‘Red’ Ed could end up pleasing no one
September 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
Reading The Observer and The Independent on Sunday today you could fool yourself for thinking the new messiah had been elected as the new Labour Leader.
Ed Miliband, who got over the finishing line only thanks to the support he received from trades unions, has been welcomed as ‘a breath of fresh air,’ but let’s face it he begins from a distinct disadvantage.
Whatever his protestations to the contrary, Ed-having been the choice of so many trade union members-cannot, surely, now turn his back on the Labour Left and head for the safety of the Centre ground (from which vantage point elections are won), unless he is immediately to become deeply unpopular with those who have given him power.
But, equally, if he doesn’t ensure Labour is a party of the centre-Left and instead remains on the fringes, he may well keep the faith of his trade union supporters but it’s very unlikely he’ll win the country.
Now, I’m a supporter of trade unions at their best and, in my time, I’ve been a member of the National Union of Students and the National Union of Journalists and, of course, I am all for working people being able to organise, and to negotiate and secure better pay and working conditions, and to fight injustice.
But you don’t have to have been alive in the 1970’s to know unions holding governments to ransom does no one any favours, including-in the long run and rather ironically-the unions themselves.
So, Ed is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t…and if I was Nick Clegg or David Cameron, I’d be pointing that out at every available opportunity.