Monday, 4 April 2011

Little Ed and the titanic TUC tactics

I find it completely bizarre that the 'March for the Alternative' was held on the Saturday after the budget.

Normally one would think if you are trying to influence events you exert pressure beforehand, not after.

The budget is a standing event in the Westminster calendar and organisers will have prepared their tactics well in advance - they have to seeing as nowadays Police must be informed of any demonstrations and everything down to the babysitter requires booking.

So you'd only hold a march after the budget if the event you're trying to influence was not the budget.

And with other regular marches and demonstrations planned to reenergise the previously demoralised activist base this is something they are obviously trying to build from, not to - they wanted to make a splash and they had to be bold to fit into the news agenda seeing how earthquakes and tsunamis and civil wars and massacres were squeezing space from the headlines.

And nobody can possibly blame little Ed's Labour and his Trades Unions for the violence in Piccadilly after they successfully ponied up to 500,000 people to the capital, can they?

But if you start to consider the organisers deliberately planned to coordinated a massive expression of frustration which could never have any retrospective effect on votes in the Commons which had already taken place then you have to wonder if they couldn't have done more to dampen potential anger, or if they were only interested in stoking it.

Well, you have to applaud Ed Miliband - he certainly doesn't do anything to rouse a crowd!

Or maybe - upon reading Boris Johnson's own analysis of little Ed's speech - you can start to understand that it was intellectually dishonest of him to even take the podium in the first place and the march organisers were twisting his arm to adopt an even more revisionary set of policies which reversed any commitment to cut of the deficit, and they had deceitfully manipulated him into a position where all he could do was drown out his pious mumbling about the dull details of an economic policy which almost completely agrees with the government by juxtaposing it with hollow overblown comparisons to heroic social campaigners.

This is because Labour don't represent any alternative whatsoever, Labour represent the opposition (well, the official one at any rate). What alternatives they do propose amounts to a hodge-podge of hastily hatched disagreements with each individual aspect of policy in turn to allow them to pander to whichever oppositional gallery they're playing to that day - not any coherent programme, as they readily admit, they're 4 years out from the next general election.

I have to say I get angry when I hear little Ed and his rivals assert something is wrong with the coalition policy. It may well be (and there are plenty of specifics which you could identify), but that's not the point - if anything at all is right with the coalition then little Ed's position is wholly delegitimised by his (and that of his shadow chancellor's) position as Gordon Brown's two main henchmen who are responsible for what went wrong.

It doesn't matter whether they were the direct cause of the problems or not, it happened on their watch so they must take responsibility. Until they do they are tarnished bads and unelectable anchors weighing their party down.

They may say the coalition is shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic, but they were pilot and navigator when it hit the iceberg.

They may say the design of the ship was considered state-of-the-art, but they were sailing too far to the north in unseasonal weather conditions under pressure from the line operator in full knowledge of the potential, and with satellite GPS tracking, virtualised sonar, every digital age gizmo and gadget and a whole army of pointy-headed prophets at their disposal - none of which they used and all of whom they denounced for talking out of turn when they spoke up of their own accord.

They may condemn the unpleasant events which surrounded the public appearance, but it was set up for his benefit and if he is happy to be publicly unhappy then he needs to look in the mirror.

He may be married to a reputable musician, but she certainly hasn't taught him to hit the right note or cover-up his tendency to sound tone-deaf - music to my ears he certainly isn't.

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