James Forsyth James Forsyth

Miliband’s dividing lines

The more we learn about Ed Miliband’s speech (to be given later this afternoon), the clearer the dividing lines that it is drawing are. The word is that Miliband will announce more money for the NHS paid for by a combination of taxes on mansions, hedge funds and big tobacco. The message: Labour stands up for the NHS while the Tories stand up for people who live in mansions, hedge funds and tobacco companies.

This might be crude politics but it will, I suspect, be quite effective. It emphasises Labour’s biggest strength, that they are the party of the NHS and social solidarity, and highlights the Tories’ biggest weakness, the sense that they are the party of the rich who stand up for the wrong people.

But I don’t think that this NHS package will have the same electrifying effect as the energy price freeze. Why? Because it won’t save anyone any money. No one’s family finances will be in better shape because of this policy.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in