A Conversation With Ed Milliband


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)?

4 thoughts on “A Conversation With Ed Milliband”

  1. Bit tame, Paddy – if he wanted to have a conversation with me, I would like to know what gives him the right to be given the chance to try to sort out everything that was intially fucked up by him and the previous labour government and that is after he has blamed the Conservatives for not fixing Labours 13 years of destruction in just five years of one partliament. And then go through everything bit by bit. Economy, (enough said!) Welfare state (enough siad!), NHS (PFI wasting so much money and most recently, the ludicrous GP contracts and hours of work resulting in the current A&E problems which seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment) Education (not just scrapping of Grammar schools, the effects of which continue to be felt, but also the ludicrous dictat that 50% of the population should go to university with no thought given to the other 50% at all who were left to rot by Labour resulting the current levels of youth unemployment / unemployability) Immigration (enough said) Britain’s so called Multicutural society where immigrants were encouraged to live in their own communities rather than integrate, Energy (the lights are about to go out, because during 13 years in power, Labour kicked the issue for future energy provision into the long grass). Transport and infrastructure (same issue with long grass and airports, railways, roads, housing etc, none of which were addressed when they should have been by Labour when they were in power. (To be fair, Conservtaives haven’t been much better in this respect) I am sure that there is plenty more! Finally, I really want to know how he thinks making the NHS the centre of his election manifesto comes even near to addressing the issues which face Britain. Should take up a bit of his time so that he has last time to bore everyone else! Rant over!

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  2. Giles

    Fair points. I am trying to limit my blog posts to about 500 words but in any conversation with Milliband I suspect I’ll find myself repeating “..and another thing”. Unless I just do the decent thing and punch him.

    I am also trying not to be too rude yet, and to maintain some tone of balance in the hope that those enamoured of my literary style on the blogs make the trip to Amazon and buy my book too.

    I have a feeling that this topic is not going to run dry…

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