Who will stop clapping first?
The more I think about it, the more damning this passage in my esteemed colleague Steve Richards’s New Statesman article about Ed Miliband seems:
Nearly all those who work for Miliband are dependent on his patronage. He chose them and they are pleased to be close to him. They do not want to say things that he does not want to hear. The contrast with Tony Blair’s office is marked. Blair had to plead with Alastair Campbell to join him, going out to see him while Campbell was on holiday in France as part of the energetic wooing process. Campbell could be brutally candid because he knew Blair wanted him so much. Other advisers, such as Peter Mandelson, had been senior to Blair in the 1980s. They, too, could be ruthlessly or constructively critical, sometimes both. This does not happen very much in Miliband’s office; indeed, the opposite can happen. I am told that sometimes his staff applaud him when he returns from making a mediocre speech.
If I had written something like this, it would have been easily brushed aside with the usual hilarious put-down, “You do realise he’s gone, don’t you?” Coming from Steve, it is rather harder to dismiss.Tagged in: ed miliband, labour party, steve richards
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