Can Ed Miliband learn from Obama

Comes out fighting

The Obama presidency has looked in trouble for more than a year. The Republicans have blocked any attempt he makes to get some growth back into the economy and his recent actions and attitude have been that of a beaten man.

He was getting blasted with much the same conservative rhetoric as Ed Miliband has been getting from the Tories and their supporters in the press. Yet unlike Miliband, who with Balls decided to play along with the Tory storyline, Obama came out fighting yesterday in his State of the Union address. He even managed to sound more Labour than the two Eds ever have in recent memory. I hope all those spin doctors, SPADs and bag carriers were paying attention.

There are some points that Obama made that we should copy. Like why is the richest section of our society so under-taxed. If ‘we are all in this together’ then surely everyone has to pay their fair share. Instead we see the fat cats getting fatter and the lower half on the income scale getting decidedly poorer. Obama thinks he can win an election on this issue. Labour would not be unwise to follow his lead.

  • swatantra

    Its one thing to propose, its an entirely different thing to do. And Obama knows that full well. Guantanamo, Foreign adventures, Welfare, Israel/Palestine and the Economy. All pretty much failures. Little achieved; little progress, little improvement. But then Obama inherited an appalling State of Affairs. Obama is no a socialist but a neo-liberal. He believes in capitalism and the American Way. Fairer taxation and resdistribution of wealth and more State intervention to regulate so every citizn gets a fair deal is what socialism is all about. 

    • Anonymous

      And Miliband believe in what socialism your joking the whole world believes in capitalism for god sake. Miliband had one good day at PMQ’s and the place is saying he is onto a winner all year he’s been bloody useless.

      The fact is Labour is following the Tories on welfare, spending , cuts, housing, not leading following, you keep following people will say he cannot lead.

      • swatantra

        I have never known an incoming  Govt reverse a major policy of a previous Govt. It just can’t be done. Even the Tories carried on the policy of comprehensive education inherited by the pseudo socialist Govt of Wilson in fact Thatcher did even better than Shirley Williams expanding comps. The Anti Trade Union Laws brought in by Thatcher and probably formulated by Red Barbara Castle couldn’t be reversed by Blair even if he’d wanted to. You build on what you inherit, and try and make the best job of it. Most new Govts follow the spending plans of the previous Govt. Even Osborne can’t get away from borrowing even more money than Labour did, although e woul deny it. That is why Ed will have to follow what the Tories have put in place, long term plans that don’t mature for 10 years or so. Govts plan for the long ter, eg  earnings related link to pensions had been planned to be intorduced by Labour in 2012. Cameron now claims that its the Tories that introduced the link while Labour dithered. Nonsense

        • DevonChap

          Changing Government policy is like turning a supertanker, it takes a long time. Which is why every government spends its first term blaming its predecessor and the voters acknowledge this. Since the war only one government has not been re-elected after their first term. Could happen again but the numbers are against it.

          Disclaimer: Past performance is no guide to the future; Poll ratings can go down as well as up. This post regulated by OffTroll.

  • Anonymous

    The key point is “thinks he can win an election on this issue“. It might turn out to be less popular than you hope. I think the proof of the pudding will be next November and even then it will be hard to say for certain given the Republicans seem dead set on nominating a donkey like Newt Grigrich who pretty much any sitting President could beat. I’m not saying a bit of class warfare won’t work, just that don’t let what you want to see blind you to what is, especially when what the result will be is unclear.

    I would also point out that American politics is different to the UK. Just because they speak English we pay far more attention to their politics forgetting the very different cultural opinions here. You can’t just lift a playbook from the US.

  • LesAbbey

    Interesting to see that François Hollande, the Socialist Party candidate in the next French Presidency election is also talking about taxing the rich in a similar way to Obama. It leaves Ed Miliband and Ed Balls looking very conservative with no polling gain for their efforts to fit in with the right of the party. The spin doctors and bag carriers really are to blame for this and there does need to be clean out starting with Tom Baldwin. Look at the rod Cameron made for his own back by keeping Coulson on the payroll far too long. Miliband should learn from this.

    • swatantra

      Labour should be proposing an annual one off wealth tax, every year just to sweep up any excessive money the stinking rich have salted away orthought they had hidden from the taxman. 
      Its a popular policy,squeezing the rich till their pips squeak. But its never been achieved since time immemorial and Magna Carta Kng John and the Barons.
      Hollande must be the most uncharasmatic socialist since Clem Attlee, but he’s way ahead in the polls so much so that Sarko might do a deal with the Facists National Front in the 2nd Round.
      Unfortunately, every Party needs spin merchants to get their evn simple messages across to a confused electorate. Lets hope Hollande doesn’t turn out to be another unscrupulous and dodgy character like Mitterand.

      • Anonymous

        If governments have tried since time immemorial to squeeze the rich and always failed, why do you think we would have more success now? What was Einstein’s definition of insanity?

  • Swatantra

    Despite Santorum’s recent victories in the caucases, it looks like ‘Anyone but Mitt’ Romney will be up against Obama; which means that he will win that 2nd Term and do great things without having to think again about re-election.

  • Swatantra

    The trouble with most PMs and Presidents is that they are always looking to the 2nd term and reelection. When they should really be thinking about doing it all in 4 years or 5 years, and sod the 2nd term.
    Obama had everything the Senate and Congess and the people behind him and yet he delayed introducing his Welfare Reforms.
    The advice is just get on with it; bring about the change, and forget about the 2nd term, and bow out.  Who knows the measures you’ve introduced may well prove successful and you’ve got your 2nd term.
    Labour Leaders need to learn that lesson. the 45 Govt changed Britain and it was done in 5 years.

    • Anonymous

       Interesting maths; 1945 to 1951 = 5 years.

      Other than that sarky comment you are right that governments should govern as if it their only term. Tories in 1979-83 made radical changes and courted deep unpopularity to do what they thought was essential.

      Blair sat on his hands for his first term, spending 4 years running for re-election in 2001. After that events took over and the time for radicalism was past. So little was achieved that when Blair left a Radio 4 discussion seriously could only say his greatest achievement was free museum admission. Nice but hardly overthrowing the post war settlement.

      To its credit the coalition is running forward with many radical policies. They govern as if its their only term, largely because it probably is (Tory majority, Labour majority or Lib-Lab coalition are all likelier outcomes).

      • Swatantra

        I gave a much fuller comment on ‘Labour Uncut’ which takes in the very points you’ve made.
        The Coalition may well come unstuck if Nick puts his foot down on Lansleys  ’reforms’ and says: No. 
        Yet another U-Turn for the Coalition. Honestly, I’ve lost count. 

        • Anonymous

          I think your wrong the Tories know they have so much scope because labour is really so unelectable at the moment, they are moving between new labour, labour, and shall we take over from the Tories.

           I suspect the public will give the Tories another term or they will decide another hung government, I suspect the Tories may even get a minority government with Labours millions staying at home.

          never have I seen Unions or Union people or even the public accept so many cuts, without saying anything, they are not marching for the NHS which once upon a time you say cuts and NHS in the same breath millions would be on the streets.

          I think since the expenses scandal the public are sick and tired of hearing about politics.,

          • Swatantra

            You can only push the people so far. Look at Greece,where a technocratic Govt has imposed massive cuts and the Unions and the workers are not going to take it any more. Its unfair because we all know the Greeks have been living beynd their means for years and need a it of self discipline and regulation; they obviouslyy can’t do it themselves so the Technocrats and IMF have don it for them. Greece could well fall to another coup by the military, stepping in where bickering politicians fear to tread.
            I’ve often thought that we could do with a technocratic Govt here as well just to sort things out.  I’d agree that the public have lost faith in all politicians; but the trouble with the Military is that  they don’t ave any imagination; they’re so used to following orders.

          • Anonymous

            The problem is we are hearing the Greek government may not call an election to stop the people voting for s0mebody like the Commies.

            They are talking about a government of all parties.

            here of course you get people marching and waving flags, when we do get annoyed of course as it happened in my town people get shot