Ed Miliband does not represent change

Ed Miliband is a bit of a character. When I say character, I mean a caricature.

His goofy, nerdish persona, large facial features, and comical squeaky voice all contribute to his softly-softly image. He comes across as a nice guy, sincere in his beliefs. Dare I say it, he even comes across as trustworthy — though that’s not to say he actually is.


Ed Miliband won the Labour Party's leadership contest by a whisker, but will he bring change? Photo: DECC

While many in the Labour Party lament clean-cut, Blair-esque David Miliband’s loss of the leadership battle to his brother Ed, the rest are heralding a change in the party. Many are anticipating a shift back to the left and away from the New Labour ideology. A fresh start, breaking free from past mistakes like Iraq, which Ed prides himself as having opposed.

They think he can heal Labour’s image, scarred by the bullish and awkward Gordon Brown, and the PR-friendly bulls**tter Tony Blair, not to mention some horrendous policies.

Is Ed really the man to take Labour through a genuine rennaisance? I sincerely doubt it. Let’s ignore his rhetoric and instead look at his voting record during his five years as an MP.

According to theyworkforyou.com, he voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq War. This from a man who made a big point during his Labour leadership campaign that he was against the Iraq War. There’s actually very little evidence to show he opposed the war as he wasn’t an MP at the time of the invasion and he took no public, active opposition to it — there’s merely his word and that of anonymous “close friends”.

Leaving aside how opposed he actually was at the time of the invasion, he has since been forcefully and vocally opposed. If he is so against it, why has he voted against rigorously holding those who led us to war to account?

Furthermore, he was utterly complicit in Labour’s assault on civil liberties. He voted for introducing ID cards, as well as all of Labour’s anti-terrorism legislation. This legislation has since been used to spy on ordinary citizensarrest photographers and arrest peaceful protesters. I could go on.

He’s also voted for much stricter legislation on asylum seekers. As a result of these harsh laws, 98% of homosexuals seeking asylum are returned to a life of persecution, or worse still; execution.

On top of his voting record, he has spent almost his whole working life in politics within the Labour Party. He helped build and maintain New Labour, working for Gordon Brown for a few years while he was in the Treasury, before being gifted a seat in 2005.

Ed Miliband is not any significant change. He is no special key back to power. His roots and actions are New Labour through and through and people won’t quickly forget his party’s massive wrongs over the last thirteen years — including his part in them.

2 Responses to Ed Miliband does not represent change

  1. Scott Wheeler says:

    Whilst I agree that there is no objective evidence that he was against Iraq, I still think the signs are strong that he was against it. Think about it: Would he really of lied about Iraq to win against his own brother? His brother would of known what his views were at the time. You could tell that David and Ed are close. It was obvious to me that this was an honest contest as the only two people who stood had to remain honest in order keep their family strong and united. Would Ed really of lied? I find it unlikely.

    As for Ed being New Labour through and through then I think your wrong on two levels.

    Firstly, what is New Labour? “Old” Labour was about being radical for its time. It was only called “New” Labour to win over ‘middle England’ into believing it had changed. And secondly, when it became debatably a different party in the second term, the Brownite faction of the party opposed this. Ed opposed tuition fees and to my understanding the general public service changes that were made in the second term. Ed was also against scrapping the 50% rate, which was arguably New Labour’s biggest selling point to being ‘New’.

    So I disagree that Ed is “New Labour through and through”. When New Labour started out it was Old Labour in the sense that it was radical. Ed broadly supported that. When it become New for real in the second term (going past radical to the point of almost changing the parties identity entirely) then as I say, Ed opposed much of the second term.

  2. I wondered how long it would take for you to retort and it was longer than I’d expected! Haha.

    Ok, perhaps my speculation about his opposition to Iraq is a little cynical, but he has made quite a big deal of it and there’s not much to support him in it.

    Come off it Scott, New Labour wasn’t just a name change in 1997. What about the “third way”? To suggest in that Labour’s rebranding for ’97 was literally just that, with no ideological difference to Old Labour, is wrong. What about PFI? Independence of the Bank of England? Removal of Clause 4? The “golden rule”?

    Ed Miliband, as a SPAD to Brown, upheld all of these things.

    When you talk about the second term, again all we have is his word. I think it’s much better to look at his actions in the third term — i.e. his voting record. I’ve written in the story about this, you can see he sided with government in everything. The authoritarianism, the voting against an Iraq inquiry, the stricter asylum rules, and so on.

    These are all hallmarks of a career, New Labour politician.

    If he believes in all of those things he voted for, shame on him. If he doesn’t and merely did it to further his career, shame on him.

    For me, he’s still tarred with many of New Labour’s awful policies and legislation.

    The one thing I will say, though, is at least it isn’t David leading the party.

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