Ed Miliband witnesses the rough and the smooth in Cardiff


The Labour leader Ed Miliband witnessed the rough and the smooth on his short visit to the centre of Cardiff.

There was a warm reception on Queen Street as the man who would be king greeted a few dozen of his party members with three weeks to go before the European elections.

So much about politics involves momentum. He knows a good showing later in the month will be a big boost to his efforts to get to Number 10 next year.

It was a billed as a pre-election walkabout in the city centre but it quickly turned into more of a pre-election sprint as a small number of protestors made life difficult.

In his trickiest moment in a coffee shop, Ed Miliband met Gareth Williams, the spokesman for a campaign group who claim their relatives have experienced poor care at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

Mr Williams was angry and the Labour leader struggled to get a word in edgeways as he was urged to put pressure on Carwyn Jones to hold a public inquiry into failings in the Welsh NHS.

Cost of living

There was some glad handing from Labour voters out shopping but this wasn't a relaxed stroll engaging with the public.

Later in the day, I asked Ed Miliband whether the fact that the economy was improving was taking the edge off his cost of living crisis theme, which was his central message of the day.

As the Conservatives point out on a regular basis, the best way to deal with the cost of living is to create more jobs, which is exactly what is happening.

His answer is that the various indicators like GDP and the unemployment figures are simply not being reflected in the reality of people's lives.

As a result, he believes his cost of living argument becomes even stronger because people don't feel part of something which they keep on being told is being felt by other people.

The strategy will only work if people don't feel as if the economic recovery is being felt in their communities and I suspect this will be the central political argument in the UK over the next year.

Nick Servini Article written by Nick Servini Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    My problem with George is, like many politicians, he argues that any setbacks are due to world events, actions of others, his predecessors etc. However, the eventual rise in the economy is solely due to his actions and his genius.
    If the uprise in the economy occurred on time, in accordance with his predictions, the case that it was due to his actions would be stronger.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    I don't know about eventful Dizzy but what is fun is watching the panic amongst those of a Plaidi persuasion as the spectre of Jill "I brought you pet passports" Evans being dumped out of Europe looms large. No wonder UKIP were branded Un-Welsh by Leanne; it's almost traitorous to vote the Welsh Nationalist party out of a comfortable (albeit foreign) billet doncha think?

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    We're in an election purdah period - that means equal coverage for all the competing parties - or none!

    Didn't see your clog post on Farage's visit to Swansea... Which seemed to be altogether more interesting and eventful...

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Ed Miliband seems to be tiptoeing around the problems of low pay and related issues. He should perhaps read Owen Jones to give people an historical perspective of what has caused their impoverishment. Perhaps his problem is that Labour were complicit making ordinary people poorer and the rich richer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Part of the problem for Labour at a UK level is Ed Miliband. He has the twin tags of, stabbing his brother in the back and being in the pocket of the unions. The coalition gov does not seem popular, so the question is, why are the polls so close? A year is a long time in politics lets hope all the political parties wake up to the concerns of ordinary folk.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    The political class, as winners, seems to find it tricky to express a credible interest in the experience of ordinary people, the losers, whose votes they need. Miliband lacks both the charisma and the presence which might otherwise lend him some temporary credibility. Does he ever come across as empathetic ? Visionary ? Sure-footed ? Could he ever ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I can't remember any Labour leader feeling mildly embarrassed by a visit to Wales never mind being on the run.
    Perhaps times are a changin'. Must be the plethora of extremely productive coffee shops in the capital.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Come on Boxer, credit where it's due, all the independent articles and predictions I read seem to suggest that the UK economy is in better condition than most. Methinks your public sector self interested left wingism is showing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The problem Labour seem to be having is Milliband comes to Cardiff to get folk to agree with him about the economy, then they spoil it by talking about the failing welsh NHS.
    What can Labour say ? "That's nothing to do with us, thats the crypto-nat version of our party in 'power' in Cardiff."
    It won't damage their core vote in Wales of course but it may in the rest of Britain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I like it. George Osborne has been promising a recovery every year for the last four years. We now see the first green shoots, later than after any previous depression, and George wants to be re-elected as the financial genius who saved the nation. Possibly the political whiz-kid who choked off recovery, so it finally came in the right point of the election cyle.



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