Monday 23 June 2014

Ed Miliband is not a man


Somebody in England - I remember it was a woman - said recently that the trouble with Ed Miliband, the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, was that he did not yet entirely know who he was. I think this is right.

This, I think, is the quality I most look for in candidates when I interview them. It is closely linked to being 'a man' or 'a woman' - as opposed to not having grown up.

I remember I read once, and was greatly irked by it, that the world needs more grown-ups. It is, alas, true. I still love free spirits, as I did in my twenties, but to be a truly free spirit you must be a man or a woman, a grown-up. You might not understand yourself but you must know who you are. What you are determines what you do and is determined by what you have done.

The only other British politician, that I can remember, who was similarly unimpressive as a man (many were equally unimpressive as politicians) was Norman Lamont. Like Ed Miliband Norman Lamont was 'uncooked'. He always seemed like a student politician even when Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

Ed Miliband, though a former Cabinet minister, is a nerd and he is almost a jerk. 

Michael Dukakis may have been too. When John Major became Prime Minister a writer in the Guardian likened  him to Major Major in 'Catch 22' whose 

only impressive quality was his unimpressiveness - in a room full of unimpressive people Major Major stood out as less impressive than the rest.

But John Major seemed benign, whereas Ed Miliband does not. Someone on Twitter said
Ed Miliband is exactly the kind of nerd who, once he's in with the cool kids, would egg them on to stick the boot into someone weaker.
As I lived abroad for so many years, it is hard for me to comment on British politicians since 1997 but I heard the astonishing interview on the radio when Foreign Secretary David Miliband simply giggled when asked if he was trying to oust Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It may be that nerdiness and other bad qualities are in the Miliband genes. We know that their father was a bad 'un.


  1. I think he's done quite well considering the mud that is slung at him He contributed strongly to keeping us out of another 'adventure' in the Middle East and is the first leader of either main party in a long time to make a firm break with the Murdoch press.

  2. I agree about Lamont.