Monday, 18 February 2013

Miliband parks his economic tank on the battlefield

“We would put right a mistake made by Gordon Brown and the last Labour government”

Well hello Mr Miliband, please park your tank on the battlefield neatly between the blue one and yellow one.
Miliband's announcement that a future Labour Government would re-introduce a 10p rate of tax was not expected, not forecast but certainly well-timed.
The beauty of this move is how much of Westminster life it will affect in the coming months, right up until May 2015.
By coming out with the sentence above, Miliband and Balls have scored a intriguing political hat-trick.

The admission of economic error - Since 2010 David Cameron has pinned all the economic ills at Labour's door. It's a strategy which has succeeded but now is looking weaker because the economy is still lethargic.
Miliband knew the abolition of 10p was controversial and upset Labour voters. But he also knew it was an easy apology to make and would show on the surface Labour was prepared to acknowledge it made mistakes on the economy. A classic case of we've accepted our mistakes Mr Osborne, will you?

Goodbye Gordon - Another favourite Tory line is to brand Miliband and Balls 'Sons of Gordon' because both worked for the Chancellor at the Treasury. Well today both Eds told the world they didn't like daddy. Brown will be fuming but Miliband and Balls have tried to put clear water between themselves and Brown/Blair.

Chaos theory - Lib Dems want the mansion tax, not 10p tax rate. Tories want 10p not mansion tax. Labour floating both is classic stirring. Are you a Lib Dem, don't like coalition but do love the mansion tax, come over to our side. Mr Osborne, we've floated the idea of 10p, are you brave enough to whack it in your budget like so many back-benchers want, knowing that if you do you shall come across rather weak to the outside world.
And if he doesn't, might the plotters begin making their moves on Cameron by going after his best mate? The polls haven't exactly bounced for Labour this weekend, but they have solidly retained a double digit lead, more than enough to return to Downing Street you would imagine.
Miliband's pledge won't win him Eastleigh, barring a miracle, but if John O'Farrell can add 2/3'000 to the share of the vote compared to 2010 it might be an indication how Southern England is reacting to Labour.

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