“Rocks on which hopes of Mr Miliband will be dashed”
Philip Collins in today’s Times (pay wall) says the Budget revealed Labour’s weakness:
The most calamitous error, from which there has never been a clear way back, was not to concede, early and clearly, that Labour had carried on spending long after retrenchment was needed. Refusing to admit any culpability at all gave Mr Osborne the opportunity he relished to pin all the blame on Labour. It was and is an unfair charge but Labour should have seen it coming and conceded guilt to the lesser charges in order to avoid going down for the job lot. …
It was a mistake not to set out a list of indicative cuts that Labour was actively proposing. The accusation of being profligate and soft-headed was a serious charge that Mr Miliband never did enough to counter. The Budget repeated another obvious truth, which is that the next term of government will be dominated by more cuts to state spending. We still have almost no idea at all how Labour will cope with this. …
The Budget did not cause these facts but it will be an occasion on which they are confirmed and observed. … Real politics is happening underneath the surface. Slowly, the water is receding, leaving only the rocks on which the hopes of Mr Miliband will be dashed.
We Blairites have been saying this for four years now. Now we will find out if we are right.Tagged in: ed balls, ed miliband, philip collins
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