Ed Miliband's test: To be seen as a possible PM

 

Close your eyes. Think very hard. I want you to imagine something.

You're looking at the most famous black door in the world. It's May 2015 - the day after the next election. The man standing on the step is Ed Miliband.

Now, how do you feel?

The answer of many - though probably not readers of this blog - will be "Who?" We politics obsessives forget that many voters simply have no idea who the Labour leader is, let alone have an opinion of him.

The reply of some will be - "Not that (insert appropriate TV bleep here)..." Yesterday my colleague James Landale vox popped the good people of Manchester to ask them what they thought of Ed M. "He's a [bleep]," said one. The fearless Landale pressed on: "But do you know who he is?" "He's that Tory", came the reply. James gently pointed out that he was, in fact, the Labour leader. "Well," came the unapologetic reply, "he's still a [bleep]".

Others will remember hazily that he's that bloke who beat his brother and is said to be a bit of a nerd.

Today Ed Miliband will address all three groups of non-political cognoscenti and try to help them picture him on that doorstep a little more favourably.

He wants them to know that he is not the same as "that Tory". He wants them to understand that as the son of Jewish immigrants and someone who went to the local comprehensive he was not born to rule, did not go to public school and wants to be prime minister because of his values and beliefs rather than because, as David Cameron once said of himself, "he'd be good at it".

His aim is to show that he is the one who can make the slogan "we're all in it together" meaningful by pledging to use the power of government to stand up to vested interests - banks, energy, pension and rail companies - as well as harnessing the Olympic spirit of working together to repair Britain.

There are another two Labour Conferences before the next election. The test of this speech is in many ways a modest one. If you're not a natural Labour supporter and close your eyes and think "Maybe" and not "Who?" or "That [bleep]" or "Isn't he the Tory?", it will have been a success.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 104.

    Sorry, but I just can't see Miliband as PM material. On a simplistic level, he comes across as being cheesy, arrogant, obnoxious, envious, weak.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 103.

    Has a conserfativ myself I dont think that Edward is goant to be good for us that like to keep our taxis in our pockits and dont like foriners from other countys. You can say wot you like about daved cameron but he has dun a grate job in rearranging the NHS from the top down just like he promise in his mannifesta !

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 102.

    In his speech, Ed Miliband asked "Have you ever seen a more incompetent,hopeless, out-of-touch,u-turning, etc etc miserable shower than this PM and his government?" Why does no-one (eg Nick Robinson!) counter this by saying "Well, yes, Ed. Actually we have - the last Labour Government under Gordon Brown of which you were a member". ?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 101.

    I was surprised how good some areas of his rhetoric was but it gnaws at the back of my mind the trouble the reds got this country into - socialism is very expensive (as I believe Gordon Brown once stated). I wish they would do away with this one nation nonsense and focus on individuality as we are all individuals - go down that route and I may bother to vote. One swallow does not make a summer .

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 100.

    I have no problem with "nerd". I have problem with: "We are all in this this together." when Ed keeps seperating himself - son of Jewish immigrants, wants to be PM because of his values & beliefs. He'll use Govermental power to stand up to vested interests - banks, energy, pension & rail companies. How, - by harnessing the Olympic spirit? Eddie you will have to do better; Disraeli you are not.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 99.

    98 Bluecardholder
    An example of "if you keep repeating it enough, people will believe it".

    It was the Tory funding (now 50% of Tory funds from banking/city) banks who creat the crash and recession. "New" Labours crime was being too soft on banking regulation.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 98.

    If that were the case, I would think that the Conservatives lost the argument rather then Labour winning it.

    I would also think that the collective minds of the UK voters have very short memories of the state the Labour left the country in 2010.

    It would be a sad day for the UK.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 97.

    'You're looking at the most famous black door in the world. It's May 2015 - the day after the next election. The man standing on the step is Ed Miliband. Now, how do you feel?' I feel the BBC would probably be quite pleased.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 96.

    You're looking at the most famous black door in the world. It's May 2015 - the day after the next election. The man standing on the step is David Cameron. Then I awake from the nightmare.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 95.

    "You're looking at the most famous black door in the world. It's May 2015 - the day after the next election. The man standing on the step is Ed Miliband.

    Now, how do you feel?"

    Physically sick, betrayed and totally disheartened by the very short memories of the British voter, how could the populous believe Ed Milliband is trustworthy enough to run the country when he betrayed his own brother?.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 94.

    Perhaps not the best time to proclaim that you're an immigrant after the top British job! Mind you if Scotland secedes then none of the Party leaders would pass the Englishness test. Personally I can't forgive Labour, yet, for the State were in. Osbourne may be still digging in the Hole but it was Gordon, Ed & Ed who first dug the Pit.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 93.

    In the 1980s I moved from Labour to the Lib Dems - I wanted a 'grown up' left of centre party that would better represent my beliefs - what an idiot I felt after the last election - where could I now go?. Today as I listened to Ed Miliband's speech I had the the feeling that possibly I was going full circle - I will watch with interest.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 92.

    Imagine a national crisis, the Cabinet has gathered, there's tension in the air, and Ed Miliband clears his throat and says "what are we going to do?"

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 91.

    Doesn't matter what your past was it's how you got where you are and who you walked over to get there & what you're doing now . He just isn't convincing- sorry -.but him and his cronies are no different from any other politician & out to fulfill their own ambitions on the backs of the people who trusted them to work for others &the country. Helped stab his own brother so what chance have we?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 90.

    No71 Nautonier.
    I never attempted to discredit Winston the old Tory/Liberal/Tory arrogant posh boy or stop you writing trash.
    I am an avid reader of your contributions, it is my 'one form of continuous fiction'.
    Your infantile references to our political opponents makes me wonder if you suffer from a mental condition.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 89.

    I can't imagine it I am not that good. However, he will be the next PM as he is very good at the slippery task of politics. He can be no worse. As for his idea is he is not a toff, he is he came from a highbrow background and went to Oxford. He is equally out of touch with reality as he drags up the past and his past. The past is another place. The yanks and EU will make mincemeat of him though.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 88.

    Ed Milliband has come through as somebody with the intellect and strength to lead the country in a quite different direction. So we will all need to look very carefully at that direction and be absolutely sure it is where we all want to go. Never mind the TV debates and personality contests at the next election...never will the small print in the manifesto's be so important.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 87.

    What a hypocrite, playing the class card just does not gel, he is pretending (lying) about his working class background when he lives in a £1.4 million house, has a lawyer for a wife, went to the same school as Boris Johnson and got degrees from a top varsity. I think the Labour party live in their own lefty bubble.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 85.

    @34.

    Beeching railway cuts: planned under Ernest Marples (Tory transport Minister 1963) executed under Tom Fraser (Labour transport Minister '64) then Barbara Castle (in '65). As is typical the Torys started the carve-up, labour promised it wouldn't happen - then promptly continued the program when they got in.

 

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