The Tories attack Miliband because they’ve got no decent policies

29th July, 2014 1:32 pm

As the 2015 general election approaches, it is becoming more obvious by the day what the Tory strategy is: there are no new ideas, policies will continue much as they are now, with the emphasis on denigrating Labour proposals and the Labour leader. If Labour announces details to increase income or corporation tax, Tories are ready to pounce.

The Tory propaganda machine has successfully convinced the more gullible that somehow the Labour government’s spending on schools and hospitals caused the 2008 economic crash, and that as a result, they cannot be trusted to manage the economy. It’s upon this, rather than their own proposals, that the Tory election programme is based.

David-Cameron-at-the-EU-s-007

Tories do not shout from the rooftops what their aims are: shrinking the state back to 1948 levels, a further reduction in social mobility and, of course, immigration, and more cuts in government spending. They will claim their “long-term economic plan” is successful, but will worry their assertion that more people than ever in Britain are working, with most new jobs part-time, on zero-hours contracts and very low pay, will be found out. On their “achievements” like the Bedroom tax, the continued tax gap of at least £50bn, the unregulated banks complete with bonuses and scams, the austerity policies that failed to kick start the economy or reduce borrowing, and the infamous tax reduction for the very rich, there will be silence!

Education, Tories will tell us, has improved exponentially. But they will ignore the fact that academisation has taken place because most schools are fearful of financial problems, and has not always brought examination success, despite heads having more freedom to expel problem students. Even more worrying, perhaps, is the fact that academies and free schools do not come under the auspices of the local authority, sometimes with worrying consequences. Similarly absent from the Tory manifesto will be the recent figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which indicate the largest cut in public spending on education over a four year period since the 1950s has taken place since 2011.

With so many other no-go areas, like the NHS and Royal Mail, for the Tories to dwell on, the main focus of their strategy has, and will continue to be, the fabrication of the idea that Miliband is not prime-ministerial material, because of his “weirdness”. Has the Labour leader changed since becoming leader of the Opposition? No, of course not, but a sudden awareness of his “strangeness” has recently emerged, just months before the election; according to Tory propaganda, which is supported to the letter by Tories` allies in the media, Miliband’s looks, eating methods, speech, teeth, and geekiness make him out to be more like a cartoon character than a prime minister-in-waiting. They are so bereft of policies which can attract new votes, they will attack Miliband with anything they can dig, or make, up.

With humour and self-deprecation, Miliband defended himself well last week, but that should be it. He is no weirder or more geeky than other politicians. For goodness sakes, until a few months ago Gove was touted as a future PM. Yes, Gove!

Miliband’s “weirdness” is a Tory myth, created to divert voters’ attention from the fairness and validity of Labour policies, and the unfairness of theirs. Sadly, the few left-wing elements of our media have fallen for this Tory con-trick – articles by Toynbee, Rawnsley and Richards, and such like, have only added unnecessary gravitas to the issue. It’s time for all Labour supporters to rally around their leader, and when asked about his “geekiness” or whatever, to reply with the same response, learned off by heart, word for word: “The only difference between Ed Miliband and any other politician is that he is the leader of the party with the policies to transform this country, and create the just and fair society we all want”!

Repeat it, if asked again, robot-like if necessary, and the penny will soon drop!

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  • hesychast

    I dunno. I like nerds. I trust nerds. I am a nerd. Nerds get things done. Nerds understand an increasingly confusing and frightening world. Nerds freeze snowflakes from the North Pole for their girlfriends. Nerds beat the bully and take the girl (who it turns out is really hot when she takes off her glasses) to the prom at the end of the film. Nerds write the comic book blockbusters that seem so popular these days. Nerds fire remote controlled cars millions of miles across space to drive around other worlds. I like nerds. I trust nerds. I am a nerd. Nerds get things done. Calling Miliband a nerd should be turned into the dumbest thing the Tories every did.

    • Matthew Blott

      The point about the nerd standing up to the bully and getting the girl in the film is that it’s make believe.

      • Danny

        So is politics.

  • Ian Robathan

    I love the nerd argument !!

    for me what Crosby is doing is leaving the policy discussion open to us. so we have an open goal to stamp all over it and not follow Crosby.

    This is an open goal and with the NHS Burnham has scored today with finding out how the Tories lied about the waiting figures and halting privatisation.

    MORE OF THIS please

  • Theoderic Braun

    As far as weirdness goes surely George Osborne is as weird as they come? Cold and charmless with a flat monotone voice and dead, coal-black, codfish eyes his manner suggests a Bond villain: or possibly an alien: or an actor with a bit part as a zombie in the Walking Dead. If you really want to see weird forget Ed Miliband and cast your eyes on George Osborne, especially when forced into the company of normal human beings.

    • David Lewis

      But the economy tanked under Miliband’s watch and it has recovered under Osborne’s watch.

      Just saying

      • hesychast

        ??? when was it Milliband’s watch???? I don’t remember him being Chancellor.

        Do you mean in 2010 when growth was at 1.66% when Osborne took over and growth slumped?

        • David Lewis

          Check his job in those days. The soppy growth story again which left out the PPI and the pensions commitments. Add them back in and the full horror is there for all to see.

          Hilarious. You still believe Brown – even now? Wow!

          • Danny

            When the economy grows under Labour, you attribute it to PPI and pension commitments.

            When it’s growing under the Tories it’s because of Osborne? Banks have forked out more in PPI under the Tories than under Brown. And the potentially horrific housing bubble is doing more to fudge the figures than pension commitments did pre-2010.

            Hilarious. You still believe Osborne and the Tory-spin machine? Wow. I thought naivety subsided with age.

      • Theoderic Braun

        The economy tanked and was tentatively recovering in 2010. George Osborne then crashed it and the economy flat-lined for four years before finally beginning to grow again. (As it would have done at some point anyway.) Better later than never. But growth isn’t enough to get a party elected to power: the Chinese government has managed to enjoy continuously high levels of growth for years but who in a democracy would vote to elect a government that made achieved such growth while at the same time making citizen’s lives as pinched and and narrow as most Chinese citizens? Achieving economic growth while allowing society to turn sh*t won’t get a government elected to power in any democracy, which I fully expect will proven the case next May when the most incompetent, cruellest and most despicable Tory led government in living memory is ousted by little Ed Miliband and the Labour party.

        • David Lewis

          Actually I have no interest in Osborne’s personality and those who do are a little strange from my perspective.

          I am a Cameron constituent who always voted Conservative but I now vote UKIP.

          However, in my view, Labour have no chance whatsoever of winning the next election unless an enormous scandal emerges (not unheard of as we all know).

          This entire situation is so reminiscent of Kinnock.

          The polls average is around 3% spread which giving previous incumbency advantages and correction for the boundary Labour advantage will produce on projection a small (15 seat say) overall majority for the Tories.

          I think that a combination of those tired and discredited faces on the opposition benches, and the general perception of Balls’ complicity in bankrupting the country will seal the fate of Labour for at least two more general elections.

          We always heard of Brown’s famous tin ear for the Zeitgeist but things really have not changed from what I can see.

          Cameron vs Miliband?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            How does your arithmetic work? I am curious. A 3% Labour poll lead, plus the boundary advantage should translate into an overall lead of about 7% of MP numbers, maybe 15 or possibly a few more.

            Of course, this is only interest in how you worked out your numbers, not a prediction by me.

          • David Lewis

            No – those figures apply to what would happen in an election today. You have to average, aggregate, correct and project. Anyone can do it with a spreadsheet and the data is almost all on UKPR.

            Miliband can’t win. I think he knows it but of course Kinnock famously did not.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Well I will certainly take a look (at UKPR, which I think is UK Polling Report). I have both the Microsoft Excel and MathCAD, but I am not expert enough in polls to do much more than some very basic analysis.

            I am slightly more excited about the velocity of changes in polls, as by instinct I think they are good predictors, but only in the last few weeks of a campaign. Relative changes in numbers are important to me professionally, and it is part of maths that delights me and (at the risk of sounding self-satisfied) something that I find quite easy to do in my head. But I may delude myself, perhaps there are flaws in that as well.

          • David Lewis

            Yes I see it in similar terms to you and I get very excited by it too. My wife thinks I am barmy.

          • jaydeepee

            Are you confusing your wife with your nurse? Poor dear, you don’t sound well.A case of the kippers.

          • BenM_Kent

            “Miliband can’t win.”
            He can, probably more easily than Cameron thanks to the current voting system the Tories campaigned for.

          • BenM_Kent

            “I am a Cameron constituent who always voted Conservative but I now vote UKIP.”
            More reasons why the Tories can’t win.
            Their traditional vote is living in cloud cuckoo land and voting UKIP in droves.

  • Pingback: The Tories attack Miliband because they’ve got no decent policies | Politics and Insights - kittysjones()

  • “The Tory propaganda machine has successfully convinced the more gullible that somehow the Labour government’s spending on schools and hospitals caused the 2008 economic crash, and that as a result, they cannot be trusted to manage the economy”

    It’s not just the Tories. The Labour leadership has tacitly accepted the same argument by foolishly accepting the need for austerity economics.

    Its all nonsense of course. The 2008 was caused by private sector credit bubble which caused the economy to zip along while good times lasted. The Tory election strategy has been to create a new bubble.

    If the Labour leadership understand what’s going on,which I think they might well do, they should be explaining all this to the electorate, instead of going along with all this neo-liberal nonsense.

    Google {billy blog UK growth is not all it seems}

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      You are always interesting and thought-provoking Peter, even if I disagree with your analysis which seems to me to completely ignore the reality that in a globalised economy no single country can do something different to the rest of the world, to play by different economic rules. Certainly not a country as inter-connected as the UK, large but not the largest.

      So without trying to spark a fundamental disagreement, I would like to point out that while a bubble may have been the technical cause, to me the fault is with a failure of regulation. Both Canada and Switzerland had much tougher and interventionist regulatory regimes during the decade preceding 2008, and both, while affected by 2008, were less so. I do blame the fool Brown, but for lack of regulation.

      • Steve Stubbs

        It was not a failure of the concept of regulation, it was the way it was being (or not being) done. Specifically Brown had split up regulation between three separate bodies, none of whom were regulating because they thought the other guy was doing it. Or at least that’s what they said ………

    • David Lewis

      There were two completely separate issues – the structural deficit and the banking crisis – separated by a full year and with different causes. Many people are confused by these and conflate them as one issue.

      • The words “structural deficit” are generally used by those who don’t know what they mean! The banking crisis was caused by too much lending on their part so there’s only one real issue.

        In any case, the actual government deficits of all countries affected by the 2008 crash was very low prior to the crash. Of course, that all changed afterwards as government taxation receipts crashed too. Government deficits rose and that meant that the deficit money which was being issued by government into the economy could begin the healing process. Its known in Keynesian terms as the automatic stabiliser.

        Governments which resisted the stabiliser most, as in theEurozone, fared worst. They have had little or no healing. The USA resisted least and they did better. They could have done better still of course. The UK was somewhere in between. The Labour government had the right idea of reducing VAT to 15%. It was sheer lunacy to raise it to 20%.

        • David Lewis

          The structural deficit is the difference between the tax take and government expenditure expressed annually.

          The banking crisis was caused by the USA banks bundling sub-prime and non sub-prime mortgage book and trading the bundles, mostly in the UK but to a lesser extent in other countries.

          The two are separate issues.

          Brown and Balls conflated both because it was convenient for them to do so and lied about a `worldwide crash’.

          Actually the financial crises were largely confined to the USA and Europe.

          I suspect that Balls still remaining as shadow chancellor will be sufficient to lose the election for Labour since the electorate is not stupid despite assumptions from politicians.

          • The difference between government revenue (from all sources) and expenditure is the actual deficit (or surplus) not the structural deficit.

            Government fiscal policy can be either expansionary or contractionary. But, for any given policy, the actual deficit/surplus can be expected to vary over the course of an economic cycle. Depending on the external deficit (current account) and also the degree of saving in the economy, that may not be around the zero point. Certainly, for the UK, it is not zero. The average, over the years, is well into the negative.

            Ideally, Governments will aim to set this longer term average to correspond to the economy working at close to full capacity. So,if it is running too hot it will generate a ‘surplus’ (over the long term average) as tax revenue increases. If too cold, a deficit (over the long term average). This is the structural deficit.

            A persistent structural deficit is an indication that the government’s policy is too expansionary/inflationary. ie issuing too much money into the economy. A persistent structural surplus is an indication that it is being too contractionary/deflationary.

  • Matthew Blott

    The Tories may not have any decent policies but even if they did they would still attack Miliband because strategically it makes sense – he (Miliband) has terrible personal ratings.

  • Timmo111

    Looks like after endless attempts labour spin doctors have thrown in the towel and admitted that you cant polish a nerd.

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