In language that challenges all wings of his party, Miliband will say: “For too many people at the last election, we were seen as the party that represented these two types of people: those at the top and the bottom who were not showing responsibility and were shirking their duty to each other. From bankers who caused the global financial crisis to some of those on benefits who were abusing the system because they could work – but didn’t.
“Labour – a party founded by hard-working people for hard-working people – was seen by some, however unfairly, as the party of those ripping off our society. New Labour did a lot to change the fabric of the country. But it didn’t do enough to change the ethic of Britain. My party must change.”
Except he’s arguing that there was nothing wrong with New Labour after all, and that it’s the solution to what ails Britain now. As others have argued:
- Why is he returning to the ‘deserving’ vs ‘undeserving’ poor rhetoric?
- Why is he blaming the poor for the social damage caused by the bankers?
- Why is he not announcing a policy change to include huge growth in social housing?
The electorate is screaming at him to:
- Support a Robin Hood tax to make the bankers genuinely pay for the economic disaster they caused;
- Provide more social housing instead of making people compete for what’s already there;
This isn’t to say there there aren’t ‘benefit scroungers’ but what’s lost from them is a drop in the ocean compared to the tax evasion practised by the rich (who are allowed to do so). And let’s n0t forget the bankers paying themselves millions of pounds of bonuses with our money. It’s a despicable policy shift, which Blair & Brown would have been proud of, but Owen Jones is quite right when he says the Tories will outflank it from the right.
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