An extraordinary front-page headline in today’s Herald blares “Miliband pledges positive case for Union as No inject love into debate”. (We apologise to any readers we may have just inadvertently upset with the thought of Ed Miliband “injecting love” into them while they’re still digesting their breakfast.)
The article’s rather shy on details of Ed’s positive case, but luckily the Guardian has it.
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling the benefits of that love injection already.
“The Labour leader will tell Scottish Labour’s spring conference on Friday that the first minister has sabotaged his claims to be a social democrat by mimicking Tory policies which protect the interests of the highest earners.
If Salmond won his quest for independence, Miliband will argue, ‘think how hard it would be to stop a race to the bottom happening if, on one island, we had a border running along the middle so we were divided in two. It would be two lanes in a race to the bottom, with David Cameron and Alex Salmond at the starting blocks in which the only way they win is for you to lose.'”
Stop! It’s too much positivity!
“‘Alex Salmond, who claims to be a great social democrat, would end up running the same race to the bottom that the Tories have embarked upon,’ Miliband will say, before invoking the memory of John Smith, the former UK Labour leader whose death 20 years ago led to Tony Blair’s election. ‘The SNP talk about social justice but they can’t build it because they can’t be narrow nationalists and serve social justice at the same time.'”
Tartan Tories! Old dead guys! Narrow nationalism! Positivity!
The New Statesman has some more direct quotes from Miliband’s speech, in a rather toe-curling piece by George Eaton that’s not so much an article as a schoolgirl mash note to the Labour leader:
“If Scotland was to go independent, it would be a race to the bottom not just on tax rates, but on wage rates, on terms and conditions, on zero hours contracts, on taking on the energy companies, on reforming the banks. Those who can afford it will be paying less, while hardworking families across Scotland will pay more and see their services suffer.”
Um, can you actually race any further to the bottom on zero-hours contracts? Is there a number of hours LOWER than zero that you can have on a contract? Has Ed been getting Johann Lamont to help with his arithmetic?
Luckily Miliband isn’t having to carry the positive Labour message alone.
“The former prime minister said a line-by-line comparison between the Scottish National party’s tax and spending plans with Labour’s offer to voters, which includes higher taxes for the wealthiest, would cost every household in Scotland £450.
In a speech before Scottish Labour opened its spring conference in Perth, Brown stepped up his party’s attacks on the first minister’s economic policies and heavy reliance on oil revenues, in a concerted effort to portray the SNP as the party of business and the better off.
‘Everyone knows the SNP cannot afford all of their promises. But what has become clear is that when it comes to a choice, they prefer giving business tax cuts and money to the richest Scottish energy companies than cash to Scottish families,’ Brown said.”
A BILLION pounds worse off? Heavens, we might actually burst from all this positivity.