The Conference Season is well upon us and Labour have just finished their week of fun…….Ed Balls being the first of the two to speak spent most of his time pointing out the mess and mistakes Dave, George and Nick are making, and let’s face it, there’s plenty to point out. I noted that he used the word conference when addressing the audience. I think it would have sounded better (if a bit old-fashioned) to have just said ‘brothers and sisters’!
Even though they claim to have moved on from old Labour, it seems to me, there’s still a lot of that old bitter, personal, shake them out of the pram, you’re not playing with my toys you greedy bastard attitude about. There was praise for the police, fire fighters, the armed forces and so on. More praise for the Olympics and all those involved, particularly those involved in securing it for London in 2012, (you know the usual suspects; Blair, Prince William, Livingstone, Brown, Coe and co, Johnson and a special mention for Tessa Jowell). As I said, Balls spent most of his time pointing out the mess and mistakes being made and the need to undo and/or put things right. But sad to say, no real message as to how.
However, there was one particular issue I was pleased he did refer to which is that we have a Chancellor who in six months’ time will raise taxes for pensioners on the very same day he cuts the top rate of tax for the very richest – a £3 billion tax cut, giving £40,000 a year to a millionaire. Not only is Ed right when he says it’s wrong, I think it’s got to be the most cynical thing a millionaire Prime Minister and his Chancellor can do – greedy bastards. He did make some suggestions that could help get the economy moving such as house building using money from the sale of the 4G spectrum. However, as I have said on previous occasions, because the other lot have suggested something positive, the lot in government cannot (or will not) do it because the other lot would jump up and down laughing their socks off accusing the government lot of doing an about turn! So, all in all a lot of talk but not a lot said, it’s all clever stuff. There must be a training school somewhere that they all go too to learn how to do it. The other day I was listening to Eddie Mair of Radio 4’s PM program interviewing Ed Balls' wife Yvette Cooper, and he asked her about Labour’s plans for police numbers should they win the next election and as per the norm, she changed it round to answer a different question. However, Eddie is really good at his job and wasn’t having any of it and insisted she answer his question instead of her own. Boy, they’re as slippery as oiled grease
Then we had the word according to Ed Miliband. One Nation, some commentators kept a tally of how many times he said that, I didn’t but I know it was a lot. Now this really was evangelical. I watched his speech and I have to say, I think he believed every word of it. He was open, candid and full of enthusiasm, he really meant it. He spoke about himself, his parents, schooling and what he believed in. And the audience kept giving him rounds of applause (he even got a couple of standing ovations), and he kept on telling them what they wanted to hear. It was just like a giant love-in (except for the union bosses who kept straight faces, well, as straight as its possible when you’re chewing like a cow chewing the cud). Just like Ed Balls he mentioned the Olympics etc, Coe and co, etc and a special mention for Tessa Jowell. He also referred to the Chancellor cutting the top rate of tax for the very richest – a £3 billion tax cut don’t forget. He said an awful lot about what sort of one nation it should be.
Sad to say, just like Ed Balls, he did a lot of talking without really saying much at all so what was the point of it? You know, writing about it is boring me; I really don’t want to listen to it again. If I could give him any advice at all, it would be to resign, leave his wealth behind, go out into the world and find a job which would bring him into contact with ordinary people, rough it for about 10 to 15 years then get back into politics. I really believe he could then be a great leader. At the moment, for me he comes over as an enthusiastic boy scout who wants to be taken seriously – sorry Ed, I just can’t.