Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ed Miliband's record

In his leadership speech to the Labour conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband tried to rewrite history by putting distance between himself and New Labour and presenting himself as part of a new generation of Labour politicians.

The truth is Ed Miliband spent the last 13 years at the heart of the New Labour project. He was an adviser in Gordon Brown’s Treasury from 1997 and went on to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, responsible for long-term economic planning, in 2004.

He was then parachuted into a safe seat and quickly appointed as a minister in Brown’s cabinet before writing his 2010 election manifesto. He was an integral part of the Labour Government that left the economy in tatters, faced allegations of complicity in torture, stole our freedoms,
left our political system in disgrace and failed to close the huge gap between the richest and the poorest.

In the Treasury he was reckless with our money. When he was in charge of environment policy he was timid and weak, including giving the green light to the third runway at Heathrow.

Voting record: Ed Miliband’s voting record shows that he was fully signed up to New Labour’s assault on civil liberties and voted against an investigation into the Iraq war. He was also weak on tackling climate change and bringing greater transparency to Parliament.

Voted for:
  • Control orders
  • Identity Cards
  • Reducing parliamentary scrutiny (eg. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act)
  • All the Terrorism Bill’s clauses including 42 and 90 day detention
  • Trident replacement
Voted against:
  • Introducing Parliamentary approval to be required for deployment of the Armed Forces
  • An investigation into the Iraq war
Patchy record on:
Climate Change – He introduced legislation which included a pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (Miliband’s 60% target was only increased after pressure by the Liberal Democrats) but:
  • Voted against a 2007 Liberal Democrat motion calling on the Government to do significantly more on climate change
  • Was absent in 2008 on a vote to allow consumers to be paid renewable energy feed-in tariffs
  • Was absent in 2008 on a Planning Bill amendment to consider climate change in applications
  • Voted against a clause in the Climate Change Bill allowing the Secretary of State to set a maximum level of carbon emissions for energy plants in 2008
  • Voted against the 2009 Lib Dem 10:10 motion calling on the House to reduce energy usage by 10% during 2010

Transparency of Parliament:

Voted for MPs’ expenses and financial interests to be made public in 2009 but was absent on all other Freedom of Information amendments relating to making Parliament more transparent (most notably the 2008 vote on the report from the Members Estimate Committee which recommended external audits of the Additional Costs Allowance).
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