Published: 22nd Feb 2011

With so much attention focused on the impact of coalition cuts, it was easy to overlook Ed Miliband’s launch in November 2010 of a wide-ranging, two-year review of Labour Party policy. Party heavyweight and outside experts will be assembled into 22 ‘policy inquiries’ to examine every aspect of the party’s future policy manifesto. Politically, the review will enable the new leader to distance himself from the Blair / Brown past while giving him a few years of cloud cover to attack the coalition without having to offer solid alternatives. This is a canny move. Some coalition ministers have seized on Miliband’s description of the review as a ‘blank sheet’, to imply he stands for nothing. Such attacks only reveal their frustration at the leeway the review will give him. Looking beyond these short-term arguments, and assuming that the Labour Party returns to power in some form and at some point, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)