Ed Miliband and Ed Balls now talk of taking on “predators”, “building an alternative to the neo-liberal settlement”, and changing from “an economic settlement that, to a large extent, we [Labour leaders] accepted while we were in government”.
A move against capitalist “predators” has to start with serious measures to control the banks and tax the rich.
Miliband and Balls still won’t back workers fighting back against the “predators”.
Balls claimed in his speech that “there is nothing that George Osborne would like better than a strike this autumn to divert attention...”. Miliband told the New Statesman that he wouldn’t answer “hypothetical” questions about backing the 30 November strike.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said at Labour conference that his members “would never forgive” Labour leaders who wouldn’t back 30 November; but he didn’t push a proposal to back the strike for a vote at conference.
The nearest thing Balls and Miliband proposed was not new: a continuation of the old tax on bankers’ bonuses. Balls and Miliband propose just tiny tweaks in the old “neo-liberal settlement”.
And Ed Balls’s speech was geared to get headlines emphasising the “I won’t reverse all Tory cuts” message rather than the “break from neo-liberalism” trope.
Union and Labour activists should demand real action against the “predators”.