Socialist Worker

Labour's latest retreat as Ed Miliband attacks public services

Issue No. 2390

 Ed Miliband should have dashed any remaining hopes in him with a speech on public services this week.

The Labour leader claimed his vision was radically different from seeing either the state or the private sector as the way forward. 

Yet he delivered yet another attack on the welfare state.

He said he met many people “frustrated by the unresponsive state” and railed against “unaccountable power” in the public sector.

His solution was to declare open season on public sector workers. He admitted that hospitals may close under a Labour government—but promised that patients could be involved in closing them.

Miliband framed his attacks on state services as empowering. He said he didn’t want people to be “passive recipients of services”.

It all sounded horribly familiar.

The Tories have spent months talking about how disempowering it is for people to receive benefits. They talk endlessly of devolving power and giving people choices. This has meant cuts and privatisation.

The Tories branded their attacks the “Big Society”. Miliband called his “people power”. 

But the aim of both is to undermine the welfare state and the key services that millions of people rely on. And Miliband made sure to praise Margaret Thatcher. 

Working class people in Britain can do better than this.


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What We Think
Tue 11 Feb 2014, 16:32 GMT
Issue No. 2390
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