Week 3: Hero – Ed Miliband

by Charlie_East_West on January 19, 2014


This week’s hero award goes to Ed Miliband for announcing that within a year of a Labour government, the Competition and Markets Authority would set a threshold for the share any bank can have of the personal accounts and small business lending market.

If a problem gets to big, the problem can get out of control. So, try find a way of making the problem smaller, and then the problem becomes controllable. This is what Ed Miliband has done with the banks.

Ed Miliband has proposed that the competition authority would report within six months of the election on how many branches the big banks might have to sell off, followed by an immediate investigation by the competition authority that could lead to a ban on any merger or takeover that would exceed the cap limit.

So, under a new Labour government, we will have an almost immediate set of processes that will curb retail bank monopolies and create a sense of market control.

Crucially, Ed Miliband went further. He also outlined his regulation criteria. The three key sets of criteria for his proposed banking reform would be to:
– improve the price and quantity of lending to small businesses.
– improve service to all customers.
– create at least two new challenger banks with significant market shares.

For me, a test of a successful policy idea from Ed Miliband is the subsequent reaction from the right. If the reaction is howls of protests, threats and scaremongering, then clearly Ed Miliband is onto a good thing – recent examples being Syria, press hacking and energy pricing. On banking reform, Ed Miliband has immediately created the same reaction from the Bank of England, Tories and The City. Ed Miliband threatens to take away some of their toys, and The City starts shrieking.

Ed Miliband continues to show why he has become one of the best opposition leaders in living memory. He has achieved a lot, and has put the fear of god into those who deserve to be scared. Hopefully this is just the beginning and that Ed Miliband is keeping his powder dry for a lot more goodies within the Labour election manifesto.

He still needs to go further to create a fully joined up sense of Milbandism – in particular, through welfare, health, education, refined austerity economics, renationalisation of utilities and finding a way to curb the excesses of the buccaneer investment arms of the banks.

I live in hope that he will move towards a full version of Milibandism in the next 15 months.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Fionauk512 January 19, 2014 at 8:45 am

Here’s hoping he gets to carry these pledges out, and isn’t
scuppered by the legion of dirty tricksters prepared to preserve the neo liberalist stranglehold that is choking the life out of this country. It does also mean that the electorate have got to stop running scared every time the Daily Bile and the like whips up some imaginary scare. I’m not sure what it has to take to shake people out of the ‘in it for me’ bubble and vote for radical change so that we can look to ourselves and feel satisfied that government is truly serving the people, all the people, as best they can.


Charlie_East_West January 19, 2014 at 8:53 am

The Tories and the whole neoliberal establishment want a narrow ideological debate. As Noam Chomsky once said:- “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”


Fionauk512 January 19, 2014 at 10:17 am

So true and seemingly so easily achieved. Come on people wake up!


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