Ed Miliband is an Idiot

Posted: November 28, 2011 in anti-cuts resistance, protest, strikes
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Ed Milliband MP speaking at the Labour Party c...

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Said today:

Ed Miliband has indicated that he does not support Wednesday’s public sector strike. “Strikes are always a sign of failure but I’m not going to demonise the people who are taking the action,” he said on a visit to an Asda branch in south London. “I don’t support strikes because they are always a sign of failure.”

And rather than take a position in support of working people across the country, whom he was pretty clearly elected to represent, he’d rather continue New Labour’s obsession with triangulation. It’s ridiculous – of course they’re a sign of failure – they’re a sign of the Tories’ failure. We know a majority of people in the UK outright support the day of action on Wednesday:

An opinion poll commissioned by BBC News suggests 61% of people believe public sector workers are justified in going on strike over pension changes.

More than two million people are due to walk out on Wednesday.

The research also indicates differencesbetween men and women in their outlook on the strikes and the economy.

The polling firm Comres interviewed 1,005 adults by telephone across England, Scotland and Wales one week ago.

The poll indicates greater sympathy for the industrial action among women – at 67% – compared with men, at 55%.

Now the Telegraph would have you believe that a poll commissioned by the Sunday Times justifies Miliband’s position:

But this does not mean the nation necessarily supports the strikers – the BBC’s question is too general. Thankfully, the Sunday Times conducted another poll yesterday asking specifically whether they support or oppose Wednesday’s strike action. The results are the polar opposite: half of those polled ‘oppose’ head teachers, teachers and civil servants striking.

(As an aside, the poll also found that half of those questioned support introducing a rule to ban strikes unless 50 per cent of members vote in favour, instead of just 50 percent of those voting. Interesting when only 29 per cent of Unison members voted for the action.)

When asked what Ed Miliband’s attitude on the strikes should be, only 23 per cent said he should support them. The most significant proportion (33 per cent) say that he should stay on the fence. If he has any sense, the Labour leader will remain on the fence and avoid backing these controversial strikes.

But there are numerous flaws with what the Telegraph has extrapolated from the data. Above all they ignore the responsibility of a political leader, long ignored by Labour and Conservative alike is to lead, not merely to win power. Secondly the data doesn’t indicate how well informed people are about the issues. You’d probably find a similar poll showing support for the death penalty being introduced; it doesn’t mean that should happen. Thirdly the question has an inherent bias – merely framing the argument as being only about whether people should, or not, work longer and make higher contributions to their pensions. Taking that question in isolation is also a fatal mistake, as the entire poll shows pretty clearly that a majority of the respondents is opposed to the coalition and its flimsy record. If Miliband took responsibility for arguing an alternative to austerity and why the government’s position is so disgustingly wrong on the public sector, you may see those numbers change anyway, but no. By triangulating in true New Labour fashion, he justifies the government’s argument and betrays everyone who wants an alternative to the coalition which is dragging us all down with it.

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