SKETCH: What Happened to Ed’s New Welfare Pledge?

Readers may remember the Labour’s chief Conehead promised last week that industrious parental units would be rewarded by a government of the Left, but young feckless, jobless, unqualified cones would be kicked about a bit, in the way that Tory voters like.

The daring initiative had a difficult start. Before the speech there was World Cup action. After the speech, the Labour press office announced that every voter would be given a free owl. Guido’s joke (ring Labour on 28 28 20) got as much coverage as the policy bombshell.

But stop it. Settle down. Be serious. Let us practise grown-up commentary. How is this bold, one nation, predistributional policy faring, longer term?

It was Work and Pensions questions this afternoon. Just the opportunity to pitch the new message into the parliamentary arena.

The policy was completely, comprehensively ignored by the Labour front bench. Shadow minister after shadow minister stood up to say, “Our leadership isn’t worth listening to, let alone arguing for, let alone supporting. We have ambition, we have purpose, we will make our own way in the post-Miliband utopia we glimpse ahead.”

The make-or-break, nettle-seizing policy wasn’t referred to once. Not by front bench, back bench, or cross bench. It was as if it had never been.

Ed Miliband is disappearing in front of our eyes. He isn’t even an embarrassment any more.




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