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You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Ed Miliband's position is perfectly clear. What's the big problem?

Having watched 3 Ed Miliband interviews last night, Labour's economic policy seems perfectly coherent, logical and straight forward to me. So as a public service for the greater good, let me clarify, for example, the Miliband position on public sector pay. I am paraphrasing his words here...

 "The public sector pay freeze is an assault on the worthiest and often most poorly paid sectors of society, driven not by economic necessity but by political philosophy and general spite. It is nothing less than a disgrace. I have therefore decided to embrace it for the good of the economy and the nation. For by freezing pay, I safeguard jobs and that is my priority. But be clear. I am only supporting this freeze because it represents a 1% rise in pay. This rise is the minimum freeze we can accept. My own council in Doncaster has actually started to cut pay amongst local public sector employees and I am convinced they are right to do so. They have my total support. And so would any other council who thinks cutting pay is the right alternative to the 1% rise (or 'payfreeze') being introduced elsewhere."
There now. How much clearer can he be?


  1. You certainly are paraphrasing Ed's words to the point of complete misrepresentation. As I understand it Ed has never been in favour of a pay freeze which meant a zero rise in pay levels but has had to go along with a 1% average rise which meant that higher rises could be negotiated for the most poorly paid. This formula is all about making the best of a bad job given that the Tories have made the financial situation worse and that as a result the choice is now between a rise limited to 1% or a greater loss of jobs.

    Get it?

  2. good luck justifying that on the doorsteps - and he did also advocate and support pay cuts in his interview with Nick Robinson yesterday which I notice you've skipped. In fact my paraphrasing is a pretty accurate reflection of his position. it's just not a very good position....

  3. Nuanced positions are usually difficult to explain on the doorstep. But they can still be coherent, and logical, as you have admitted yourself in this case and are generally more right than unnuanced positions.

    And Miliband only supported cuts in pay in the context of workers and trade unions agreeing to them to save jobs. He has not advocated them per se.