MORNING STAR EDITORIAL - 7 MAY - Today's election offers a stark choice in terms of political emphasis, with Labour and the Tories seeking to implant their catchwords in voters' minds. 
David Cameron claims that he and George Osborne have rescued the economy from "Labour's financial recession" while Ed Miliband pledges to govern for "the many not the few."
Miliband's decision to prioritise abolition of non-dom status for rich residents who choose not to pay their fair share if tax is a shrewd move. 
This embodies fairness and also emphasises the unity of Tories, Lib Dems and Ukip defence of non-dom status because it benefits their supporters and, indirectly, their parties.
The closer the election, the more desperate and shrill has been Cameron's rhetoric. 
For someone who proclaims his commitment to the United Kingdom, his attempt to cast SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and her predecessor Alex Salmond as a fifth column to be feared and kept at arm's length is beyond belief.
Unless all MPs elected today have an equal right to be considered as potential members of a ruling coalition or looser arrangement, it means acceptance of second-class status for some MPs and, by extension, their voters.
Miliband has set his face against coalition or anything similar. This is for two reasons.
One is that he wants to maximise the Labour vote and the other is that he is bowing to blackmail by accepting the Tory premise, backed by much of the media, that co-operation with SNP, Plaid Cymru or Greens would diminish his legitimacy as PM.
Similar timidity characterised Labour's early acceptance of the Tory propaganda that Osborne's austerity agenda was the only broadly correct response to the public deficit and national debt - albeit with quibbles over speed and savagery.
Submission to this expression of the private bankers' agenda served to strengthen the utterly mythical portrayal of Osborne as a competent chancellor.
He is anything but. Even by his self-defined goal of eliminating the deficit he has failed.
Public borrowing is still huge because taxation revenue has fallen because of the Chancellor's cuts in public spending, his freeze on wages and his encouragement of zero-hours and other low-paid, insecure employment, which effectively choked off a substantive economic recovery.
Focusing on the deficit meant deciding on the wrong economic priority.
Socialists and trade unionists who rejected all cuts were dismissed as unrealistic by deficit fetishists, but Miliband has accepted, to a degree, the principle of borrowing to invest for growth, to meet people's needs and to generate tax receipts.
This would tend to reduce the deficit, but the primary result would be to generate skilled, well-paid employment, especially in modern sustainable industry, and better living standards for working people.
Labour has to break away from the neoliberal economic orthodoxy that alienated so much of its natural constituency and to point out that the financial recession has its roots in the conduct of the insufficiently regulated private banks, not overspending by a supposedly feckless public sector.
It must also drop its hostility to public ownership that became a new Labour article of faith under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
While a Labour government is the only realisable alternative at present to the Tories, with or without their Liberal Democrat hangers-on, the limited ambitions and commitments of Miliband and company pose a constant concern.
Even with Miliband in No 10 the labour movement will face an uphill struggle to ensure that jobs and living standards take precedence over the City and the wealthy elite. 

Powered by Spearhead Software Labs Joomla Facebook Like Button