wealth, taxing the rich, slagging off the Conservative Party and standing up for the good old downtrodden working classes. I was particularly impressed my Martin Daubney who was reviewing the papers on Sky News this morning and was given the chance to tackle Ed Balls. He said that he was a working class miners son who was born Labour and would probably die Labour, but no he had done well for himself he felt that Labour had rebranded him and that he was going to be victimised by Labours tax the rich policies. He has a good point. He’s no longer ‘working class’ but then these days not many people are, are they?

Miliband made much of being trusted with the economy, but when question refused to answer direct questions on tax and spend, as Balls had done earlier in the day. He wants to restore the 10p lower rate tax band but ignores the fact the allowance increase to £10,000 has made it irrelevant.

He wants to remove the winter fuel payment from higher rate taxpayers. It sounds good to the core vote, but it raises bugger all.

He want to introduce a mansion tax (an idea nicked from the Lib Dems) and a bankers’ bonus tax. Again they sound good but he won’t give us specifics. And let’s look at some of the other key points :

  • Raise the minimum wage – this costs nothing as it’s paid for by business
  • Cut and freeze business rates – sounds good but actually is cancelled out by cancelling Conservative plans to reduce Corporation Tax
  • Abolish the Non Doms – likely to be at best tax neutral
  • Freeze energy bills – kills investment in generating plants and paid for by business
  • Cap school class sizes – where are the extra teachers and classrooms coming from?
  • Guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours – how exactly?
  • Stop migrant benefits for the first two years – illegal under EU law
  • Lower the voting age – because youngsters tend to vote Labour
  • Reform the EU – how? We’ll just get outvoted
  • More nurses, doctors and midwives – presumably magiced up from thin air? Will Labour never learn that you can’t solve the problems of the NHS by simply throwing money at it?

From my point of view, Mr Miliband can protest all he likes about economic credibility because he just doesn’t have it. I found it interesting that one of the first polls taken after the manifesto launch gave the Conservatives a 6 point lead. Mind you, we all know how reliable polls are, don’t we?

I’m afraid that it’s all designed to sound good whilst stealth taxing business. Presumably this is something that Balls learned from his old master Gordon Brown. Let’s remember that Balls worked for Brown at the treasury when he was Chancellor.

And lest we forget….

Which one’s the dummy?

The ‘Two Eds’ double act has been in full swing over the last few days. Anyone would think there’s an election or something..

After the overhyped and extremely boring leaders’ debacle last week, it was revealed that Ed M was working from a scripted set of responses and statements prepared for him by Obama’s former spin doctor on the basis of ‘if it worked for Obama, then it’ll work for me.” You might have noticed that Ed never answered any question he was asked. Hell, no! Here’s an excerpt from his notes :

  • ‘Happy warrior’
  • ‘Calm. Never agitated’
  • ‘Negative -> positive’
  • ‘Relish the chance to show who I am’
  • ‘Don’t let them know I’m a cunt’

OK I made that last one up, but you get the idea. I admit I have serious reservations about a PM who needs to remind himself what to be or or how to act from somebody else’s script.

But what about the other Ed – Ed ‘talking’ Balls? Well, he’s been on the offensive over tax. Apparently he’s pressing the Tories to promise not to reduce the top rate of tax and refusing to accept it when they say they’ve no plans to do so. Also he’s adamant that the ‘working man’ – whoever that might be these days – is £1,100 worse off since 2010 despite the fact that according to all the figures they’re actually not. I can however confirm that I am considerably worse off since 1997 and especially so since Brown became PM. You’re not going to win my vote with that argument.

Then just to prove my point, Balls was in a question and answer session over the weekend on Good Morning Britain. He was asked by an audience member what 6 times 7 was. He thought about it for an embarrassingly silent 10 seconds before answering and then spluttered “Actually my mother in law is the mathematician in our family!” Unfortunately, his mother in law isn’t putting herself forward as a future Chancellor of the Exchequer – although, frankly, she’d probably do a better job.

But never mind, because you always know there’s an election happening when politicians start kissing babies. Farage was photographed in Thanet, Clegg in Kingston and Cameron with one of his own in his kitchen and one of somebody else’s in Poole.

Miliband was nowhere to be seen. Presumably babies were not on his script…