Another thing David does better than his brother…
Another thing David does better than his brother…
Ed arrived at the White House last night hoping President Obama might take a moment out of dealing with several world crises to help him with his election campaign:
The Labour leader got his 25 minute ‘brush-by’ with the President. This was the least bad photo:
They discussed Ukraine, Gaza, the EU and the economy. Just over six minutes each subject.
What was in Stewart Wood’s bag? Surely not a gift from the Commons shop. Fortunately he just went for some DVDs, including House of Cards. The British version, obviously.
Ed didn’t exactly look comfortable:
Of course, within minutes the internet had delivered its verdict:
Well at least it went better than Gordon, just…
“Give him a bottle of milk.”
There is no mention of Ed Miliband’s unscheduled ‘brush-by’ with President Obama in Mike Allen’s Playbook, the morning round up of anything going on in Washington that matters to anyone who is anybody in Washington. Sebastian Payne at the Post reports that Ed is scheduled to meet national security adviser Susan Rice this afternoon, officially the White House pointedly says there is “nothing to announce on the president’s schedule”. Presumably at this point Obama will drop in, if he doesn’t have a world war to avoid. Damian McBride, recounting the President’s five snubs of Gordon Brown and subsequent humiliating chat in a kitchen, has his fingers crossed:
“Team Miliband will have left nothing to chance before their man’s meeting at the White House today. For starters, they will have ensured he gets at least as much ceremony and time as David Cameron enjoyed in his first visit to President Bush as leader of the opposition. Aides will have their stopwatches out, ready to squash any suggestion that Mr Miliband was given less time than he was due…
The reality is that every presidential summit, visit, brush-by, drop-in, and walk-and-talk is nowadays so stage-managed that only someone as afflicted by bad luck as Gordon Brown could ever come a cropper. Provided Obama turns up and the White House doesn’t serve bacon sandwiches, today’s meeting will be the diplomatic equivalent of the speaking clock.”
Miliband’s intellectual henchman Stewart Wood was responsible for White House relations under Gordon Brown, surely he will ensure that this time there is no screw up. Interestingly McBride names Dougie Alexander as the source of the leak of the ‘five snubs’ story back in 2009. Which goes some way to explain the enmity between him and Michael Dugher, then Brown’s comms chief…
Look closely at the contrasting reactions of Miliband and Harman to Cameron’s PMQs ambush. Dave reads Harman’s words back to her: “I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes”. Miliband looks at Harman, then turns back towards the PM, shaking his head and waving his hand dismissively. Harman, meanwhile, nods and says, “they should… it’s true”. Cameron doesn’t realise, but the Tories behind him do.
The Labour leader and his deputy are completely at odds…
UPDATE: The contrast is even more evident in GIF form:
The last PMQs before the summer break is one of the most important of the year, as it leaves a lasting impression about the leaders before MPs disappear off for the summer to stew. Poor Ed.
Miliband was just ambushed by Cameron on Harriet Harman’s comments to LBC that she thinks middle income earners should pay more tax. She’s having a great week…
Unsurprisingly, the audio is now being pushed out:
‘Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’
According to Ed, pointing this out the death of the ‘squeeze middle’ line is ‘desperate’. Expect to hear this line a lot more. Nightmare last outing before the long, hot summer…
UPDATE: The in-house journal of the Labour Party are not impressed:
Nor is the Tory press:
Got obscured by the re-shuffle yesterday. But the Tories think they've struck gold with this Harriet quote. (They're right. They have).—
Dan Hodges (@DPJHodges) July 16, 2014
Tories going to run with this HH quote on how middle income people should pay more tax. Mili is going 2 have to rule it out to shut it down—
James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) July 16, 2014
This Harriet Harman quote spotted by the Tories while everyone was covering the reshuffle is turning attention back on Labour's tax plans—
Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) July 16, 2014
Neil Kinnock tried to do his natural heir a favour this afternoon, giving an interview to Labour Uncut offering Miliband his support. Somewhat unfortunate, then, that the only really quotable part of the piece is the moment when he calls him weird:
“Ed is gutsy, brainy and as cool as hell. There’s all this stuff in the press, ‘Is Ed weird?’ Well, yes he’s weird, but then so was so was Churchill and Wilson, and Thatcher was the weirdest of the lot. I guess leadership produces some ‘oddness!’”
Kinnock argues that “the press is focused on [Ed's] destruction which certainly compares, if not exceeds, my own experience”. Not exactly helpful that he’s now joined those providing the ammunition…
Mesmerised Ed got lost in Yvette’s words as she spoke at the despatch box earlier. Well, he was checking something out anyway. Guido thought he would put their touching moment to music:
“You’re everything that I see…”
Co-conspirators point out, this excuse is hardly watertight.
As Yes, Minister puts it:
“It is possible to remove everything of significance from a file released under the 30-year rule by saying that it is complete except for:
a. A small number of secret documents.
b. A few documents which are part of still active files.
c. Some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967.
d. Some records which went astray in the move to London.
e. Other records which went astray when the Department was reorganized.
f. The normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for libel of breach of confidence or cause embarrassment to friendly governments.”
Appropriately, Sir Humprey’s quote is from an episode called Skeleton in the Cupboard.
Which Labour leader responded to a major continental showdown involving a Tory Prime Minister by warning: “Is it now clear that last weekend the Prime Minister managed to unite the rest of the European Community against [them]“? Not Ed Miliband, that was actually Neil Kinnock to Maggie in 1990.
Ed’s own response to Dave’s Juncker defeat was almost exactly the same: “He started with a divided Europe over the Juncker candidacy, and he ended with a united Europe against him“. That’s not the only similarity…
Which Labour leader asked of the PM: “isn’t the answer that [their] combination of threats, insults and disengagement turned out to be a master class in how to alienate your allies and lose the argument for Britain“? That was Ed on Dave this week.
Eerily similar to Kinnock on Thatcher 14 years earlier, when he asked: “Does the Prime Minister not understand that, with her method of conducting affairs, she is throwing away that sound argument and losing both potential allies and necessary influence?” More evidence that Miliband is the heir to Kinnock…
The Douglas Carswell Shock | Tim Stanley
Carswell is a True Moderniser | Charles Moore
Assembling a New World Order | Henry Kissinger
India’s Modi Bypasses Mainstream Media | Index
Bercow on the Knife Edge | Quentin Letts
Welcome to Mississippi | Conservative Women
LibDems Select Hancock Replacement | Blue Guerilla
Carswell Resigning: “Moment Labour Won Election” | Labour Uncut
Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
“I stab people in the front, not the back.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.