Between Hague and Duncan Smith

John Rentoul

1589577 hague300 Between Hague and Duncan SmithAfter a brief relapse, I have resumed my self-denying ordinance on discussing the Leader of the Opposition until 2014.

This, however, does not count, as it is a continuation of a previous post. Here are the net ratings for leaders of the opposition after two years (16 months in the cases of John Smith and Ed Miliband), according to Peter Kellner, President of YouGov:

Tony Blair: +39
John Smith: +18
David Cameron: +1
Margaret Thatcher: -10
Neil Kinnock: -13
William Hague: -26
Ed Miliband: -32
Iain Duncan Smith: -39
Michael Foot:  -54

Right. Time to write about other things.

Tagged in: ,
  • takeoman

    “Time to write about other things.” if only,unfortunately we all know that in fact it will be Blair, Blair and more Blair.

  • SeekTruthFromFacts

    Well, if the collapse of the ERM did the business for Messrs Smith and Blair, perhaps the collapse of the Euro will save Ed!

  • JohnJustice

    Before you finally revert to your self-denying ordinance on Ed, JR, it would be helpful if you could explain more fully your obvious hostility to his leadership. Is it about the message or the man?

    I can understand any reservations you might have about whether he has the charisma to win an election but from your previous posts it seems that your main gripe is that he is too closely associated with the loony left (or the Swedish tendency as you now euphemistically put it).

    In that connection I note that Rachel Sylvester of the Times (who is not normally regarded as being of the Swedish persuasion) appears to be rather more sympathetic to the message Ed is trying to convey. In today’s (paywall) piece she writes 

    “You could say he’s leading and others are following, but it doesn’t feel like that. He’s like the woman who tells a joke at a dinner party but nobody laughs until it is repeated, more loudly, by the man sitting across the table.It has happened over and over again. When the Labour leader called in his conference speech for corporate “predators” to be separated from industrial “producers”, he was widely mocked. But now David Cameron has started echoing the sentiment, if not the language, with his call for a “fairer, better economy” and Nick Clegg has taken to attacking “crony capitalism”. It was Mr Miliband who first championed the “squeezed middle” and now everyone has taken up this cause too. On the phone-hacking scandal, the energy companies, train fare rises and executive pay, he was ahead of the crowd — yet somehow failed to get the credit.”

    On the same day Miliband has made a speech in which he has reiterated his theme that Labour will not be able to tax and spend in the old way, referring to the “much harder choices” that will need to be made.

    Against this background and bearing in mind that no opposition leader spells out detailed policies at this stage of the electoral cycle I am genuinely puzzled by your unforgiving stance on this matter. Can you at least admit that the smiley image used for your “fightback” post was inappropriate and that you may have got it wrong about where he stands on the political spectrum?

  • Adam Snow

    perhaps the collapse of EdM will do the business for DaveM, or YC, here’s hoping

  • ZacMurdoch

    ‘Conference, I am not Tony Blair’.

    Thanks for pointing that out, Ed.  You should be so lucky. 

    If he looks like a leader, walks like a leader, talks like a leader, acts like a leader – he is a leader.  Blair was.  Ed isn’t.

    But following on from John Justice below, it’s only worth banging on about it – especially when EM is beginning to have something to say – if there is a real possiblity of a better alternative.

  • AlanGiles

    I think the truth John is, simply that Rentoul would like Blair back, or failing that, the nearest thing to Blair which of course is David Miliband.

    Neither will happen because the days of “Blairism” like Thatcherism before it, are gone.

    Nobody ever learns from others mistake – what Rentoul is doing is chipping away and undermining Ed Miliband, just like numerous Tory scribblers (Charles Moore for example) did to John Major. All he and his sort will succeed in doing is ensuring the Conservative majority in 2015 is even bigger than it might be.

    Perhaps that is what he wants?

  • AlanGiles

    I suspect even that arch-egotist Tony Blair himself, would be slightly embarrassed at Rentoul’s continual hero-worship. He always reminds you of a pre-pubescent child with photographs of the current pop music pin-up all over the walls

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter