Last week I briefly glimpsed an interview with Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and major figure in the British Labour Party.
It was a general discussion on the Tories (misnamed) Autumn statement. The interviewer, whose name I forget, tried to pin him down into criticising George Osborne’s measures. However, the ever so cunning Balls was having none of it. He hummed and ahhed, instead of giving pointed answers and making it clear that Labour was stridently oppose the Tory measures, he prevaricated.
And that, for me, is the problem with the Labour leadership, they don’t really know which Tory measures there against, or even if they should oppose them totally, which is bewildering.
But I am not the only one to notice the malaise within the Labour leadership. The hardly radical, Polly Toynbee has some suggestions:
“To turn the public mood, Labour needs to find its voice and tell the stories that counteract Daily Mail scrounger anecdotes. For every cheat claiming disability while running a marathon, there are thousands of tales of the hard-working and the desperate-to-work queuing at food banks. Labour MPs’ surgeries brim with stories that need to be told, of families evicted unable to pay soaring rents, of children trapped in bed-and-breakfast single rooms, of “strivers” sinking through no fault of their own.
Labour needs to say what they see. Forget the polls and the focus groups, let the facts speak for themselves. Ed Miliband’s best instinct is that people are sick of Osborne’s callow politicking. Voters will reward honesty in politicians who speak their minds. If not, why bother at all?“
My feeling is, that the useless Balls and Miliband are too wrapped up in the Westminster bubble to take this shrewd advice.