Monday, 29 April 2013

We can do it

If we forget about the hype regarding the UKIP/Conservative battle, then pretty much everyone knows what the political landscape is going to look like in a few years time. It isn't going to be a happy place for the Conservatives, who are currently enjoying the popularity of a over ripe banana, but is looking increasingly like Labour will have an easy ride.

Without doing much except criticize everything that the government does, they have been able to capitalize on the sort of growth that only opposition parties will ever experience. They are, to put it simply, riding a wave of discontent against a government that really needs to see some good news first.

Yet, all this criticizing and pointing out the flaws has left Miliband with quite a sizeable problem of his own: that nobody actually knows what he stands for. Yes, being a Labour politician he hardly stands for the closing down of schools and snatching milk from small children, but beyond that he is just the goofy guy who gets to shout at Cameron every Wednesday.

So, knowing that he needs to be able to at least string a few policies together if his election campaign is not going to fall apart, he has announced a few of the boring details in his alternative Queen's speech, which details exactly what he would do if he was living at number 10. This seems like a positive step, and a necessary step since Miliband has to at least tell us what he stands for if he expects us to vote for him, but is also fairly risky.

In 2015, Miliband is going to be banking on the fact that the economy will still be in need of economic stimulus, with slow growth and economic stagnation. This is the only set of conditions where his plans actually make sense, and that may very well not be the case in a few years time. It is all very well coming up with a plan, and trying to make yourself seem like you are doing it, but by pouncing this early Miliband is attaching his name to policies that could completely be irrelevant in a few years time.

Once he has actually stated what his politics are, we start to to get to the awkward situation where he might have to go against one of them, since times change, bringing up the horrible accusations of U-turns and being spineless.

In fact, the more you look at it, the more it is apparent that Miliband has a massive opportunity to take Labour back into power, but just as easily lead into a black abyss. If he does nothing, he will simply lead a protest party that will almost definitely get into power, but will be completely unprepared for, and if he continues to detail his politics he is at risk of becoming completely irrelevant. If seems with all this great potential and opportunity, comes the fact that Labour may be close to throwing it all down the drain.

At least if he tries and thinks thing through before he gets into power he might at least be competent, rather than the Conservatives who actually looked surprised when they reached number 10.

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