Week 25: Villain – Ed Miliband

by George_East on June 23, 2014

villain_2_iconThis Week’s Villain of the Week is Labour leader Ed Miliband for trying to appease the Daily Mail by proposing the abolition of out of work benefits for under 21s

It never works.  And it particularly never works if you are Ed Miliband.   What the Labour leadership never seems to learn is that unless and until you end all benefits for everyone, abolish the state pension and privatise the NHS and state education systems, the right wing press will never be happy and will stay you are soft on welfare.

All that Labour ever achieves by adopting ‘tough’ welfare policies as it did this week with Ed Miliband’s announcement that the next Labour government will abolish out of work benefits for under 21s, is moving the ratchet of British politics another notch or three to the right.   The Tories will simply say thank you very much and promise something even nastier.   In the meantime the message that is heard loud and clear by the public is that the welfare system is so broken that even Ed Miliband’s Labour Party think there needs to be a crack down.

This is then hopeless confused desperate politics by a leader who has had an appalling few weeks.    ‘He can’t even eat a bacon sandwich’ as my Dad said when my parents came to stay with me a couple of weeks back.

But it is more than that because with Labour proposing it, we can now be pretty certain it will become law as the Tories know that they can now abolish benefits for under 21 year olds without ever a whimper of opposition.     The consequence will be that the young will once again take the brunt of government cuts (the elderly vote, so they will be the last to see their benefits go – but it will happen).  The same group who have had the Education Maintenance Allowance abolished, who are facing the end of housing benefit and who if they want to go into higher education are facing £50,000 of debt for a degree, won’t even be able to claim the dole if they’ve previously worked and paid national insurance.

Did Labour get any positive headlines out of this?  Not the one so far as I could see.  It didn’t even give them 1 day of an upside of good publicity.   Instead Ed Miliband managed to demotivate his own activists, give his opponents an easy win and screw over some of the most vulnerable all in one hit.  Well done – villainy indeed.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Elliott June 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Desperation leads to stupidity. That’s what I interpret this as. And a distinct failure to play out the consequences of such action.

I’m not so sure that it’s villainy.

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