Ed Miliband’s speech to the anti-cuts rally today was well-pitched. The lines about how any government would have to make cuts guaranteed him the jeers that he needed to show that he wasn’t pandering to his audience.
What should worry the Tories, though, is not the generic anti-austerity and pro-NHS rhetoric but the direct pitch for small business support. One of the big changes since the 1980s is that those who run small and medium sized enterprises now view the banks as part of the problem not the solution. This provides a significant political opening for Miliband, and one he is intent on exploiting. It’s worth noting that he was in the Tory territory of Bedford yesterday speaking to small businesses that feel they have been done over by the banks.
The coalition has a decent small business agenda around deregulation and tax simplification. But it’ll need super-charging to see off this threat from Miliband.