05 APR 2011
By Patrick O'Flynn | Daily Express
DURING the 1983 general election campaign Michael Foot became convinced that his Labour Party was on course for victory.
He felt that way because he had travelled the length and breadth of the land and everywhere had encountered halls full of cheering supporters. But he was totally deluded. While there were indeed many enthusiastic socialists who came out to see Foot there were millions of ordinary Britons who were appalled at Labour’s big-spending manifesto. In fact Labour suffered its worst election result of modern times and the Conservatives won a landslide majority.
The ghost of Michael Foot must have stirred when Ed Miliband addressed 250,000 people in London’s Hyde Park 10 days ago to protest against public sector spending cuts. “We come here from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all generations,” he said. That much was true, though the vast majority were public sector workers with an overwhelming personal financial interest in fending off the cuts.
But then came the Foot moment when Miliband added: “We stand today not as the minority but as the voice of the mainstream majority in this country.” He had not a shred of evidence for such an assertion. In much of Britain the quiet majority who work in the private sector and have already undergone repeated rounds of belt-tightening will surely have been unimpressed by the idea that they are champing at the bit to pay even more in taxation to entirely insulate the public sector from austerity.
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