Miliband: We were right to put Labour’s focus on inequality

28th January, 2016 9:48 am

Ed Miliband manifesto launch

Ed Miliband has said that he was right to make the Labour Party focus on tackling inequality in the run up to last year’s election.

In an article on the topic of inequality for the London Review of Books, Miliband also writes that Labour must fully embrace community organising in order to make the most of the huge increase in members.

He says that “tackling inequality demands that we act on all fronts” and that its rise has been “driven by political choices”. The former Labour leader defends his focus on the subject, through ideas such as ‘predistribution’.

“When I was the leader of the Labour Party, I said that we needed to talk not just about redistribution but also about ‘predistribution’. The word is ugly, but the idea was right,” he wrote.

“You can only do so much with tax and transfers: the more wildly imbalanced the economy and earnings, the harder it is, especially in a globalised economy, to do anything about inequality. And the more unbalanced the initial distribution of income, the harder it will be to win political support for progressive taxation, given the strength of the forces opposed to change.”

Miliband also says that while he tried to convince the public of the wider implications of the difference in wealth between the top and the bottom, much more needs to be done.

“Labour’s focus, under my leadership, on the squeezed living standards of those in the middle was an attempt to make the point that inequality isn’t just an issue for those at the bottom: it’s something that affects the majority. But more has to be done to show middle-class voters why inequality matters. People have to be persuaded of its long-term impact on median wages and living standards, as well as its growth-dampening effects.”

On Labour’s membership surge, he says the party needs to reinvent itself “as a genuine community organisation” if it is realise the potential of its new increased membership.

“Labour must make use of the opportunity afforded it by the remarkable number of new members it has gained since the general election. But it also needs to acknowledge the challenge it faces,” he says.

“The party emerged from the traditions of community organising, and some local Labour branches are now rekindling that spirit. To succeed, the party needs to be about more than knocking on doors, crucial though that is, and the passing of resolutions.

“Labour needs to use its expanded membership to build deeper roots in local communities, and to help people find the collective power to change things. In a way I didn’t manage, it needs to reinvent itself as a genuine community organisation.”

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

Latest

  • News Whatever happened to the Angela Eagle leadership launch?

    Whatever happened to the Angela Eagle leadership launch?

    There is now unlikely to be a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn until next week, following the postponement of Angela Eagle’s leadership launch today. Eagle’s campaign was scheduled to kick off this afternoon, but was put on ice following a series of events this morning. Sources close to her campaign say that this is a delay rather than a cancellation, and that she still intends to go ahead with a challenge to Corbyn. They claim the delay is caused by several […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Uncategorized Corbyn critics aim to recruit “army of moderates” to win new leadership contest

    Corbyn critics aim to recruit “army of moderates” to win new leadership contest

      Labour MPs opposed to Jeremy Corbyn hope to replicate the success of last summer’s left-wing recruitment drive and sign up thousands of new members who will back a centrist candidate in a fresh leadership election. A series of high-profile politicians and activists, ranging from Jamie Reed to ex-spin doctor Alastair Campbell and novelist Robert Harris, have indicated support for Saving Labour, an online initiative which says the party requires “new, strong leadership”. The project, whose origins are uncertain, appears designed […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Smeeth calls for Corbyn to quit in favour of leader with “backbone” to tackle anti-Semitism

    Smeeth calls for Corbyn to quit in favour of leader with “backbone” to tackle anti-Semitism

    Ruth Smeeth today called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign in favour of someone with the “backbone” to tackle anti-Semitism after the Labour leader provoked anger among activists with his comments over the State of Israel. Smeeth spoke out after being harassed by a voter today at the launch of Labour’s report into allegations of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in the party. The angry voter accused her of “colluding” with right-wing newspapers and being part of a media conspiracy against Corbyn, Smeeth, […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Reynolds issues complaint to Labour HQ over claims of a “secret” group of McDonnell advisors

    Reynolds issues complaint to Labour HQ over claims of a “secret” group of McDonnell advisors

      Backbencher Emma Reynolds has issued a complaint to Labour headquarters over claims John McDonnell has set up a “parallel organisation” to develop party health policy. Reynolds, chair of the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) health committee, said it was “surprising and disappointing” that McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor, had apparently chosen to work with the campaigners, who have served as recent members of rival political parties. McDonnell has “set up a secret group of advisers to help shape Labour’s stance on the […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour is not “overrun” by anti-Semitism but Corbyn sparks dismay over Israel comments

    Labour is not “overrun” by anti-Semitism but Corbyn sparks dismay over Israel comments

    The Labour Party is “not overrun by anti-Semitism”, according to the findings of an urgent review published today. The Chakrabarti Inquiry into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism was commissioned by Jeremy Corbyn in April, following a series of damaging rows which were sparked by the comments of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and MP Naz Shah. Corbyn today once again condemned all forms of prejudice but provoked anger with comments which appeared to compare the state of Israel to Islamist terrorists. The […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit