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Shadow Cabinet: Thumbs down from the Left

The Shadow Cabinet appointments are a missed opportunity to change direction and will not please the Left. The best thing about Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor is that he said he’d only stay in the Shadow Cabinet for two years — but will he stick to that? His appointment is a mistaken gesture to the Blairites and makes it less likely that Labour will adopt the economic policies that the country needs, in the short term at least. Balls is wasted at Home affairs (and his line on immigration could be a problem).

Ed Miliband was elected on the promise of change. Decisions on Labour’s response to the most devestating attack on the public sector in living memory will be made in the next few days. Those decisions may not be set in stone — Ed Miliband is not in a position to determine the public reaction to the government ‘s cuts and that reaction may well force his and the party’s hand in future. But for now at least,  on economic policy, on which the fate of millions and the result of next election will depend, Ed has failed to deliver the change Britain needs from the manifesto policy the electorate rejected.

The best news is that Jon Trickett has been appointed as Shadow Minister at the Cabinet Office, attending shadow cabinet (but not voting). Jon has been spearheading a campaign for investment not cuts (the Progressive Economic Alternatives Coalition) in conjunction with Ken Livingstone and, latterly, Ed Balls.

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