Lots of gold from the GMB Labour leadership hustings today.
Firstly, Andy Burnham was booed as he floundered around refusing to back the benefit cap.
The crowd wanted a no, but he knew the country would give a resounding yes.
And the banter did not stop there. He later got the price of litre of petrol wrong, declaring it was 160p:
Meet Alyessa. Vox-popped in Birmingham by the BBC this morning, she revealed why she’s voting Labour:
“Because Labour are the party that help people on benefits.”
Despite some vague tough talk from Rachel Reeves, Labour opposed every single one of IDS’s reforms and their client supporters are grateful. It’s the dirty little secret that the Labour Party refuse to accept: Benefit reform is hugely popular.
Polling by Ipsos Mori found that:
Being the ‘party that help people on benefits’ may soothe your base, but the public don’t like it…
Following her comments denigrating the unemployed, Labour’s grassroots have turned on Rachel Reeves:
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) March 17, 2015
— Marc McArdle (@marcmcardle1) March 17, 2015
I wonder what JK Rowling thinks of Rachel Reeves comments about Labour not being the Party of those out of work?
— Phil Lee (@philleehh) March 17, 2015
Rachel Reeves really is doing her best to mimic Iain Duncan Smith
— M4-T (@MatofKilburnia) March 17, 2015
Good lord. Rachel Reeves really is a nasty piece of work, isn't she? Where are the actual socialists in the Labour Party?
— Louis Barfe (@LFBarfe) March 17, 2015
— Iain (@Iain_33) March 17, 2015
This isn't the first time @RachelReevesMP has beaten Tories at their own game bashing sick, poor and vulnerable! Is she in the wrong party?
— Sheila Scoular (@sheilascoular) March 17, 2015
I will have to look at Rachel Reeves' comments in detail. Because on the face of it, she is desperately trying to convince me to vote Green.
— Dave Busfield-Birch (@Davebusfield) March 17, 2015
Rachel Reeves just made it impossible for me to vote labour
— Steve mid (@Stevemid110) March 17, 2015
Disgruntled Labour members can join the Green Party here…
What will Labour’s grassroots make of Rachel Reeves distancing her party from people receiving unemployment benefits? The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary is talking tough in the Guardian today, in very un-Guardian-y language:
“We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work. Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.”
Are Labour trying to get more of their supporters to follow in Jack Monroe’s footsteps? Slagging off their core vote is a bold move…
Phoning in to LBC, Benefits Street star White Dee tells Iain Dale she is voting Labour on 7 May:
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The celebrity endorsement Ed wanted…
The Reds are winning the power struggle at the top of UKIP if today’s reports that the party is set to unveil a raft of new left-wing policies are correct. Interestingly UKIP’s policy chief Tim Aker, who Guido always remembered as a sound as a pound right-winger, today condemns the bedroom ‘tax’ and calls for higher unemployment benefits. He tells May 2015:
“we’re firmly against the bedroom tax, but we do think you need a cap on benefits. We also support a higher Jobseeker’s Allowance, so we have a mix of left and right debates”
A UKIP source clarifies the party only proposes higher JSA “for people who have consistently paid in”, arguing “the money belongs to the people, and is therefore being returned to them rather than being kept by the state”. But where else can you find the exact same policy? Labour have pledged to pay more dole if you have worked for five or more years…