Donald Brind: From a LAB perspective
Labourâ€™s unrelenting focus should be on the economy. Even before the mockery that he earned with misjudged tweet on the modest Google tax payment Â the Chancellor Georgeâ€™s Osborneâ€™s claims to competence have been fraying fast.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell made a good fist of his duel with Andrew Neil on Sunday Politics. To highlight Labourâ€™s demand for transparency he has published his personal tax returns and will challenge Osborne directly in the Commons on Wednesday.
Labour will seek to mount a broad attack on what Jonathan Ashworth, one of the best communicators on the Labour front bench, describes as Osborneâ€™s â€œfive years of mistakes that have left the economy more vulnerable than ever.
Ashworth cites the Centre for Cities report which, he says, shows that far from the UK becoming the â€œhigh wage, low welfareâ€ economy the Chancellor claims â€œmany cities are moving in the opposite direction, with workers plagued by low paid jobs and rising living costs.
â€œNot only does the report show that over half of Britainâ€™s cities are â€˜low wage, high welfareâ€™, but welfare spending has actually grown fastest in the so-called high wage cities because of soaring costs of housing, leading to an upsurge in the need for housing benefit.â€
Labour still have a long, long way to go being trusted on the economy. But the first step is to dent Osborne and the Tories reputation in this key area. And there is plenty of evidence to show that Osborne is failing on the fundamentals â€“ on investment in infrastructure and skills — that are the key to long term prosperity and security for British people. Labour have the ammunition.