I just watched Ed Balls on Channel 4 News calling for VAT cuts. Labour’s argument is that they agree that they need to bring the deficit down but not so fast. Recently I heard Labour talking about the National Health service. Once again they agree that change is needed but not the change that the government are pursuing.
It’s easy being in opposition. All you have to do is disagree with the government. I don’t think many of us have enough understanding to know whether the governments fast track to deficit reduction is better than Labour’s ideas for going more slowly.
We do know that the opposition are bound to disagree with the government. The truth is that Labour have no alternative and so they are forced to criticise the speed of the process rather than the process itself. This is not surprising since the Labour leadership are a bunch of nobodies.
Both Millibands and Balls have never had proper jobs. They all worked as media monkeys for New Labour before being shoe horned into safe seats. They perform so lamely in opposition because they have no policy ideas of their own. They only know is how to present ideas, know how to play the media. Remember that idiotic attack on Ken Clark a few weeks ago? Any sensible person who listened to Clark’s arguments could not have believed that he meant to make light of rape yet Ed Milliband picked it up and was banging on about it during PMQs the very same day. This was nothing but spin.
I have heard several times in the news that Ed Balls is a “considerable intellect” and that he is generally well clued up on the economy. Last week The Telegraph released transcripts of some of Mr. Balls documents from when he was working for Gordon Brown. I read the document entitled Project Volvo where Mr. Balls lays out his ideas for getting Gordon Brown elected.
Not much evidence of a great intellect there.
In fact, project Volvo was no more than an off the shelf marketing campaign which could have been put together by any marketing graduate. The same approach could have been used to sell magazines or margarine.
I realise that this marketing stuff works and therefore political parties are forced to hire marketing staff. I guess this took off in the UK when Margaret Thatcher hired Saatchi and Saatchi but Thatcher was never so stupid as to confuse marketing staff with politicians. Labour’s mistake was to allow the marketing men to run the party.
You have to be suspicious when you hear that Labour want to cut taxes. So when I heard, this evening, that Ed Balls wanted to cut VAT I did not think that this was part of a well thought out economic strategy. I thought that he was TALKING BOLLOCKS! Balls knows that reputable bodies such as the IMF and the EU do not agree with him and he knows that the government will ignore his calls. But that is not the point.
Mr. Balls does not expect the government to follow his advise. His call for a VAT cut is merely headline grabbing fluff to cast the Tories in a bad light. More spin. More marketing.
Under Tony Blair the marketing men worked too closely with the leadership. In today’s Labour party the marketing men ARE the leadership. I am even starting to hear of yet another rebranding attempt, this time to be entitled “Blue Labour”.
In marketing terms Labour is now a tainted brand and repairing a brand is a very big job requiring going back to honesty and principles. The product itself must have intrinsic value.
While Labour remain a party led by nobodies like Ed Balls even Saatchi and Saatchi couldn’t repair it.