Where Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’ ‘Labour’ stand on Welfare, ConDem Cuts

Eddie says it's 'irresponsible' to commit to reversing barbaric cuts to disabled people's welfare

ANDREW MARR:

Severely disabled young people, when they reach the age of 18, get government support without a means test. The government wants to change that …

ED MILIBAND:

Yeah, we think they’re doing the wrong thing.

ANDREW MARR:

So they’re doing the wrong thing, but you would not restore that if you were in power yourself?

ED MILIBAND:

But I can’t make that promise because it wouldn’t be a responsible promise. Now come the election, we will make our …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So ……..

Transcript of Ed Miliband Interview

 

THE ANDREW MARR SHOW – 15th January 2012 

ANDREW MARR:

When some of your closest colleagues express doubts about your leadership and the opinion polls show your direct opponent outscoring you on most areas, you know you’ve got a battle ahead. But Ed Miliband came out fighting this week, saying he had a very strong inner belief that he would win the next election and that he was a man of grit and inner steel. Ed Miliband, good morning.

ED MILIBAND:

Good morning, nice to be with you.

ANDREW MARR:

Thank you. The most dramatic political announcement I suppose from your side in the last week was what Ed Balls said about a change in direction on economic policy.

ED MILIBAND:

Sure.

ANDREW MARR:

And he said that the Conservative coalition cuts could not be restored and that Labour accepted those. Now I wanted to test you on some of those cuts because, for instance, in the House of Lords last week, there were some fairly severe battles about welfare reform, for instance – that unlimited support for cancer patients in employment could no longer be guaranteed. So does Labour now accept that?

ED MILIBAND:

Well let’s come to the specifics in a minute, but I want to just set out exactly what we said and why it’s important. The autumn statement last year, George Osborne’s autumn statement, showed that the government was not going to succeed in its plan to get rid of the deficit in one parliament, so Ed and I took the decision entering this new year that it was right to acknowledge the circumstances that Labour would face. Now I want to just correct you on one thing …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Which are grim.

ED MILIBAND:

Well I want to correct you on one thing. We continue to believe the government is going too far and too fast in the cuts that they are making, and that is …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) How so because if you are …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) No, no, let me just make …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) … he said very clearly …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Yuh.

ANDREW MARR:

that he was committed to the fact that you could not restore those cuts?

ED MILIBAND:

But let me just make this point, Andrew. They’re two sides of the same coin. We think the government is going too far and too fast. Now what’s the impact of that? The impact is it’s bad for jobs, it’s bad for growth and it’s bad for borrowing as well. Now if they carry on on that course, we’re going to inherit a difficult situation. Now we wish they’d change course because we think actually slower cuts aren’t just important for services, to protect safety on our streets, for example, but also necessary for our economy. But if they don’t change course, we’re going to inherit a difficult set of circumstances. Now in those circumstances, if I were to come on your programme and say well take the cuts, some of the cuts that are being made, I can promise you now that I would restore them, you’d say, “Well where’s the money going to come from? You don’t know the circumstances you’re going to inherit.” Ed was making an important point.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So they’re wrong, but you accept what they’re doing?

ED MILIBAND:

We don’t accept what they’re doing.

ANDREW MARR:

This is the oddity of your decision.

ED MILIBAND:

It’s not odd at all, it’s not odd at all. We don’t accept what they’re doing. Look, very interesting what happened with the Eurozone, downgrading of the Eurozone. Standard and Poor’s, in their downgrading of the Eurozone, said austerity, the path that is being pursued is self-defeating because if you raise taxes too fast …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) For France at the moment?

ED MILIBAND:

Well if you raise taxes too fast and you cut spending too fast, what happens is that you get low growth and it’s harder to pay off your debts. So the government should change 
course …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Well we’ve still got a triple A rating and they don’t.

ED MILIBAND:

Sure but the consequences, the consequences of the government’s failure are something that the next Labour government will inherit. But the other important thing I’m saying this week is even in those tough times, I believe we can make our society fairer.

ANDREW MARR:

Well I want to come onto that in a moment …

ED MILIBAND:

Sure.

ANDREW MARR:

but let me return to some of those specifics.

ED MILIBAND:

Sure.

ANDREW MARR:

Severely disabled young people, when they reach the age of 18, get government support without a means test. The government wants to change that …

ED MILIBAND:

Yeah, we think they’re doing the wrong thing.

ANDREW MARR:

So they’re doing the wrong thing, but you would not restore that if you were in power yourself?

ED MILIBAND:

But I can’t make that promise because it wouldn’t be a responsible promise. Now come the election, we will make our …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So …

ED MILIBAND:

Let me make this point.

ANDREW MARR:

Sorry, just on those sorts of specifics.

ED MILIBAND:

Yeah.

ANDREW MARR:

What then is the difference between the proposal that Labour will be making come a General Election on those kind of frontline cuts and the coalition?

ED MILIBAND:

Well I look forward to coming onto your programme and talking about that at the time of the General Election. But there’s …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Ed Balls has said there is no difference.

ED MILIBAND:

He hasn’t said that, Andrew.

ANDREW MARR:

He said that you could not restore any of the cuts.

ED MILIBAND:

Let me just finish this point. He hasn’t said that. There’s a big difference. If Labour was in power now, we wouldn’t be making those changes, we wouldn’t be cutting as far and as fast as the government. We would be making cuts – so for example in the police, we said that you could cut by a billion pounds. We think that you could protect frontline services. The government chose to go further and faster. But then when it comes to the next Labour government … If I was saying to you, I can absolutely promise to restore this cut or that cut, you’d say well where’s the money going to come from for that, how do you know, what circumstances are you going to inherit? This is responsible, this is absolutely responsible opposition and it’s absolutely the right thing for us to be doing at this stage of the parliament.

ANDREW MARR:

You know that there isn’t money … there won’t be money then and there isn’t money now, and that, therefore, a more serious programme of cuts has to be supported, and that is the change that you and Ed Balls have agreed.

ED MILIBAND:

No, well we’re sort of slightly going round in circles, but …

ANDREW MARR:

I’m quite enjoying it. I don’t mind.

ED MILIBAND:

Me too. Look, I continue to believe, we continue to believe that the government is pursuing the wrong strategy. And, look, if they just changed course, it would be better for the public finances as well because, look, the problem they’ve got – £158 billion more borrowing. That’s what the Chancellor announced.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) If that was …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Let me just finish the point, Andrew. £158 billion more borrowing – that’s what the Chancellor announced in his autumn statement. It is self-defeating. But because they’re making such a mess of things, because of the way they’re going about things, the prospects for what we will inherit if we win the election in 2015 look pretty grim, frankly, and we are showing that we understand those circumstances. And Ed also showed yesterday, you can make different choices in …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) And I do want to come onto those …

ED MILIBAND:

Sure.

ANDREW MARR:

but just one more time around the roundabout.

ED MILIBAND:

Yuh.

ANDREW MARR:

If you look at what’s happened for instance in France where they’ve lost their triple A rating; and other European countries, they also have very high deficits. Britain so far hasn’t lost its triple A rating. And yet if you don’t make the cuts, if you don’t raise, keep the taxes up, then you’re going to have an even bigger deficit.

ED MILIBAND:

Well that’s the Conservative view. But it’s wrong, Andrew, and I’ll you why it’s wrong.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Frankly, how can it be wrong?

ED MILIBAND:

I’ll tell you why it’s wrong. The Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, made a very important statement a few months ago. She said markets care about deficit reduction. But they also care deeply about growth because you see there are three elements to getting your deficit down: tax changes, spending cuts, but growth. If you get people into work, paying taxes, not out of work claiming benefits, then you’re much more likely to get your benefits bill down and your deficit down. And that’s why the 
government’s borrowing more, not less. That’s why their plans failed, Andrew. But those are the circumstances that we’re going to inherit …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So for all those …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) … and we are absolutely determined …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Alright.

ED MILIBAND:

(over) … that Labour shows, that Labour shows that we would be fiscally credible in government. It’s the right thing for us to be doing. It’s why I made the speech on Tuesday, it’s why Ed made the speech he did yesterday.

ANDREW MARR:

So for all of those people, for instance, who cared so much about building schools for the future, which was described as a disgrace when that was scrapped by this government, that has gone? That is your message – I’m sorry, it’s gone and it’s not coming back?

ED MILIBAND:

No … Well we can’t promise that. No of course we can’t promise that at this stage. It would be harder to do. And I think it is true to say …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) What about the VAT cut?

ED MILIBAND:

Well let me make this point. It will be harder. The next Labour government will face a much trickier time than the last Labour government did because we had growth going up, tax revenues coming in, and we were able to spend the money. We’ve got to find different routes to fairness. But there are different choices we can make. Let me give you one example because we’re talking about young people. The government says they want to go ahead with a tax cut for the banks over the coming years. I say wrong choice. Don’t go ahead with a tax cut for the banks. To build a new economy for the future, it’s much more important to invest in our young people – so cut the tuition fee to £6,000. It’s a difference. So it’s going to be different choices, it’s going to be harder choices than we’ve faced in the past, but it’s tough choices that I think we can make and we can make more in the interests of people in this country than this government.

ANDREW MARR:

But there isn’t a fiscal route to salvation anymore. There isn’t a tax and spend difference, which is big enough to alter the direction of the economy …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) I think I’d put it slightly different… put it slightly differently. There are different tax and spending choices you can make – and I’ve just illustrated one – but if you think about where British politics was up to 2007, 2008, it was really an argument about the spending of the proceeds of economic growth. If we’re going to inherit a big deficit because of this government’s failure after the next election, it’s going to be tougher times. That’s why, for example, I’ve talked about taking on the vested interests because if it’s harder to spend more on the winter fuel allowance say for pensioners, all the more important to say to the energy companies you’ve got to stop ripping off elderly people; so guarantee that people over 75, pensioners over the age of 75 get the minimum tariff. It’s a change you can make …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) These may be …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) …it’s not about spending more money.

ANDREW MARR:

these may be important changes, they may be about fairness, but in terms of the big picture of where the economy is going, they’re not big enough to push the economy in one direction rather than another. Everybody seems to believe that the biggest problem over the last year has come from the Eurozone crisis, which would have happened whether the government here was Conservative, pink, blue or any colour.

ED MILIBAND:

By the way, I don’t think … I mean you’re in a sort of shrug your shoulders mindset …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) No I’m not. I’m just asking …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) … there’s nothing government … No the first part of your question.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) … I’m asking you what the real difference you would make.

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Yeah, the real difference is we would take action now to slow the pace of deficit reduction and get our economy moving. Look it’s crazy to leave young people unemployed when you could be funding youth jobs by having a bankers’ bonus tax. It’s crazy to let growth stall in this country when you could be stimulating the economy.

ANDREW MARR:

So one more huge example – big, big one – VAT. Does Labour’s proposed VAT reduction remain on the table at the next election, or is that also gone because of the economic situation?

ED MILIBAND:

I’ll tell you at the next … I’ll tell you at the next election. It depends on the economic circumstance…

ANDREW MARR:

(over) It’s been something that you and Ed Balls have been talking about on platforms for a long time …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Yeah, absolutely, and it’s about the state …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) … so are you still talking about it or not?

ED MILIBAND:

(over) … and it’s about the state of the economy now, absolutely.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So are you?

ED MILIBAND:

What’s my advice to this government now?

ANDREW MARR:

Cut VAT?

ED MILIBAND:

Yeah, absolutely. Change course, change course. You know what this reminds me of from the history books? The 1930s, because people were talking about whether anything could be done and the view was government is powerless in the face of these large forces; there’s nothing government can do. And actually I don’t believe that. The reason I’m in politics is because I always think politics can make a difference. That’s the point of being in it and we can make a difference now and we can make a difference even in the tough times we might inherit in the middle of this decade.

ANDREW MARR:

Let me put it to you that actually the tough times may be a lot tougher than even what we’ve seen over the last year or two.

ED MILIBAND:

Sure.

ANDREW MARR:

You know the news from the continent is terrible. Without talking it all down, people are getting worried about banks again. Are we not at a time when politics and economics may change very radically? And that being so, are you saying enough? Is your message big enough and radical enough to catch people’s imaginations because so far it hasn’t?

ED MILIBAND:

Well it’s interesting. At my conference speech, I talked about the way we needed to change many of the assumptions on which we built economic policy for thirty years. I said we needed to move away from what I call “irresponsible capitalism”, so that’s based on short-term wealth creation – for example some of what we saw in the financial services, not all of it but some of what we saw; the people at the top creaming off the big rewards; the vested interests like the energy companies, the train companies ripping people off. And when I said that, people said well that’s a bit Left Wing, that’s a bit out of the mainstream. Now the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are falling over themselves to say yeah, we too want to take on crony capitalism. I think that’s a sign …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Let’s turn to …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) … that I’m on the right themes. And this is big, Andrew.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Let’s turn …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) This is about a big reshaping of our economy. It’s about a big change in the way that, as I said, the vested interests work. And it’s also about a big change in who gets the rewards in our society, the famous squeezed middle, and how we deal with some of those issues.

ANDREW MARR:

Well let’s turn to what you would do then because you can’t tax more and you can’t spend more – you can’t tax much more and you can’t spend much more.

ED MILIBAND:

Sure. You can a make different choices, yeah.

ANDREW MARR:

But, as I say, that fiscal route to salvation is pretty much to one side. And so given what can be done, what are the big changes, for instance, that need to be made in taxation because it has been argued that taxation of income has gone about as far as it can and that you should be thinking much more carefully about taxation of assets – all those people with you know large multi-million pound pots invested in their houses, for instance?

ED MILIBAND:

We’ll look at all of those issues, and again it’s something for our manifesto to look at issues of taxation right across the board. That’s what you’d expect us to do. One thing I do say is it’s not my priority to cut the 50p tax rate, which this government seems to think. But I think actually that when you say we need an agenda that speaks to these big times, I actually think it’s about reshaping our economy. You’re right to say …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So how does that happen, how does that happen?

ED MILIBAND:

Well let me give you …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) How do you start?

ED MILIBAND:

let me give you some examples. What is one of the things that has bedevilled British companies for a long time? The fact that they’re taken over too quickly by other companies. I think we need to look at the takeover rules, so that actually companies can build that long-term wealth. The way the stock market works and the way that British finance works – so-called short-term returns – so companies are thinking let me plan for five years hence, but actually what their fund managers and others are saying is the next two months is what matters. We’ve got to …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) That means new city regulations.

ED MILIBAND:

We’ve got to look at that, we’ve got to look at the way that works. Funding for small business. We came out with a proposal the other day, modelled on what’s happening in America, to give a much better deal for small business in relation to venture capital. Now these are just some of the changes I think …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So reshaping the rules for the city in key ways?

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Absolutely, absolutely. Reshaping the rules for our economy, reshaping the rules for our city. Look, we can’t go on with business as usual, Andrew. I’m not seeking … And this is why I think what’s distinctive about my message. I’m not saying let’s go back to 2007, let’s go back to life before the financial crisis. I’m arguing for a very big reshaping of the way our economy works.

ANDREW MARR:

In terms of big issues, what about the Scottish debate at the moment? Do you also think that English voters, Welsh voters should have a say if, for instance, the Scots are being asked about Devo max because there is a change to the fiscal arrangements which will affect everybody wherever they live in the United Kingdom?

ED MILIBAND:

Look, I think as far as the franchise is concerned, you know who votes in a referendum, I think that’s something that needs to … there need to be cross-party talks in Scotland about how that’s going to work. I think we’ve got to get onto the substance of the debate though because I care passionately about the future of the United Kingdom and protecting the future …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Are you putting Alistair Darling in charge of your campaign?

ED MILIBAND:

Alistair Darling will be a really important voice in this, and he’s already shown the eloquence with which he can make the case. But what’s my case? My case for the union is, first of all, about our shared history and our shared institutions – including the BBC, the NHS, other institutions; our shared economic interest now because we’re stronger together and weaker apart. And also something else, Andrew. If I think about my kids and grandkids, I think the world is going to be seeing barriers coming down. The idea that we erect barriers between part of the United Kingdom …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So you clearly feel very strongly about it?

ED MILIBAND:

I do, I do.

ANDREW MARR:

You know many of your other ministers. I mean is there going to be a single Labour figure who leads the campaign?

ED MILIBAND:

Oh there’ll be lots of Labour figures as part of the campaign.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) So not a single …?

ED MILIBAND:

There’ll be … Look, we’ve got Joanne Lamont, our new leader in Scotland. She is the person who will lead the campaign, and she’s a very good leader and she will make a very eloquent and good case for the United Kingdom.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) And a point of principle. Do you think that English voters should have a say in this?

ED MILIBAND:

I think in the end, it will be a matter for voters in Scotland.

ANDREW MARR:

Only.

ED MILIBAND:

But I think we always need to look at ways in which we can look at devolution in England, which is in a way part of what you’re talking about.

ANDREW MARR:

The criticism that came from Lord Glasman and other people who’d been close to you, they said simply that you know you didn’t have enough energy, you weren’t projecting hard enough. Do you take that message? Do you say yes, okay, don’t like hearing these things but they have something of a point?

ED MILIBAND:

(over) I rather hankered for an elected House of Lords after Lord Glasman, but there we go.

ANDREW MARR:

But is 2012 a year in which you say to yourself yeah, I’m going to do better in 2012?

ED MILIBAND:

Look, this is part of the gig of being Leader of the Opposition. You get criticism, you get advice, it’s what happens. I know not only who I am and where we are going, but something very important …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) I’m sort of asking if you listen to the criticism though, which is part of who you are or who you aren’t.

ED MILIBAND:

You always listen to the criticism, but I know my own … Let me just say something because you’ve been saying on this programme look Ed Miliband’s been identifying many of the issues that matter to people. Now there’s something deeper here. We’re changing the Labour Party, and a process of change is always a hard process. I think we lost touch with people in government. We went back out and listened to people and heard about the squeeze in their living standards. I think we were too soft on the vested interests and that’s what we’re changing too. And this week Ed and I have been talking, and will over the coming months, about how we’re going to have to deal with issues around fiscal credibility and also show that Labour can deliver in a different way. (Marr tries to interject) So there’s a process of change. Now you know what gives me confidence …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) There has been …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Let me just make this point. You know what gives me confidence? Because we are winning the battle of ideas. It’s not often you say that about an opposition. You know why is David Cameron coming onto my ground? By the way, he can’t deliver on my agenda – he’s letting the train companies off the hook, the energy companies off the hook. But why is he coming onto my ground? Because he knows I’m talking about the right issues and the issues that matter to people.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Well there’s one thing …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) That’s what gives me confidence.

ANDREW MARR:

There’s one thing above all which has perhaps prevented people from accepting that Labour has any right to talk about economic competence, which has been the huge reluctance to say anything about overspending in the Labour years. The model was the city makes all this money and Labour’s job is to take some of that money and redistribute it into public spending and the welfare state.

ED MILIBAND:

Yeah and I’m proud of what we did.

ANDREW MARR:

That was an economic model which has failed.

ED MILIBAND:

I think …

ANDREW MARR:

That economic model, you’ve said yourself, has failed.

ED MILIBAND:

No, I think I’d put it differently than that. I’d say we got it wrong on some issues like bank regulation. And we got that wrong and we didn’t build a diverse enough economy. But I’m not …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Well an unbalanced economy taking money in the boom years is a failure.

ED MILIBAND:

Well I’ve acknowledged, I’ve acknowledged we didn’t do enough to broaden our industrial base, but what I’m not …

ANDREW MARR:

(over) And did you spend too much? Did you spend too much?

ED MILIBAND:

No. No and I’ll tell you why. Look, I’m not going to buy into the Tory myth. Lehman Brothers went bust. That wasn’t to do with Labour overspending, so-called Labour overspending. That was a global financial crisis and that’s why the bounds are different.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) The unwinding of an unbalanced economy is presumably fundamental to your …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Sure, we should have built a more balanced economy – it’s true.

ANDREW MARR:

And you accept that? And that was a mistake of the New Labour years?

ED MILIBAND:

Yeah. Yeah and I’ve said it a num… I’ve said it on many occasions.

ANDREW MARR:

Let’s look at one of the examples of the so-called predatory capitalism that you don’t like. A small example perhaps, but the row going on at the moment about breast implants and the healthcare companies who say they cannot afford to put right what’s gone wrong. What would you do about that?

ED MILIBAND:

Well I saw Andrew Lansley on your programme. First of all, I want to express great sympathy for all the women who’ve been affected by this. I think Andrew Lansley’s been right to say the companies have a moral obligation; but now that the companies, some companies aren’t acting on that, I don’t think we can leave it at that. What I want to see and what I want to initiate is cross-party discussion about how we can not only change the law for the future, but how if there’s any way we can make a difference now to the women affected – either through legislation or other means – to force those companies to face up to their responsibilities. We must leave no stone unturned in making those companies be held to account. And that’s what I want to see and I hope we can do that on a cross-party basis.

ANDREW MARR:

Alright. Talking about your own party, a lot of people are very upset by the other aspect of the change this week, which was the idea that there should not be pay increases for public sector workers and others because of the perilous economic situation and the importance of maintaining employment as high as it can be maintained. That’s a position that Ed Balls has taken and I presume you take as well.

ED MILIBAND:

(over) Sure.

ANDREW MARR:

Some of the trade union leaders have described it as being a suicide note. Many have expressed extreme anger about this.

ED MILIBAND:

It’s a hard choice, it’s a hard choice. But when you’re faced with the choice between jobs and protecting jobs or saying the money should go into pay rises, I think it’s right to protect jobs.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Austin Mitchell calls it “barmy”, one of your own backbenchers.

ED MILIBAND:

Well, look, you know Austin’s entitled to his point of view, but he’s wrong in my view. Look, you know in the end there’s no easy choices in government and the choices for the next Labour government will be harder than the choices have been in the past. And you know I think it’s absolutely right that we say we’ve got to prioritise employment, and I think most people watching this programme – some of whom will be in the private sector and be facing quite a difficult situation on pay – will understand the reasons for that.

ANDREW MARR:

Next time there is a government proposal to cut something or reduce something and you stand up and oppose it, the ministers will be able to say ah, yes, but you wouldn’t reverse it, would you? You can’t reverse it. Isn’t that going to create a sense of hopelessness …

ED MILIBAND:

No.

ANDREW MARR:

on your side of the argument?

ED MILIBAND:

No because what we would be doing now is different. A labour government in power now, as I said earlier in the interview, wouldn’t be cutting as far and as fast and would be making different choices, and we make different choices in the future. I believe we can show to people that there can always be hope; that even in tough times you can make different choices – for our young people, for people who are seeing their living standards squeezed, for people right … to tackle those vested interests that David Cameron won’t tackle. That’s what we’re about. But it’s about realism. It’s about realism and it’s about hope, and that is a combination that helps Labour win elections and win back people’s trust.

ANDREW MARR:

In a year’s time, nonetheless, you have to be in a different position in terms of the polling, your party has to be in a different position. In your view, is that going to be the case because the world has changed or because Ed Miliband has changed, or at least the world has seen a slightly different Ed Miliband?

ED MILIBAND:

I’m not a forecaster and that’s not what the leadership business is about. The leadership business is about setting out what you believe, winning the battle of ideas, showing people you understand their lives and you can make a difference to them. That’s what Labour under my leadership is doing. That’s what we’re going to carry on doing.

ANDREW MARR:

And in the year ahead, you have to do something different from what you’ve done in the year we’ve just seen?

ED MILIBAND:

In the year ahead, we’re going to be developing our policy. We’re going to be showing how we can deliver in tough times.

ANDREW MARR:

And you yourself?

ED MILIBAND:

I’m going to be doing that too. I’m going to be leading that, and that’s what I’ve been doing during my leadership. And, look, I’ll just make this point to you, Andrew. I was in my constituency on Friday talking to people. Nobody raised the polls. People raised what was happening in their lives, people raised the fate of young people, the fate of people who are worried about the health service. That’s what we’re going to talk about.

ANDREW MARR:

(over) Going back to those famous …

ED MILIBAND:

(over) That is the best way you succeed as a political party, I’m absolutely sure about that.

ANDREW MARR:

Going back to those now well-known words, you need more dynamism and a clearer strategy; and if you don’t have those things, you will be in the same position in a year’s time?

ED MILIBAND:

Well, look, I’m very clear about who I am, what I stand for and where we want to take this country. And in the end opposition leaders face these times. The question isn’t whether you face these times. The question is how do you deal with them, do you stay the course? That’s what I’m going to do. That’s the right thing to do for the Labour Party and it’s the right thing to do for the country.

ANDREW MARR:

Ed Miliband, for now thank you very much indeed.

ED MILIBAND:

Thank you.

INTERVIEW ENDS 

 

Comments
  • TJ April 17, 2012 at 4:45 am

    The only thing that is clear is that Mr Miliband wants to leave enough “wriggle room” to do whatever he likes if he ever gets the opportunity. Yes, there are of lots of unknowns in the future, but nevertheless he could (if he wished and had the guts) make his priorities clear. He might for example commit to finding x% of the welfare cuts from the defence budget in any situation barring WW3. Not so hard to do if indeed he is the man he claims to be.

  • Chris Gare April 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I do understand this I would rather an MP says nothing than something he can’t for fill.

  • JJ May 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Where is his ETHICAL bottom line, Chris Gare? What’s not to understand? He doesn’t appear to have one!

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: