Somehow I’m getting fired up with blogging, sorry! I’ve just returned from Haverstock School in Chalk Lane where and Ed Milliband launched Labour’s Education policy (At his own Secondary School). I’ve become a Millibanderite after listening to his passionate policy presentation (without notes I think) the way he laid out policies and his clear responses to questions from the audience and media. The quote above is from Marshall McLuhan who first used it in 1964 to predict how the visual media like TV would set the future political agenda, I’m not sure what he would have thought about the internet and international satellite TV stations.
What was so different was the different issues raised by the audience, focussed on education and all the terrestrial TV Stations and Sky News which were there to continue their questions about Ed’s responses on the issue of tax avoidance. He was comfortable enough with the audience to give a robust response to the questions, showing that Lord Fink had admitted this morning that in his experience tax avoidance was assumed to be an ‘ordinary’ way to reduce tax liabilities. He passed the issue back to David Cameron and other senior Conservative Party members to consider their checks on members and the role of their previous Treasurer and Cabinet member who’d been the Chairman of HSBC when their Swiss Banks were advising British tax payers on how to avoid tax.
What his response to the questions showed was how most of the media (including the BBC) are using their influence to portray Ed Milliband negatively. From my experience for anyone who’s unsure which Party to vote for in May I’d advise that you find an opportunity to hear Ed speak live to have a more informed view about him and his strategic view about Labour Party. If I was an adviser for the Party I’d like it to shift more decisively to the left, reject current deficit policies and focus economic policies on expanding the economy, a clear commitment to tackling global warming, increasing development aid to provide more opportunities to citizens in poorer countries, making it conditional on stopping corruption and embedding proper governance and in line with my blog committing the Party to immediately returning to the UN Security Council a 2 year pathway to a Palestinian State based on 1948 boundaries, with Jerusalem under joint administration.
Last but not least in my critical way I’ve just checked Wikipedia about Lord Fink because I was asking myself why he’d been identified by Ed Milliband and the media. What the check showed was that Lord Fink is Jewish which made me think about the Guinness 4 and a 1980’s trial where Edward Saunders and other Guinness executives were charged and convicted for manipulating the Company’s share price when purchasing distillers, another Drink Company. Edward Saunders and Gerald Ronson were jailed after conviction. Quite clearly Saunders and his co-conspirators showed the worst aspects of the Thatcherite excesses which made greed acceptable in my view. Nobody referred to commentary I read at the time that Saunders and Ronson were Jewish, however in the community there were suggestions that they’d been charged because they were Jewish, not establishment members and without that protection. In my view this showed how embedded anti-Semitism is in the UK because it wasn’t raised at the time. Further Stock Exchange scandals since then showed how insider trading and price manipulation were endemic, I’m not aware of further trials for the same offences which suggests that Saunders and his fellow executives were used as a warning to others. My advice to Ed is to continue with has campaign against tax avoidance wherever it takes place and for there to be clear checks for anyone entering politics about their economic probity.