The Labour leader Miliband most resembles? Clem Attlee

24th June, 2014 8:00 am

The capacity of the Labour Party to go into headless chicken mode never fails to amaze me.

Reading recent press coverage you would assume it was us that had just come third in a national election for the first time in our history, lost 236 councillors and 11 councils and been beaten for the third year in a row in the local authority elections. Those are actually the results the Tories suffered, but their higher level of self-discipline means no one is commenting on the mess they are in, and people are having a pop at Ed Miliband’s despite the fact he just beat the Tories in both the Euro and local elections and we gained 324 councillors.

There also seems to be a time lag in people’s reactions to opinion polls. The narrative now is that Labour is losing its opinion poll lead. Except that is last month’s story. In May and early June we did see polls showing Labour’s lead dropping to 1% and in literally a handful of cases disappearing. But the most recent polls all show an increased Labour lead compared to a month ago:

  • Ashcroft: Labour lead of 5%, compared to Tory lead in May of 2%
  • ComRes: Labour lead of 2%, down from 4% in May
  • ICM: Labour lead of 1%, compared to Tory lead in May of 2%
  • Mori: Labour lead of 3%, same as last month
  • Opinium: Labour lead of 4%, compared to 1% in May
  • Populus: Labour lead of 5%, compared to Tory lead in May of 1%
  • YouGov: Labour lead of 6%, compared to 1% in May

So only one pollster shows our position deteriorating, whilst five pollsters show significant improvements in our position.

This is actually the first month for about a year when we have reversed a slow but steady erosion of our polling lead.

If we were being rational and reacting to the data we ought to be pleased that we seem to have turned a corner and regained momentum. This is almost unprecedented in the final twelve months of a parliament when a government usually recovers ground. And it looks like the improving economy is not making people happier with the government. There is nothing to be complacent about – it would be great if we were miles ahead – but objectively it looks like we have a chance to win a General Election when back in 2010 we were in meltdown and some people were questioning the party’s survival or suggesting we were headed for another 18 year period in opposition.

The naysayers will of course point to Ed’s personal ratings being awful. They are. But these are personal ratings obtained asking questions of the very same people who are giving Labour an increasing poll lead of up to 6%. I.e. they have already taken into account what they think of Ed and they are still planning on making him Prime Minister.

I would put the people who are fuelling the air of crisis into three categories:

1)    Commentators like Dan Hodges who have bet their reputation on Ed being a loser so they have a vested interest in helping fulfil their prediction by putting the boot into him.

2)    Plotters. A minority of the people who didn’t vote for Ed to be leader want the party’s decision revisited. Being charitable, they may have a different political vision and/or think another leader is more voter-friendly. Being uncharitable they may feel their careers will advance faster in an opposition led by someone else (maybe themselves?) than in a government led by Ed.

3)    Well-intentioned worriers. This third category definitely has the party’s best interests at heart but needs to realise that there are positive ways to suggest how we and Ed can up our game, and then there are headless chicken reactions that just make things worse.

All of these have the affect of generating a potential downward spiral of confidence for Ed. Only he can break free of it but it would help if others gave him the space to do so rather than making things worse with anonymous chatter to journalists.

For myself, my memory is long enough not to forget what Ed is capable of. I have not formed my impression of him based on the occasional goofy photo. That would be unfair – after all his leadership rival and brother was more than capable of goofy photo disasters, most notably featuring a banana.

My regard for Ed is based on years of seeing his power to inspire, seeing him pull off barnstorming and content-rich speeches at conferences before he was leader, something lots of people then express surprise about when he has hit the ball out of the park at two successive annual conferences.

It is based on the decency and warmth I have seen in him as a person, something quite rare in the cutthroat upper reaches of politics, which lead me to believe he will lead a wounded, divided and battered country with the compassion and humanity it desperately needs.

It is based on hearing him articulate a sophisticated analysis of the deep economic and social challenges the UK faces, and suggest imaginative policy solutions to them, which again is greeted with shock by people who first of all deride his ideas like the energy price freeze then end up trying to steal them.

It is based on seeing the resilience and toughness of a man who has been repeatedly underestimated and derided but usually has the last laugh because he keeps doggedly arguing for what he knows to be right and inspires people to follow him. I went through months of a leadership campaign in 2010 with know-it-alls claiming Ed could not win and I was wasting my time. He won then and he will show the same know-it-alls he can win next year’s General Election.

The leader I would compare Ed to isn’t Neil Kinnock as the press has been doing. Though incidentally I am sick to death of hearing that comparison being used as an insult. Neil Kinnock ought to be a hero for every Labour member. We wouldn’t have a Labour Party anymore if it wasn’t for his courage in taking on Militant and doing the policy heavy lifting that made the 1997 victory possible. He took a party that was almost dead in 1983 and brought it to within a whisker of victory in 1992.

No, I think a more apt comparison for Ed is with Clem Attlee. Not a flashy showman. Not trying to be charismatic. Trying to bind together a divided party. Quietly, competently managing huge change. Quietly, competently, building a better more humane country.  They derided Attlee too:

“An empty taxi drew up outside 10 Downing Street and Clement Attlee got out of it.” 

“A modest man with much to be modest about.”

“A sheep in sheep’s clothing”

All these were attributed to Churchill, who the underestimated Attlee thrashed in the 1945 General Election and went on to build the welfare state and the NHS.


Attlee himself had the last laugh, writing the limerick:

“Few thought he was even a starter;
There were many who thought themselves smarter,
But he ended a PM
CH and OM
An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Of course there was one thing Attlee did have and that was a really strong team of colleagues which he had to manage (most of them hated each other) – any one of Morrison, Bevan, Bevin, Dalton, Cripps was a political big-hitter.

It isn’t good enough for everyone to blame every up and down of Labour’s fortunes on Ed. He is the leader and that comes with the territory, but to win we need the senior team all shouldering the load with him and making an impression on the public. That’s how we won in 1945. That’s how we won in 1964 with Wilson backed up by charismatic senior colleagues like Jenkins, Callaghan and Healey. That’s how we won in 1997 when it wasn’t just Blair; Prescott, Cook and Brown were all serious players who looked ready for government.

The current team have the brains and political skills to be a winning team like that. But we need to see them coming forward, making the big announcements, making the big speeches, socking it to the Government in the Commons in a way that will convince them that Labour is ready to govern.

And the Labour team means all of us individual members in the country too and the conversations we have when canvassing and with family, friends, colleagues and on social media. We need to stop worrying about what the worst case might be in May 2015 and start ensuring that everything we say and do between now and then contributes to the best case happening.

This country needs a Labour government desperately right now. We have to have the self-confidence that we have got the right team, the right leader, the right policies and the right vision, if we are to expect the public to trust us with power.

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  • Gary Pepworth

    Clearly with an NEC election looming, Luke will he hoping that his call to arms won’t harm his chances. Another person needing to write a ‘look it’s not as bad as it seems’ article rather suggests that it is.

  • swatnan

    john smith/neil kinnock/michael foot, more apposite

  • Daniel Speight

    I think that Attlee and Miliband is a good comparison. Both middle class leaders of the Labour Party with similar personalities. But what Attlee had and Miliband doesn’t was a strong group of working class characters around him. Where are Ed’s Morrison, Bevan, and Bevin. He seems to do his utmost to avoid their likes.

    BTW Luke if you are going to talk about “Plotters” how about having the courage to name and shame?

    • treborc1

      The Progress party, all of them including Luke.

    • PoundInYourPocket

      Attlee was also involved in charities, social work, was a mayor, fought in the first world war, survived Gallipolli, returned to the front despite injuries… etc etc etc. There is no comparison to be made between the towerering stregth, courage and integrity of Attlee and a modern day SPAD politician.

      • gunnerbear

        Cannot agree more PIYP.

        Mr. Attlee was a political giant, one of the few politicians of the United Kingdom that deserved the title of both political giant and Prime Minister.

        After all even Churchill said,

        “Mr Attlee is an honourable and gallant gentleman, and a faithful colleague who served his country well at the time of her greatest need.”

        Plus decades later Thatcher added,

        “He was a serious man and a patriot. Quite contrary to the general tendency of politicians in the 1990s, he was all substance and no show.”

        Whatever else Ed. M is, he isn’t no Attlee.

  • Chilbaldi

    Luke I admire your unwavering loyalty, but just no.

  • CharleyFarleyFive

    Miliband is IDS, get over it. If he walks into No. 10 on the back of the unfair electoral system, which seems likely, his subsequent nightmare tenure as PM will ensure Labour are out of power for many, many years.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Yet another Tory troll with the power to see into the future. You’re not Mystic Meg’s less successful brother are you, by any chance?

  • Maverick Ways

    Ed’s Op’s a dog’s breakfast we hear –
    There’s sarnies, the Sun, drinking beer.
    The fact is that Ed
    Is both gormless and Red
    I’m thinking silk purse and pig’s ear.

  • George O’McEnglish

    Didn’t see much of that ‘decency and warmth’ when he was shafting his older brother…….

    • treborc1

      Grow up it was an election and his brother lost it, if your going to attack Ed then do it on his ability as leader not on something he was totally entitled to do.

      • George O’McEnglish

        To be fair I think we are entitled to question the personal integrity of a possible future leader of our country………Wouldn’t want to end up with another Blair would we?

        • treborc1

          But if Ed Miliband had not stood then you would have had his brother David a full and total Blair-rite .

          Look the issue with Ed Miliband is that he’s learning his trade he’s learning whom to trust within politics, the problem is he came to power twenty years to early has hardly had time to wipe his nose, he is to the public unproven.

          Not that it always works mind you, it’s the reason why people do deals in cafe or curry houses about who will be lesaders who will take over in future.

          Labour should be looking back at 1945 because that was the last time we had a massive deficit and how a Labour party worked within it, not allowed it to run the country.

          With massive deficit and debt we changed the country and the world to a degree because we did not allow the people to suffer because of some bunch of bloody bankers.

          Today we have politicians who are careerist who have no ability to see past their own bank accounts or interest, little wonder 60% of this country cannot be bothered to vote for people who see politics and a way of getting a good wage better pension and flip homes to make money.

          • George O’McEnglish

            No the issue with Ed Miliband is he is not up to the job of leader of the opposition, let alone PM. As you have mentioned he is party leader 20 years too early. A career politician with absolutely no clue what life in the real world is like. He sits on his high horse insulting the Tory cabinet for being well educated (he himself went to Oxford), and for being rich (he lives in a £2.3 million house). He goes on about the cost of living but doesn’t know how much he spends on food. He bad mouths every Tory welfare but won’t go back on any if he gets into power. He rubbished Tory policies on energy then goes home and uses the same policies for the benefit of his family (Switching Energy Supplier). The man is full of contradictions (Sun Photo/recent changed stance on youth) and clearly has no serious economic plan. 2015 will be the first time I have ever voted at a GE and not ticked the Labour box……

          • treborc1

            Ok to get back to your first comment Ed should not have stood letting in his Blair-rite brother.

            You would accept David Miliband.

          • George O’McEnglish

            I personally would have preferred to see David take the job. I don’t like these ‘Blair-rite / Brown-its’ tags; they are counter-productive. David is clearly a stronger leader and I have no doubt Labour would be miles ahead in the polls if he had one. I’m not the only Labour (now former Labour) voter who wanted David. In fact most Labour MP’s voted for him to be their leader. How about yourself? Are you happy with Ed?

          • keggsie

            David would have followed exactly the same neoliberal economic policies that are destroying this country and everything socially worthwhile. Time you joined the Tory Party methinks.

          • George O’McEnglish

            and you think Ed’s anti-business agenda wouldn’t destroy the country?

          • keggsie

            What anti-business agenda. You read the Daily Mail too much I think.

          • George O’McEnglish

            He has spoken of increasing corporation tax and wage & rent controls…there things worry me greatly. The economy took a pounding in 2008 and we are only just back on our feet. His ideas sound good, and will win him support with the electorate, but I am hugely concerned that he doesn’t truly understand (or care) about business & markets……just getting into power

          • George O’McEnglish

            And no I do not read the bloody mail!

          • keggsie

            Whose side are you on. I suspect the side of corporate capitalism. Increasing corporation is the least that should be done considering they don’t pay tax now.

            As for rent controls which matters to you more landlords shafting people like my son who rent or affordable rents with landlords doing what they should be doing – maintaining their properties. You seem to forget one of your Tory friends in gvt has denigrated people who claim housing benefit. Yet this same man has made millions out of this benefit.

            We have come to a time in our history where everyone of us has to stand up and be counted. You are either on the side of people or ob the side of neoliberal fascists / capitalists who care not one jot for the majority of people and are being helped to rip this country off by toerags in the Tory Party enabled by Quisling Lib Dems who said anything at the last election to get a whiff of power.

            As for the economy if you really think we are recovering then you are fool. This gvt has managed to spin lies, deceit and manipulated statistics that would even have Thatcher blushing with embarrassment.

            There is no recovery except for the rich.

            Your comments on this site show you up for what you really are – a Tory apologist whether you read the Daily Mail or not.

          • MikeHomfray

            Now you give yourself away. No Labour voter talks about ‘anti-business agendas.’

            Tory troll

          • PoundInYourPocket

            No just the Labour MPs !

          • PoundInYourPocket

            He lost the election and is now sorting out toilets in refugee camps. He won’t be comming back, so get over it. And he was every bit as “odd” as his brother. Recall the “bannana” photos ?

          • George O’McEnglish

            haha yea that was a pretty legendary photo. I’m not saying the media wouldn’t have gone for him like they have Ed. I just feel that he would have had a stronger, more supportive shadow cabinet and would been seen by the electorate as someone who could lead the country.

          • ColinAdkins

            David – a modern day Mr Pooter. Did you see his last intervention in Parliament when he stopped sulking about not getting the leadership? Reading from notes and shaking like a leaf.
            Speaking in deliberate received pronounciation doesn’t make your anadoyne comments any more profound.
            David is backed by News International and the Mail as a back up if Cameron fails at the next election.
            I agree Ed is using up his political capital fast but if the answer is David then the wrong question has been asked? I am all for skipping a generation backwards (Johnson) or forwards (Chuka, Reeves).

          • MikeHomfray

            David Miliband is a neo-con and would have wanted us to go into Syria. Not only would that have been an absolute disaster, it would have split the party

          • Michael Murray

            So why did he and the rest of the Labour MPs vote against it? Funny that.

          • Michael Murray

            Actually, I need to get my eyes tested. I thought you were saying Ed Miliband was a neo-con. ignore my previous remark.

          • MikeHomfray

            Because their leader and the party whip said so. Miliband, D has expressed views in favour of participation in an attack on Syria since leaving parliament

          • treborc1

            Costs we cannot afford to go to war ” That’s all Folks”

          • treborc1

            Guess work the fact is America has changed it has a new leader it also has serious problems with debt no I do not think David would have gone into Syria, he may have agreed to bombing and air attacks that is now the option for Iraq.

            The problem is Ed is not his brother he’s not New labour the problem is of course he is.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            When I last heard D.Milliband on TV he was campaigning to get torches for femal refugees so they could make their way to the toillets at night. A noble cause and a great use of his skills.

          • gunnerbear

            Sorry, David M. has retired to be closer to his money.

          • treborc1

            Well £250,000 a year plus expenses, he must feel like a Prime Minister and he has Thunder birds if he ever needs to leave Tracy Island.

          • MikeHomfray

            So yet another one who can’t accept that DM lost. No, I think he would have been a disaster . He wanted to enter Syria – you think the party would have accepted that? I would never have voted for David Miliband and there would be a civil war within the party had he been elected. Thankfully, he wasn’t.

          • keggsie

            “No the issue with Ed Miliband is he is not up to the job of leader of the opposition, let alone PM.”

            Who took on Murdoch and won?
            Who took on the Daily Mail and won?
            Who took on Cameron and Obama over Syria and won?

            What more do you want. Pillock.

          • gunnerbear

            “Who took on Murdoch and won?”

            Won what exactly? He still grabbed the Sun photo-op with both hands.

            “Who took on the Daily Mail and won?”

            The Daily Mail ran an article about the views of RM (views which were on the record) – Ed. M. argued back. Hardly a cause for victory given the DM story still stands.

          • keggsie

            I agree Ed made a stupid error of judgement for which he apologised. Or have you forgotten that? I’m still waiting for one from Cameron and Clegg.

            I notice you don’t mention the Syrian debacle. How convenient.

            If that is the best a Tory troll can come up with then no wonder the Tories are doomed next year along with their Quislings.

            If you are a Labour supporter then all I can say is with friends like you who needs enemies.

          • gunnerbear

            I didn’t mention any thing about the other points you’ve now raised because you didn’t raise them before.

            You’ve completely lost me over the Clegg / Cameron bit (and Syria for that matter) as I thought the whole issue was about Ed’s fitness – or otherwise – to be leader.

          • keggsie

            Re read my post. You might figure it out then

          • ColinAdkins

            There is no problem with being well educated but I would suggest drawing most of your Cabinet from elite private schools is a problem.

        • keggsie

          What integrity. Are you for real?

    • keggsie

      This shafting his older brother is crap and you know it. How did he shaft his brother. He stood against him and won fair and square. Grow up.

    • ColinAdkins

      So if David won would he have been accused of shafting Ed or do you believe in the principle that the eldest should ‘inherit’ first? The last person I saw take this line was Constance Briscoe the Barrister on QT. I wonder where she is now?

  • Ian Robathan

    Sensible article Luke though why mention Hodges he is not even a labour member now so his pieces are pointless. What the bubble does not understand is that Ed’s ratings are already factored into Labours. So what, Ed is not a PR machine, so what he occasionally looks a geek, that is what he is … Do we really want another spin machine person as PM, if you do, you have the perfect one now.

    • treborc1

      He may not be a PR machine, he has a powerful one behind him though.

      • Ian Robathan

        point is they should step down, like with the Sun fiasco someone got it badly wrong and Ed’s instincts seem to be better than those around him.

        • Doug Smith

          ” someone got it badly wrong”

          It was Ed who got it wrong.

          But if he insists on surrounding himself with idiots (just look at the untalented shadow cabinet), that’s something else he’s got wrong.

      • Steve Stubbs

        Powerful? The recent run of public relations screw-ups would suggest they are about as powerful as Clegg, but with less common sense.

  • Grytpype

    “….making the big announcements, making the big speeches, socking it to the Government in the Commons”

    You mean the puerile razzamatazz that passes for politics nowadays? Oh, I think we’ll see plenty of that.

  • Doug Smith

    The difference between now and then is that in ’45 there was an enthusiastic, grass-roots pro-Labour movement throughout the country.

    Today the Labour careerist elite keep their distance from ordinary people. They have jettisoned the activist base, they regard the membership as threat to their own career prospects and they happily mimic Tory policies instead of offering, as Attlee did, an alternative.

    I have yet to meet a single person (non-LP member) who is enthusiastic about the return of a Labour government. In ’45 you’d have to work hard to find people admitting to being opposed to a Labour government.

    • JoeDM

      But it is the same across the LibLabCon establishment parties.

    • ColinAdkins

      So true. I was even enthusiastic when Blair first got elected.

      • treborc1

        Who was not after all those years of the Tories, it did not last to long though

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      ‘The difference between now and then is that in ’45 there was an enthusiastic, grass-roots pro-Labour movement throughout the country’……….

      You remember it do you? How old are you again?

      • Grytpype

        ‘You remember it then, do you? How old are you again?’

        I think it’s called ‘reading books on the subject’. Try it, it’s often enlightening.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          You mean you can read then? Astonishing!

          • Grytpype

            No. I contact the spirits, and they reveal all.

    • Neuron Therapy

      Don’t forget the service vote in 1945. People who had gone through a war wanted a better life and responded to the slogan ‘Give Labour its Chance’. They were given the vote and they used it.
      If everyone now having their lives ruined by the Tories was registered to vote and voted, we’d have another Labour landslide.

      • whs1954

        We Tories are more than happy for you to con yourselves that everyone is “having their lives ruined by the Tories”. I have yet to meet all these starving people living lives of pure agony and torture, for whom everything was sweetness and light right up to 6 May 2010. Carry on crying wolf, and it won’t be a Labour landslide.

  • Michael Murray

    Excellent post. It really needed saying. At the 2014 Local Elections we did best gaining 324 councillors ( that’s Gaining not losing) and took three out of five Labour Mayors. Running dogs’ and lickspittle media lackeys’ verdict? Labour Lost! Despite so called “increasing employment” the Blue Tory and Orange Tory coalition between them lost 546 councillors. I’ll repeat that, 546 councillors: a massive number. Media lackeys verdict? You’ve guessed it: it was Labour that lost! The Blue Tories came third for the first time at the European elections losing 7 seats and the Orange Tories went into meltdown and lost nearly all their seats. Media lackeys’ verdict? Guess what? Labour lost! We gained 7 seats and increased our share of the vote by 25.4%. Media lackeys’ verdict? Labour Lost! Everyone, in the media lackeys’ ( er “Free press”) upside down world seems to walk on the ceiling.

    Clegg , Labour’s greatest asset, has inflicted more political damage on his own party in terms of lost seats and lost deposits than any of his political opponents could ever have dreamed of. Media Lackeys’ verdict? Clegg is a safe pair of hands and must stay!

    Labour win the Local Elections contest outright and do exceptionally well in the European Elections. Media lackeys’ verdict? Labour lost; Miliband’s in trouble; he must go! The media lackeys then start signing up a few superannuated Blairites to support their ludicrous proposition that Ed Miliband is a failure. If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.

    • Sheila

      Yes, Ed’s done well. And the media want to undermine him because they’re not on our side. The LP advisers should stop trying to win over the media and start winning over the public by presenting Ed and Labour as the decent, moral alternative.

  • markmyword49

    The difference between Attlee and Miliband isn’t just that the former had a large number of charismatic big hitters who held strong and sometimes opposing views of the way forward.
    Attlee had the advantage of something different to offer and the voters knew his Cabinet would be full of experienced operators capable of implementing change. Miliband has neither the big hitters nor a significantly different offer to that being put forward by the other parties and his Cabinet would be full of too many “failed” ministers from the previous administration.
    I’ll ask again why should voter plumb for the unknown when all that’s being offered is Coalition lite policies. Too many will go with the devil they know.

    • treborc1

      Because they devil they know is far better then what’s on offer from the inexperience bunch in Newer labour.

  • treborc1

    Attlee 1900.

    In Limehouse, in Limehouse, before the break of day,

    I hear the feet of many men who go upon their way,

    Who wander through the City,

    The grey and cruel City,

    Through streets that have no pity

    The streets where men decay.

    In Limehouse, in Limehouse, by night as well as day,

    I hear the feet of children who go to work or play,

    Of children born of sorrow,

    The workers of tomorrow

    How shall they work tomorrow

    Who get no bread today?.

    In Limehouse, in Limehouse, today and every day

    I see the weary mothers who sweat their souls away:

    Poor, tired mothers, trying

    To hush the feeble crying

    Of little babies dying

    For want of bread today.

    In Limehouse, in Limehouse, I’m dreaming of the day

    When evil time shall perish and be driven clean away,

    Shall live and love each other,

    And brother help his brother

    In happy work and play.

    That is pretty close to what we have to day is it not, we are back in the period when the poor the working class are hammered as Reeves put it, or kicked out of council houses for not working as Flint Put it.

    I suspect the next election if Labour loses will see a battle arise for the blood and soul of the labour movement as Progress battle to take the party to the right.

    Miliband may be a great person, but not a great leader he’s not even a proven MP or Minister and that is the issue for him, how do you prove to a people that he can run the country . Many of our leaders in the past and Attlee especially have worked within the Government and within society Attlee gave up everything to become a social worker, Attlee battled for many years to get to the top in politics not doing deals in some curry house in London to win an election but out in the wider communities by being a solid politicians and holding many offices so we the people can see them and trust them.

    sadly even Labour list said it, let hope he grows into it, well he has not really, he has an idea one week he then walks over it the next, we will have a living wage was the big promise, then when the business community said OK we do not want it, many of the labour councils have rejected it, he changes his mind and goes back to the min wage. Go back further we will have council houses, nope later on we will have affordable houses, once you get an idea of what he’s going to do the Daily Mail comments section get in the way and we are off on another trip.

    Who is Miliband I’ve no idea, what does Miliband stand for what ever will win him an election…

    • Stephen Rogers

      I do not know Ed Miliband personally, but I have read enough to know that he is what Tony Benn would have named a signpost politician and not a weathercock politician, whose main aim is to stay in power at all costs. If you want to be pedantic, of course it is ridiculous to compare Ed with Clem as they are of a different age and time. I also realise that Ed comes from a privileged background, all be it one where social justice and fairness were the messages that the young Milibands’ heard every day from their parents. I’m sick and tired of hearing about image and whether a person looks good in front of a television camera or is able to eat a bacon sandwich without looking geeky. Labour supporters wake up, wake up for goodness sake: all this silly squabbling is going to let the Tories win. Say what you want about Ed, he is a geek, treacherous, incompetent etc etc. but support him, and let, in my humble view, vote for a party who will gave us one of the best, if not best post war labour party Prime Minister.

  • PoundInYourPocket

    This continued attempt to liken Ed with Attlee is absurd. Do you really think that putting Attlee’s picture on all Ed articles will somehow transfer some of the magic across to him. It’s like comparing a flea and a lion. Patronising and ridiculous.

    • gunnerbear

      Again, totally agree.

  • EricBC

    Clement Attlee was a very successful and immensely popular Deputy Prime Minister through the Churchill years of the Second World War. The comparison simply does not work.

    Churchill focused upon the War Effort while Clement Attlee focused upon the economy working with unions, owners, managers, senior civil servants and all kinds of experts across the country.

  • David Callam

    Ed Miliband is no Clem Atlee; he’s no Harold Wilson; and he’s certainly no Tony Blair. He is the second second-rate leader in a row with whom the party has lumbered itself. Hence a mildly hysterical articles like this one, attempting to defend a disastrous situation in which a 6% lead in the most favourable poll has to be presented as some kind of triumph. Prepare for coalition, if you’re lucky. And if you lose please make it clear to Ed that he’s had his chance and he will be replaced.

    • ColinAdkins

      Me again. I fear you are right but wouldn’t put it in these terms. When the crisis struck even Brown showed true leadership. The best we can hope for is a collegiate Cabinet which may be no bad thing. But this will herald infighting driven by personal ambitions.

      • David Callam

        It would be like Blair/Brown on speed: five years of shambolic government followed by another 15 in the wilderness.

        • ColinAdkins

          Of course I would have preferred Blair/Brown on LSD but then again that is another discussion.

          • gunnerbear

            “Blair/Brown on LSD…..”

            Given some of the decisions, do you mean they weren’t?

          • treborc1

            Brown was on speed did you see him running or jogging, mind some called it dying.

          • gunnerbear

            That’s harsh.

          • treborc1

            It’s a harsh world we live in.

      • treborc1

        But Brown had years and years of experience to fall back on, sadly he slipped like many on the old banana skin..

  • Syzygy

    Could Ed Miliband also channel FDR and get all those unemployed and underemployed working again with a jobs guarantee (not just for under 25s). Easy way to ensure a Living wage because employers will have to match gov’t wages. Great piece from Luke Akehurst – should be re-blogged widely but Mark Fergusson has not put a Creative Commons license on the site (food for thought??)

    • gunnerbear

      “Easy way to ensure a Living wage because employers will have to match gov’t wages.”

      Not with mass immigration they won’t?

      Are you suggesting that a worker with little education and no work history doing a low-skill manual job is really work £17K?

      What do you say to the young Private solider on £19K when he looks at his wages?

  • Robin Wilde

    Me too. Good piece I thought – I’d be much more worried if the Hodges’ and Murdochs of this world were giving him wholehearted support.

  • ColinAdkins

    Hodges is both a Commentator and a Plotter. He is one of a gang of people grubbing around politics doing nothing in particular but appear to succeed in making a good living who were disappointed by Ed’s election cruelly dashing their aspirations to be David’s Alistair Campbell or the such like. Send them to the countryside to do something useful!

  • Dan

    You’re right that the polls right now are not too bad, but I would suggest that’s because Labour people have not been in the media much over the past few weeks. Whenever they go into campaign mode and send spokespeople out to do more interviews and soundbites trying to sell their “message”, the ratings always seem to go in decline.

    Their convoluted stances on everything that matters just end up winding everyone up: traditional Labour supporters and activists get angry and un-enthused when they parrot Tory-lite lines on the economy and welfare, those who actually agree with the Tory lines find it unconvincing and unbelievable coming from Labour so aren’t persuaded to vote for them anyway, while everyone in the middle who doesn’t have a particularly firm opinion eitherway gets irritated by Labour people refusing to give straight answers to questions and having patently incoherent and inconsistent policy positions, and so end up gravitating to other parties who actually do seem to have a coherent platform and a clear idea of what they’re about. There is no reason to think that the same phenomenon will not happen in the election campaign when the Labour policies and personalities again get such intense scrutiny. Burying your head in the sand, ostrich-like, and trying to ignore the pattern of Labour’s poll ratings declining as soon as people get more exposed to the party, does not help anyone.

  • NBeale

    Atlee could scan. “He wound up PM” not “He ended a PM”.

    As for comparing Ed with Attlee – that’s just ridiculous.


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