That the Labour Party has no formulated policy response to the government’s welfare reforms was predictable – that Red Ed’s shadow cabinet and war-makers within Labour have so failed to provide an alternative narrative to the reforms other than line-by-line opposition is appalling. That the whole abject failure to find a line for Ed Miliband to trumpet is shambolic.
But the fact the whole Labour Party has had to be saved today by the Mirror running a ‘parking in a disabled spot’ splash on its front page is completely hilarious. Under Ed Miliband, what could have been an opportunity for a effective counterattack has collapsed into a total failure to grasp the news cycle – with the effect that at the end of the week with the single biggest shift in welfare policy in decades, the people are left none the wiser what the opposition would have done differently.
Nobody is minding the circus in Labour HQ – every backbencher with a Twitter account has seemed louder than the front bench. Every semi-sentient chimp with a red-rosette has had more to say than the shadow chancellor of the exchequer. And every one of them, without strategic guidance from Ed’s Cominform has reverted to type, calling for more spending, no cuts, total denial of the political and economic crisis in which the country finds itself.
Nobody knows what Labour thinks about the Philpotts. Nobody knows what they would do about the spare bedroom subsidy. On the single biggest tax spend area in government, people now know what the Conservatives want to do but have no idea what Labour would do. In the policy vacuum, bad policy has room to expand, as it now will among the comrades – and the first flourish of the approach appeared with the first week of spring – they would think carefully about scrapping Trident.
That’s right – in the week of the first time since 1967 that any nation has actually threatened nuclear war, Labour and Lib-Dems would consider scrapping our independent nuclear deterrent.