The Mind of Ed Miliband


(The mind of Ed Miliband — such as it is!).  People are starting to ask why the Labour Party has not sought to match the Tory pledge of a 2017 EU Referendum — or indeed to go one better and offer a referendum sooner.  The electoral advantage is evident, and I, like many on our side of the fence, had expected that ahead of the 2015 General Election both Tories and Labour would offer an EU referendum.  Indeed I wondered if even the Lib-Dems would yield to the pressure — after all, the mendacious wannabees gave such a pledge last time (although of course they never intended to deliver, and have fought tooth and nail against it ever since).

I’ve just come across one possible explanation.  Ed perhaps thinks that he has little chance of winning a working majority in 2015, so his game-plan is to show some ankle to the Lib-Dems in the hope that they might join a Lib-Lab coalition after the election.  He believes (perhaps rightly) that a Labour commitment to an EU referendum would scupper that possibility (although a lib-Lab coalition would also give him the perfect excuse to dump the referendum pledge).  If this is so, he is clearly a man who puts personal ambition ahead of the electorate or the national interest, and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be the Prime Minister of Great Britain.  A small-time politician, not a statesman.

His plan may be disappointed on other grounds.  Given the state of Nick Clegg in the opinion polls, the loss of the Lib-Dems’ “none-of-the-above” niche now that they’re in government, and now that they’re facing the Lord Rennard crisis, it’s not impossible that there will be more UKIP MPs than Lib-Dem MPs in Westminster in 2015.  Watch this space.

Meantime, Nick Clegg warns that the uncertainty of Britain’s place in the EU, given the talk of an In/Out referendum, is a disincentive for foreign investors to come to Britain.  Clearly he’s desperate for any subject that might distract attention from the Lord
Rennard rumpus. But let’s be fair to Nick Clegg: he has half a point.  It’s a very cack-handed approach to international relations to say “We’ll have a referendum in four years’ time” (as it was when he announced it).  It’s like a man who goes to his wife and says “I’d like a divorce, please, dear, but not until 2017”.  Or as Saint Augustine put it “Oh Lord, make me chaste.  But not yet!”.  This is bound to create uncertainty, and uncertainty is never good for investment.  But the conclusion is not to abandon the Referendum, but to get on with it.

Meantime, some thoughts for Nick Clegg.  If you want to know what discourages business and investment, Nick, look no further than Brussels.  The massive direct and indirect costs of EU membership damage our fiscal position, and drive up regulatory and compliance costs for industry.  EU employment laws make our labour markets less flexible and increase employment costs — they also obstruct job creation and growth.  And perhaps most pressing right now, those EU climate and energy policies which have started to make even the EU Commission itself flinch, are driving industry and jobs and investment overseas.

And those Captains of Industry (who ought to know better) who are saying we should stay in the EU?  I’m afraid, Nick, that they’ve swallowed your “isolated and marginalised” narrative without pausing to think.  As an independent nation, we’ll continue to have access to Europe’s (declining) markets through a Free Trade Agreement, but without the suffocating burden and cost of EU regulation.  We’ll have market access, lower costs, lower taxes, lower energy prices, more flexible labour markets.  What’s not to like?


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8 Responses to The Mind of Ed Miliband

  1. It may be that he correctly thinks such a promise would be of little value to him because nobody would believe it.

    As you point out the presently running Pseudo-Liberal” manifesto commits them to such referendum but nobody believe they were not lying.
    All 3 parties made such a “cast iron” promise over the constitreaty.
    Cameron has told El Pais that he will not accept the results of his currently promised referendum.

    A manifesto promise is the hard currency of politics – all 3 parties are bankrupt, at which point kiting more cheques persuades nobody. For Milband to make a new promise risks drawing attention to his bankruptcy.

    UKIP, alone, are trusted, even by our opponents, to mean what we say. We may have far less political capital than the other parties but we are the only one not generally considered as politically and morally bankrupt. That is an enormous asset, we should not be nervous of mentioning.

    • Mike Stallard says:

      The huge plus of UKIP over the LibDems is that they appealed to the “I’m fed up” voters whether they were left wing, right wing or just out of date. UKIP is not that. It has a positive policy. Agree or disagree, you know what they want.

  2. Jane Davies says:

    What a bunch of muppets…I despair for my native country if any of them win the next election. Time to set UKIPS’s wares on the table Roger…the good folk of old blighty need to know what your policies are, besides leaving the sink hole (EU)! I hope unfreezing my state pension is on the agenda a shameful discriminatory treatment for just 4% of the UK’s seniors. The UK’s integrity is compromised by this ongoing injustice.

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Roger..I was much amused (and pleased) by Mr Farages weather forecast on the BBC2 Daily Politics. Brilliant…and do it again and again!!

    My worry is that I am certain that Labour will squeeze in somehow. The present Lib Dem thing is of little/no use and UKIP despite a good following cannot change this. For an old and much respected country it is truly appalling. Yep, there are those still alive who do look up to us. But who can we blame….sadly its those who don’t/won’t vote and the remainder that do vote. The latter mostly following a well out of date belief – either what dad would have done or likely/mostly a blinding hate for Mrs Thatcher. No good going on about that is there?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Guido Fawkes featured that Weather Forecast if you don’t want to mess with spendy iPlayer stuff. Free of TV Licence ? How does that work?

  4. cosmic says:

    Neither Cameron nor Miliband (actually neither Conservative or Labour, because this isn’t altogether to do with current leaders) want to leave the EU and that’s the fundamental fact which informs everything.

    It’s long been Tory policy to ‘talk tough on Europe’ whilst having no intention of doing anything about it. They have to do this to keep their eurosceptic supporters on side. Events, such as the turmoil with the Euro, have meant that the subject of the EU hasn’t drifted from the news the way it has in the past. The intrusiveness of the EU is also becoming harder to disguise as time goes by. The Tories are left making stronger gestures, but if you think about it, they are never anything more than gestures.

    As things have worked out, Miliband doesn’t have to talk about ‘Europe’, so he won’t, and he certainly won’t be drawn into a referendum bidding contest. If you look back at Cameron’s history, “not banging on about ‘Europe'” and all the rest of it, he would prefer not to talk about the subject at all, just drift along with EU integration.

    Cameron’s 2017 referendum promise was never a thing to be taken seriously for several good reasons, not the least of which is that a promise from Cameron is worth about as much as a used bus ticket.

    The other thing from Miliband’s point of view is that the referendum promise hasn’t proven to be the UKIP killer that many Tories were hoping, so it really hasn’t mended the Tories’ fortunes and put them on a course for a GE victory. Why would he want to stir the pot on this when it appears to be something which gives the Tories no great electoral advantage together with being something he just doesn’t want to happen?

  5. Adrian Hey says:

    Miliband isn’t just a small-time politician, it’s become increasingly clear that he and his entire party are mere puppets of comrade McClusky & the unite union.

    As for the alleged investment uncertainty surrounding the referendum promise and future of our EU membership, I would think it far more likely that international investors will be scared off by the mere possibility of a Labour(/LibDem) government. How about we put their minds at rest and end this uncertainty by cancelling the next general election?

    I am no fan of Cameron but credit where credit is due, he’s certainly the least appaling of Cameron, Miliband & Clegg trio. What a choice! No wonder UKIP are on the march.

    • Mike Stallard says:

      I warmly agree with this post. Well said! He who pays the piper calls the tune and this policy of Hollandism which the Labour are putting into practice comes straight from the TUC. It is what the rich and powerful leaders think the “hard working people” want. The “hard working people” by the way are the ones who are made to support them in the manner to which they have become accustomed,

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