As you will know, I didn’t support Ed Miliband, but rather Ed Balls for Labour leader. But I will now congratulate him on his victory, and look forward to him leading us to victory in the next General Election. However, the manner of his victory has given an opportunity for our opponents to castigate him as “the union’s man”, or as “Red Ed”. This is not helped by some supporters of the losing leadership candidates suffering from a severe case of sour grapes. Some of this bubbled under the radar during the campaign, but I foolishly thought that we would unite behind whoever of the excellent candidates eventually won. I was obviously too naïve!
There was less difference policy-wise between the candidates than there is between the Labour Party and this government. We need to remember that, and remember that we are all Labour, fighting for better jobs, better housing, and better education for millions of ordinary people across the country, instead of the attitude of the current conservative government to push ahead with devastating cuts to the benefits and services that millions of people on low and middle incomes rely on. We need to put forward an alternative to the economic policies and make sure that the Government doesn’t get to re-write history, and write the headlines they way they want.
We need to avoid the splits and attacks which have marred the party in the past. That is the lesson we need to learn now, and learn quickly. The public don’t like parties which appear split. The Tories have suffered from that, as we did in the 80’s. If your candidate didn’t win, get over it, get behind the leader and get us back into Government. Our country needs us.