The left-wing New Statesman magazine has unsurprisingly endorsed Labour for the general election, but has used its endorsement to launch a harsh attack on the party’s leader, Ed Miliband.
While claiming that Labour’s programme for the election is “worthy of support”, the magazine raises serious doubts about the man who would become prime minister if the party wins next week.
“His five years as opposition leader have revealed severe limitations and strategic weaknesses.
“He has never succeeded in inspiring the electorate and has struggled to define himself.
“His narrow rhetorical and ideological focus on political economy has left him unable to reach the aspirational voters required to build a broad electoral coalition…
“Finally, even after the SNP’s victory in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, which we predicted, he remained complacent over Labour’s decline in Scotland, where he is even less popular than David Cameron.
“It is the surge in support for the SNP, which has positioned itself to the left of Labour, that has definitively ended Mr Miliband’s hopes of winning an absolute majority.
“Should he become prime minister, he will now almost certainly be reliant on the support of a large nationalist bloc to govern.”
“A more nimble and agile leader than Mr Miliband would have better exploited the historic opportunity provided by the collapse of support for the Liberal Democrats and the divisions on the right created by the rise of Ukip.
“The paradox of austerity is that it offers opportunities to be creative and to rethink social democracy in a cold climate.
“Mr Miliband has not changed the character of his party enough. He has not created a sentiment from which truly transformative policies could have flowed. He argues simultaneously for more austerity and more socialism.”
With supporters like these does Miliband really need opponents?