"Ed Miliband will tomorrow attempt to stem growing doubts about his leadership with an assault on Britain's "take what you can" culture which is open to exploitation by benefit cheats and unscrupulous bankers."
Oh dear lord, really? Him too? *Heavy, heavy sigh*
"Labour strategists are worried that Miliband will be further criticised for lacking hard ideas on how to cut the welfare bill when the party votes against the coalition's changes in the Commons this week. To counter such concerns Miliband will use tomorrow's speech to claim that in government his party would pursue a more radical reform of the welfare state than the coalition."
We've got alternatives Ed. We've been trying to tell you about them for years. At least it seems Labour will vote against the Welfare Reform Bill next week.
"Rather than seeking mere cuts, he will say that Labour would look to restore the link between people's contribution and their eligibility for assistance from the welfare state."
What about those who were born sick or disabled or became so after just a few years of working? I'm not sure the words "We will protect the most vulnerable" will carry much weight any more.....
"It is not just financial contributions we are talking about but contributions to the society they live in"
That sounds a little more promising.....
"The hardest truth is that too many people feel we became the party of those at the top and bottom who were not showing responsibility and shirking this duty: from bankers who caused the global financial crisis to some of those on benefit who were abusing the system because they could work – but didn't."
I wonder if the people who "feel" that have any facts to back up their "feelings"? Will language like that do anything to knock down the "scrounger wall" built up around sick or disabled people by the current government, the previous government or the media? Sounds worryingly like a consensus that will build it even higher to me.
"A 'take what you can' culture which began in the 1980s was allowed to continue, unchecked, under the last government."
Ouch!!! That kick hurt!
Careful, careful, Ed. Please be very, very careful what you say and how you say it. Millions of sick and disabled people will be listening to every word. Will you throw us in the pot with the scroungers? Or will you admit that ESA was wrong, is wrong and is killing people? Will you defend DLA? Will you use the same line as Liam Byrne, that :
"We should be forcing more unemployed people into work, not forcing more sick and disabled people into poverty" ?
Or will you abandon us? And our families? And our friends and our carers?
But forget my special interest for a moment. At a time when the global financial system has gambled away trillions of our money, am I happy to see a Labour Party that concludes that "scroungers" must be made to pay? Am I happy with a speech that splits the "deserving poor" from the "undeserving"? Is that the only policy my party can put forward? In a country being torn apart, Labour has decided it's all because of "benefit cheats?"
I'm sure the Daily Mail will be thrilled. Labour voters? Not so much. Compassionate voters with an inch of integrity? Not so much. Intelligent voters? God I hope not.
I'll wait to see the speech tomorrow. Perhaps the Guardian have put a spin all of their own on it but I don't like what I read so far....