Labour elects Ed Miliband as new leader
Does the victory of Ed Miliband over his elder brother David – a modern Cain and Abel drama in reverse with the younger brother ‘knifing’ the elder – represent the dreaded ‘lurch to the left’ feared by the right-wing press? Many Labour Party members and others hope that it is so. The voting figures however do not bear this out.
With towering levels of unemployment, education cuts and (for those lucky to find work) squeezing of already adequate wages, young people are being hit hardest by the recession. Whilst the percentage of young people aged 18-24 officially unemployed in Northern Ireland rises above 17% (a further 62,000 16-18 year olds are unemployed) the Tory/Lib Dem coalition government continues to spend approximately £2million pounds a day on bombing Libya rather than creating jobs for young people.
‘It’s only €2 per week.’ Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, was speaking on RTE’s Six One News on Tuesday about the new Household Tax which the Fine Gael/Labour Party Government had agreed at Cabinet earlier in the day. Then in that interview of a few minutes he repeated four more times, ‘It’s only €2 a week.’ Had Hamlet been listening, he might have declared, ‘The Minister doth protest too much.’
The education system is in turmoil. In November 2011 John O Dowd, the Sinn Fein Education Minister, announced that school budgets would be cut by £220 million, an 11% reduction over three years. This will have a catastrophic impact on schools.