Ed Miliband’s unwise speech

John Rentoul

Esteemed colleague Andrew Grice said: “Rarely in 30 years of reporting national politics have I seen such a candid, self-aware and self-deprecating speech.” Fellow Blairite zombie Daniel Hodges, on the other hand, thought it was “one of most breathtakingly cynical and hypocritical speeches I’ve ever seen delivered by a major British politician”.

I observe merely that it gives everyone permission to discuss Ed Miliband’s image problem, which is not helpful to the Labour leader, and that it means that he cannot now go near a camera without people commenting that they thought he wasn’t interested in photo-opportunities.

I also sought to assess how “weird” recent prime ministers have been compared with him in The Independent today. The feature is not online, so I post it here.

weird1 Ed Milibands unwise speechweird2 Ed Milibands unwise speechweird3 Ed Milibands unwise speech

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  • Ciaran Goggins

    Blair will be remembered, not for the debacle in Iraq (which merely led to the loss of many surplus economic units), but for the erosion of civil liberty and allowing two million Poles in overnight with no provision for them.

  • munch58

    Cameron and Lynton Crosby must have laughed themselves to sleep last night as this is such a huge own goal by Knob Ed who was only doing a photo opportunity with Obama a couple of days before claiming he doesn’t get involved in that sort of thing just like the carefully placed invited audience he was preaching to and will be slaughtered by them and the press now every time he performs that trick. Also will he still be looking for the £80,000 Television spin doctor he has advertised for because according to him he no longer gets involved in that sort of spin. I thought not…

  • JP Janson De Couet

    Interesting. Who win the day? The people who hate Miliband whatever he says or does, or the people who make up their minds as they go along?

  • JohnJustice

    Zombie. Is the right word for Hodges these days. He just doesn’t ‘t get it. The Tories were already gearing up to make Miliband’s image a key electoral issue well before that speech. Ed has simply got in a pre-emptive strike and a very nice one at that.

  • MorganAttic

    What a collection!

  • MrHarryLime

    Ed’s image problem was the subject of incessant debate anyway, so his speech is unlikely to make matters worse and at least has the merit of trying to deal with the issue. If the alternative is to pretend it isn’t there, then I think Ed has on balance done the right thing.

    And can Dan Hodges still be classed as a Blairite? I’m a committed zombie myself, and I see in Dan someone who doesn’t vote Labour and who thought it would be a good idea to replace Blair with Brown. Is there a column in the press that hates Labour more than Dan’s? Compare this with Blair’s tribal attachment to the party, as evidenced yet again in the Philip Gould lecture recently. I go to Philip Collins for a Blairite perspective, not Dan Hodges.

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