Thursday, June 7, 2012

Miliband's English Interest

You won't have been able to escape Ed Miliband opining on his sense of Englishness today, as he attempts to exploit a wave of patriotism that has gripped the country following the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. He desperately needs to distract the voting public from his parties more natural republicanism, as expressed by Tom Watson, Labour MP who described the Diamond Jubilee as a "show of opulence by state elites". For the old loyal Brownite (and now MiliBrownite) spinner, Watson's comments are an unusually clumsy and honest expression of what many on the left think of the Monarchy but, as Ed Miliband knows, are a big turn off for many key sections of the electorate.

Miliband knows Labour needs to revive its fortunes in the South of England after being wiped out there in the last election, and he'll hope claiming an interest in England will help that objective. However, as with Gordon Brown's "British jobs for British workers" sound bite, this speech is likely to turn out equally as meaningless and empty.

You have to ask, what is Miliband offering the English? There isn't one policy he can point to that is intended to benefit the English. To be fair, there isn't much on offer from any political party specifically for the English, apart from the Government's plan to reduce the democratic deficit caused by the unequal parliamentary constituency boundaries. Unsurprisingly, Labour oppose this eminently sensible plan. Why? Because they benefit from the inequality as there are more safe Labour constituencies in their heartlands than there should be.

It is also this self-serving approach to their politics we should bear in mind when considering Labour's new found interest in England. Labour relies heavily on Scotland as a power base and, if they got back into power, would do everything they could to boost their recently flagging fortunes there, at the expense of England and the English tax payer.

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