Apparently Ed Milliband wants to have four million conversations before the general election? I’m not sure that there are that many people who want to talk to him. Nor do I think it likely that he and I will meet, but if we did here is what I would say.
Firstly Ed, can you explain how you can memorise an entire speech for the benign audience at your own party conference but miss out the only important section (you know, the one about the economy)? If you can’t remember the important stuff under pressure how do you expect to represent this country’s interests? Of course, if in fact you recited your speech perfectly but “forgot” to put anything about the economy in it how do you expect me to take you seriously? The economy, and specifically the ballooning public debt and the continuing deficit, is the single most important aspect of the election. Given that the Labour government from 1997 to 2010 the public debt doubled from £350Bn to £750Bn. In 1997 the labour government inherited a balanced budget (i.e. there was no deficit); by 2010 that had been converted to an annual deficit of £170Bn. And no, you can’t blame that on the bank bailout, which cost you about £100Bn in 2007 (and let’s not forget who stopped the Bank of England from regulating the financial services industry). So why, Ed, do you think you have any credibility on economics.
Secondly, you keep blathering about protecting the NHS. But you have neither explained how you are going to pay for it (no money=no NHS, and its currently consuming £130Bn per year)? And don’t say that the “mansion tax” will fix it, because it won’t. In any case, who or what are you protecting the NHS from – no one is proposing to remove it or privatise it. Please note that “contracting out” services is not privatisation; GPs are self-employed anyway.
Thirdly please explain your relationship with the unions and how you see that developing. Given that most union members are in fact in public service, how do you propose to distinguish between running the public sector for the benefit of all and running it for the benefit of its employees? And how do you propose to fund the Labour party (whose finances are in almost as bad a state as the country’s – probably not a coincidence). Can you also confirm your position on nationalisation of the railways? If you are in favour of it (as certainly some of your union paymasters are) can you explain how you will run a better service than British Rail ran? Can you also explain how you will raise the money for investment given that we already have a public debt of £1,400Bn?
Finally can you confirm that you will not form a government of the entire United Kingdom that relies for its majority on Scottish seats (whether yours or SNP)?