David Blackburn

Labour tries to prise Osborne and IDS apart

Labour tries to prise Osborne and IDS apart
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Labour’s spin is less dexterous now that Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson have passed into night; but it can still artfully disguise politics as principle. Douglas Alexander is at in the Guardian, fanning the dull embers of George Osborne and IDS’ summer spat. He renews the offer of cross-party dialogue that he made on Andrew Marr last Sunday, before retreating, saying:

‘But beneath the talk of "we're all in this together" (a phrase specifically recommended for repeated use by Republican pollster Frank Luntz), what the chancellor announced on welfare was largely a laundry list of cuts that penalise the vulnerable and the working poor. And in doing so he undermined some of the more admirable aims of Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, like simplifying the benefits system.’    


Crude politics, but it is a long stride from Labour’s stance to that voice which howls of a ‘final solution to the poor’. Labour’s sudden sympathy with IDS insulates them from accusations of being ‘ideologically outmoded’; it can then attack the government's specific welfare reforms because they always come in the form of money saved/spending cut. For instance, Alexander doesn’t praise a single welfare reform announced last week; all get the imperial thumbs down.