Monday, 27 September 2010

Internal debate...

The debate which characterised the 2010 General Election – how fast to cut the deficit – will now be fought out among senior figures in the Labour party.

Darling just called for a “credible plan” to tackle the deficit, his idea having been to halve it in four years.

But then on the other side you have Ed Balls who has called Darling’s idea “a mistake”.

One of Balls’ lieutenants, Jim Knight, told Lobbydog today: “We need to develop something that the electorate will understand as an alternative. The leadership debate has been kicking that around and that needs to be firmed up by our Leader and his new team.”

So Ed Miliband will be pulled both ways, by figures in his own party, by the Government and also by the press.

His contribution so far has been that Darling’s plan is a starting point – which in real-life language means “we might do it, we might not”.

Meanwhile he’s said he will wait to see what cuts the Government brings forward before deciding what to oppose and what not to.

If he’s smart he’ll put off saying exactly what he’d do as long as he viably can. It’ll keep his options open and his shadow cabinet on their toes.

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