Yesterday, in a Q and A, Ed Miliband was asked when he would “bring back socialism”. He replied: “That’s what we are doing, Sir". Speaking ahead of the Labour conference, Red Ed detailed a series of policies intended to appeal to Labour voters, including:
1. Scrapping the “spare room subsidy”, a policy in the Labour 2010 manifesto
2. A U turn on welfare reform which he previously accepted was necessary to cut the nations welfare bill.
3. Ending zero hours contracts, a policy that his own council in Doncaster uses, as do local authorities up and down the country.
4. Opposing the privatisation of Royal Mail, which was Labour party policy pre 2010 and the only way Royal Mail will survive.
Then we had the Primary School Plans. These I find fascinating and bizarre even by Ed Miliband's standards. For those unaware, Red Ed announced plans under which primary schools would be forced by law to look after pupils from 8am until 6pm. How would this be costed? He said it “doesn’t make sense in this century” that some schools still close in mid afternoon, when both parents more often work.
He promised to “legislate for a primary school guarantee that every school is an 8am to 6pm school”. The primary teachers I know who do a fantastic job would have a word or two to say about that plan. Aside from all these things these are just yet more spending commitments by a man without a clue about balancing the books.