The British Labour Party has appointed David Axelrod as a strategic adviser to Ed Miliband's 2015 campaign. Axelrod, who went on to serve as a senior adviser to President Obama after acting as an adviser on the president's 2008 campaign, will reportedly be paid a six-figure sum for his work.
Miliband, the leader of Labour, will be prime minister if his party wins a majority in the next election. According to recent polling, 35 percent of British voters back Labour, compared to 33 percent who support the Conservatives, whose leader, David Cameron, is the current prime minister.
"Red Ed" Miliband is not shy about cheerleading for socialism or calling himself a socialist. According to Miliband, "Being a socialist for me is about being willing to criticise capitalism—and saying capitalism produces many injustices, which politics must tackle."
Were Miliband the prime minister his government would wreak havoc on the British economy. He has publicly supported, without any hints of irony or sarcasm, the following policies (though this list is far from complete):
- The freezing of gas prices until 2017.
- Telling land developers to "either use the land or lose the land," in order to boost home building, a proposal described as "a Stalinist attack on property rights" by the chief economist at the Institute of Directors.
- Legally guaranteed childcare from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in primary schools (for children aged 4-11)
- Scrapping the £9,000 a year university tuition fees introduced by the current government, which may be replaced by a £6,000 a year cap.
- The creation of at least two new banks.
- Making it mandatory for private companies on public contracts to hire apprentices.
Miliband has also hinted at introducing a tax increase on high income earners to tackle the deficit.
This is the man Axelrod wants to get into 10 Downing Street.
Axelrod says he sees similarities between Miliband and Obama. From the BBC:
He drew a comparison between Mr Miliband's economic policies and the arguments articulated by Mr Obama in 2008, saying both have at their core "the experience of everyday people".
He said: "I think candidates who can win are candidates who articulate a vision that speaks to the lives and concerns of the people they are running to represent.
"Ed Miliband understands the struggle that people are going through in Britain to make a living wage, to support their families, to retire with some dignity.
"He understands that a growing economy demands that you have broad prosperity and not just prosperity that's hoarded by a few. And so I think you can build a movement."
Thankfully, when it comes to personality and charisma Miliband is no Obama, and Cameron is no McCain.
Americans are showing up on both sides of the aisle, with Jim Messina, the manager of Obama's 2012 campaign, offering the Conservatives "strategic campaign advice leading up to 2015."
For more information on the upcoming general election check out BBC's "Election 2015: The political battleground" page here.