Trouble at Ed Mil

Word reaches Uncut of trouble brewing for Ed Mil.

The young pretender made some unguarded comments to  a regional newspaper last week about differential  benefit levels for those in the North and the South. He told the Northern Echo that benefits  should be raised in the South to offset the higher cost of living. Northern MPs are said to be, “concerned” – Parliamentary language for bouncing off the walls.

They fear he could be opening the door for the Conservatives to drive through a two-tier tax credit system aimed at placating jittery southern Lib Dems and uppity Shire Tories.

This may of course turn out to be a storm in an ale mug, or it could be the first ‘A’ list gaffe of the leadership campaign.

A bold plan for a Labour resurgence ‘dahn saaf’? Or evidence of young Edmond’s political immaturity? Watch this space.

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3 Responses to “Trouble at Ed Mil”

  1. If these northern MPs are concerned and decide to pick a fight with Ed Miliband, I hope they have the brains not to do it on this issue.

    Cost of living is unquestionably higher in the south, as are wages. The helping hand of government is less effective. If they don’t like this suggestion, they’d better think of another one to appeal to the south. And they absolutely should not set the coalition and its media allies up with a fantastic opportunity to attack ‘northern scroungers’ and a culture of state dependency.

  2. BenS says:

    Or Edward…it could be perfectly justified because the north gets a rough deal. You wouldn’t argue other parts of the world get a good deal because prices are cheaper than they are in the West so don’t make out that the north’s problems are their doing either

  3. No, the north does not ‘get a rough deal’. It’s a region of the country, not a person. Northerners have lower average incomes, worse social, health and educational outcomes and fewer private sector jobs. Those our things that a Labour government needs to work to rectify.

    But at the same time, there are bits of the south where there is deeply entrenched poverty and deprivation and where the private sector is almost non-existent (and not just in London either). The inhabitants of these areas are harder to help using tax credits, because their money doesn’t go as far due to higher rent and cost of living. Labour absolutely needs to have an answer to this and complaints from a succession of northern MPs without making constructive suggestions are just going to play into the hands of the Tories.

    The best thing for the north is a strong and stable Labour government. You aren’t going to get that without winning more seats in the Midlands and the south. As we can’t win affluent shire seats, that means winning the votes of the southern working class in borough constituencies. And you can’t win those votes if your offer in terms of redistribution of wealth is based on tax credits which won’t be sufficient to help those voters. They’re not going to vote to help the north out of a sense of regional altruism. So you have to offer them something. And if it’s not differential tax credits (and I’m not saying it has to be – I’m open to any plausible suggestion) it has to be something.

    You seem to think I’m expressing an anti-northern bias here. I’m not, and I didn’t suggest that the north’s problems are its own doing. I’m merely suggesting that Labour has to offer something for all regions, because our pool of potential voters doesn’t stop just south of Leicester.

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