Posts Tagged ‘dialogue of the deaf’

Why Labour is not being heard on the economy

10/06/2011, 08:21:39 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Labour did a good thing last week.

On Sunday, Ed Balls re-launched his proposals for a £2bn tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund action on youth unemployment and a new house building programme.

Politically, the policy draws exactly the right dividing lines. Greedy bankers versus young unemployed and aspiring home-owners.

In economic terms, it focuses funds just where they are needed, helping reduce the costs of economic failure and getting the housing market moving again.

And by putting down amendments to the finance bill, Balls will ensure a parliamentary vote on the plan, giving the opportunity to pressure individual Tory and Lib Dem MPs and expose whose side they are really on.

The initiative has all the elements of a policy which could cut through the white noise of political debate to resonate with the public.

But it hasn’t.

Not that there was anything wrong with the proposals. Or the media coverage. The public just don’t seem to be listening, much as when the proposals were originally launched in March.

In his Q&A session at the GMB conference on Monday, rather than being on the front foot, Balls had to explain why Labour wasn’t doing better in the polls.


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