Monday, 10 January 2011

And we're back..Westminster comes to life

Bliadhna mhath ur, and it does seem more than a year since I took up the blogging pen.

This is the first week back for Westminster and there's plenty on. There's a crucial by-election on Thursday, Vince Cable is in front of the Commons for the first time since shooting himself in the foot over Rupert Murdoch and there's the European Bill, prisoner voting and petrol prices all trying to nudge onto the agenda.

Cameron is keen to make economic growth the story today, he has job-creating business bosses in Downing St this morning and while he's at it he and has slipped in a proposal to make it easier to sack workers just to get the unions angry and to paint Ed Miliband into a red corner.

Well, he's doing it for other reasons too, to create the "flexible" labour market he believes in. Up until now the coalition had no plans to introduce new employment legislation(this is a consultation)but it is another example of the Tories taking advantage of the coalition to rush through their agenda as quickly as possible before the business of ordinary politics catches up with the government.

But today we all have bank bonus fever. Ed Miliband's monthly press conference was dominated by the issue and questions on what he would do in Cameron's place. His solution is to have a bonus tax on the banks' bonus pool, a repeat of what Alistair Darling did in his last year.

It was a far more robust performance from Miliband, compared to earlier outings, proving he's becoming comfortable in his role as Opposition leader. But having Alan Johnson pop up to the podium - subtext, I have faith in my shadow chancellor despite his gaffe on national insurance yesterday - must have made the whole event look a pit like a glove puppet show in the 16x 9 tv camera frame.

Still, Miliband batted the questions well and if he was robust it was only because the lobby was giving him a tough time, a touch harder than the Prime Minister gets.

The long and the short of it, as Mary Ann Sieghart pointed out in the last question, is that people still see Ed Miliband as the guy who shafted his brother. That's what frames him, and that's what he has to break out off.

No comments:

Post a Comment