Responsible Miliband, Shameless Cameron
Ed Miliband talks a lot about responsibility and a responsible capitalism. Given reports in the Observer, I have a feeling that David Cameron will take up similar themes on the Andrew Marr show this morning. This illustrates a dimension of the responsibility theme identified by Robert Saunders in the current edition of Renewal.
“Like Thatcher, Miliband has sought to identify a unifying theme to which all Britain’s problems can be related. Where Thatcher chose ‘socialism’, Miliband has opted for ‘responsibility’. The theme has obvious merits … The problem is that it is inherently non-partisan. When Thatcher railed against ‘socialism’, it was obvious that she was talking about Labour. No one on the Conservative benches self-identifies as ‘irresponsible’, and that limits its power as a political weapon. ‘Responsibility’ has no political hook; indeed, if it were to ‘take’ as a theme, there would be nothing to prevent David Cameron from simply co-opting it.”