Please Wait … Ed Miliband Is Loading

John Rentoul

edmloading Please Wait ... Ed Miliband Is LoadingAmong several important findings of our ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday this week (here and here), was one figure that explains much of the uncertainty that surrounds Labour’s nine-point lead (and an average seven points, taking the most recent findings of six pollsters):

Fewer than half, 46 per cent, of Labour voters agree that “Ed Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party” (p54 here): 25 per cent disagree; 28 per cent don’t know.

This is the sort of finding that would, if there were a strong alternative candidate for the Labour leadership, escalate “grumbles” into a “leadership crisis” on the journalese scale. But there isn’t such a candidate. Yvette Cooper is not it, despite the anonymous offering by a “Labour insider” yesterday on Political Betting.

Indeed, Cooper has said so herself. Asked if she wanted to be prime minister on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, on 16 July, she said: “I wouldn’t.” (Well spotted by my colleague Jane Merrick).

Instead of having a leadership crisis, therefore, the party seems to be sinking into gloomy defeatism, which is, when Tony Blair is not leader, its default mood.

Typical is a hurtful article for The Scotsman today written by Brian Wilson, the former Labour MP and minister, which starts:

I have never been quite clear about why Ed Miliband wanted to be leader of the Labour Party or why he thought he should be.

Illustration: General Boles

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  • CreamOnTop

    “I have never been quite clear about why Ed Miliband wanted to be leader of the Labour Party or why he thought he should be.”

    It was the same with Brown and he is his child. Then again what did Blair want the job for? He left the economy to a buffoon and talked a load of rambling nonsense before joining dumb wars costing Bns to fight an enemy numbering 100s.

    Or Cameron what does he want the job for? He appears ignorant of a modern society believing cracking a hard drive ends data (it’s like burning a single book only dumber) and is supported in this medieval lunacy by Clegg.

    All they all have in common is someone told them how clever they were all their lives. None show any vision or thought. In many ways Say Anything Ed no better or worse than the others. None would resign on a point of principal because they have none – other than to advance a career at a later date. All are stupid egomaniacs whose conformity is sanctioned by their education.

    Miliband is like Brown oddly socially inept – one wonders at the pain and depression being an introverted politician brings. Other than that as well qualified as all since Major (who was hardly popular).

  • greggf

    “But there isn’t such a candidate.”

    Sometimes JR, you are rather obvious. So, when do you expect TB to come back as leader?

  • reformist lickspittle

    Comparing Miliband with Brown is incredibly lazy – they are very different in several respects (even with regard to their failings)

    If anything, Ed’s older brother is the more “socially inept” of the two – not that I would ever expect a fawning disciple of his like JR ever to admit this ;)

  • Hill244

    Loose points for mentioning Yvette “Internment Without Trial” Cooper. Oh Miliband (Blair Lite TM) is getting a new one torn on Huff Po.

  • porkfright

    On the Twelfth of Never.

  • Pacificweather

    It is almost never about the data but about the loss of face and the attempt to recover it. A feeble attempt to justify recent police action at Heathrow. SIS did not want their part in the 1953 Iranian coup d’état revealed because it demonstrates their complete lack of foresight. As if the Falklands war and 7/7 did not tell us that. If you have served no useful purpose for 70 years, face is essential to maintaining your existence. That and a bit of blackmail.

  • Pacificweather

    You are right, John, there is no replacement for Ed Milliband so why not stop kicking him and offer your services to improve him.

  • mightymark

    You may disagree with what Blair did and many (though not me) do, but you would be hard pressed to argue that he didn’t know what he wanted the job for. He made considerable changes to the Labour party even before he took it into Government and many more when he got there. While you might be right that he conceded too much power to Brown (as Blair would perhaps ruefully admit himself I suspect) that was in recognition of political realities – not because he had no vision himself.

    On the point about being “told they were clever” it is worth remembering that Blair had no experience at all of Government before 1997 so if you mean that in relation to Government, while the point may or may not apply to Miliband who had extensive experience in the Blair/Brown governments, it can not possibly apply to Blair.

  • jamietaylor

    No matter what any of the sniping Left says – their man in Milliband is never going to win any election by a free vote of the people to run anything. He’s not much liked, certainly not respected, absolutely isn’t trusted and completely held with suspicion as to his abilities.

    Blair – if he announced he’d run again would walk it I feel. Cameron would quake himself into a slipped disk – he’d have no cover or PR to hide from TB. Whatever anyone says about Blair, he won three elections – the third in the shadow of the Iraq war and is one of the most capable and impressive PM’s this country as had in a century. And IMO a lot more of the ’silent majority’ would feel comfortable and sleep more soundly if someone of his stature and obvious ability were in charge of UK plc.

  • reformist lickspittle

    Hello, John.

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