Thursday, 31 July 2008

Miliband rage or minimum wage?

Most of the papers are in full silly season mode today - I particularly thought the Evening Standard's line-by-line "translation" of David Miliband's press conference with the Italian Minister was unintentionally hysterical. (No wonder David looked irritable having to answer the same question again and again!)

But buried amongst the papers and on the 10th anniversary of the minimum wage today, we've announced we're outlawing the scandalous practice of restaurants using tips to top up the salaries of their staff. Well done to Derek Simpson and Unite for campaigning hard on this.

This is just the kind of decent act of social justice we need to be selling back to the public. The minimum wage benefited more than 1.5 million people on the worst pay. Sadly it doesn't get anywhere the amount of coverage it deserves today - hopefully broadcast will pick it up later.

Whilst I don't agree with Steve Richards conclusion in his piece in the Independent today, he makes a pretty valid point about the problem about getting our message across in the current climate.

"The noise around the leadership in itself is becoming the pivotal issue. Until it subsides, the Government will not be heard and is in danger of falling even further behind in the polls."

I think a lot of members would love to start seeing us getting back out on the front foot, taking the Tories to task and promoting our successes and future plans - a detailed road map through these difficult times. I'm really pleased to see Gordon's planning to do this in September by unveiling a new economic plan.

The challenge we face is fighting to make sure we get heard. But shout we must.

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