Ed Miliband (aka Red Ed)has been in the news again recently. From what the papers report, I gather there are issues between him and his brother, the manner in which he became the Labour Leader and his fitness to continue as the party leader.
I’ve never met the man but from his public persona I think he could be a very nice bloke. I also think his heart is in the right place and he means well. But, and its a very big but, I believe he isn’t a very good political operator or communicator. He stands awkwardly, gesticulates at seemingly random intervals and, to my mind, speaks without passion or belief. Not good things if you want to take your party with you.
I commented in an earlier blog about his inability to define the squeezed middle. Today he was effectively espousing Cameron’s idea of the “Big Society” and personal responsibility. Albeit with some reservations I tend to agree with the general thrust of these concepts but Ed’s version just didn’t ring true to me.
Waiting in the wings there is Ed Balls who I suspect would like to be the next leader and comes across as being a very forceful personality with fixed ideas on how to handle the deficit. There is also Harriet Harman who, for reasons beyond me, seems to have significant influence within the Labour Party on “equality and wimmens” policies. These two will present a challenge to any re-jigging of Labour’s policies in time for the next election.
So, poor communication skills, powerful party “allies” and Labour flagging in the opinion polls. It is my bet that Ed’s tenure is doomed to be a short one. The conspiracy theory part of me has an inkling he only got the job to preside over the regeneration of Labour as the mistakes of the Brown administration are papered over. What say you?