Letter: Limp Labour

In an understandable defence of Ed Miliband's leadership, shadow foreign secretary Yvette Cooper claims his opposition team is "very supportive" (your report, 6 December). This would appear to be in the manner of aunts and uncles fretting over a feckless nephew.

The truth is that, unlike his most successful predecessor, Tony Blair, he seems to have no vision or even a strategy to deal with the novelty of the coalition. Setting up a series of policy reviews will not impress an anxious public.

They want to know now where Labour stands on banking reform, welfare reform, changes to public services, levels of taxation, tackling poverty, the future of schools and universities.

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A young, zestful leader ought to be able to hit the government hard on all these points. At the same time they need to know what is the "big idea" that will make his party electable in both the Westminster and devolved parliaments.

The excuse that he has only been in the job for just over two months holds no water. His leadership victory was not a broad based one within the Labour Party. All the more reason why a brave start to make an impression on an anxious public was imperative.

The excuse of paternity leave for a lacklustre performance is hardly credible. David Cameron has been in a similar position with no marked impact on his ability to run the country.

Perhaps Mr Miliband needs a really momentous event to test his mettle and allow him to show the public what he is made of. But in the absence of that his party may want to abandon its normal tolerance of flagging leaders and start afresh.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes, Fife