Miliband bids to perk up image
LONDON BRITAIN’s embattled opposition chief Ed Miliband sought to relaunch his leadership on Tuesday, with a crucial policy speech saying that only his Labour party can deliver “fairness in tough times.” Miliband faces poor poll ratings and renewed criticism from within his own party of his performance, along with an embarrassing incident last week involving a typographical mistake in a Twitter message.
But in a speech in central London, he said that his centre- left party had to accept that if it regained power it would be left with a deficit to tackle by the current Co n s e r v a t i v e - L i b e r a l Democrat coalition.
“We must rethink how we achieve fairness for Britain in a time when there is less money to spend,” Miliband said.
He said the party must fight its reputation in Britain for taxing and spending and that it would have to move away from the policies of former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Of the challenges he faces as Labour leader, Miliband said: “Bring it on.” Miliband said a Labour government would tax bank bonuses and use the money to get young unemployed people into work, and in the longer term would make “choices that favour the hard-working majority.” In a radio interview earlier Tuesday, Miliband dismissed criticism within the party as “noises off”, adding: “I have a very strong inner belief that I will win the race.” Miliband beat his older brother David, the former foreign minister, to the Labour leadership in 2010, after the party had earlier that year lost elections following 13 years in office.
Ed Miliband has had a torrid week, with a former policy guru who sits in the House of Lords, Maurice Glasman, criticising his leadership as having “no strategy, no narrative and little energy”.
On Friday Miliband’s public image also took a blow when he paid tribute to late British television host Bob Holness on Twitter, but mistakenly named the show he presented as “Blackbusters” instead of “Blockbusters.” That came a day after he was forced to rebuke black Labour lawmaker Diane Abbott for apparently divisive Twitter comments she made on race, phoning her to berate her while she was in the middle of a television interview.