Ed Milliband made a good start for what its worth, unfortunately what its worth is nothing . He had some fun at Cameron`s expense on child benefit. Quite right it’s a callous and foolish policy but so what ?No-one affected could seriously entertain Red Ed as an ally, he has no ‘traction’ with the middling he has no voice in the South at all in fact .
When and if he earns a hearing I feel there is an opportunity for New Labour to make some of the hard yards up. Tuition fees ,Child benefit and the fiscal drag of the higher limit will all alienate the Southern squeezed-middle ( a phrase he has latched onto with a sound instinct ). We know the top rate was a gesture, and there is nothing to done about the rich . There is ,however ,room both for revenue and for political capital for an intermediate rate of 45p at about £75,000 . This might be hypothecated to pay for for taxing child benefit rather than removing it . Simply opposing the cut looks like implausible schoolboy posturing . My impression is that Ed himself knows this .
Can Neil Kinnock`s protégé ever be negotiable currency South of Watford though? Not until the Labour Party itself has changed enough to start talking about the “Taxpayer" without embarrassment . Not until Neil Kinnock feels he has once again lost his Party. I wonder, though, if Ed may be a more formidable opponent than some had had thought .
To effect change you must occupy the centre and move it . Ed occupies the centre of the Labour Party and paradoxically that may be a better place to start a deep transformation than to issue edicts from above . New Labour is dead but it was always a slogan . I have a feeling Ed Milliband has a better chance of making it a reality than his brother
I hope Cameron is worried .