Socialist Worker

Ed Miliband’s patriotism is the last thing the movement needs

Issue No. 2293

You might expect Labour leader Ed Miliband to be revelling in the Tories’ difficulties—and building support out of their pain.

But on the few occasions he has piped up he has been more interested in attacking the left and the trade union movement.

Unite leader Len McCluskey quite rightly said that the London Olympics are taking place in the middle of savage cuts and that, “The unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting.”

This was too much for Ed, who asserted that the Olympics were “a celebration for the whole country and must not be disrupted”.

Now he has gone further in celebrating nationalism. In a speech to British manufacturers this week he said, “There are three words we don’t hear enough—‘Made in Britain’.

“This is not about a backward-looking ‘Buy British’ campaign. This is not about making consumers feel bad if they don’t buy products from British businesses.”

But that is not true. Miliband is trying to suggest that we are all in it together and that buying British is a solution. He is pushing the bigoted politics the Tories love, but can’t bring himself to revel in them the way they do.

If that’s the best response he can come up with to the Tory cuts he’s better off remaining the invisible man.

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What We Think
Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2293
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