Kim Jong Ed

Steve Richards has written in the New Statesman about the mood of paranoia and suspicion around Ed Miliband. His fearfully supportive team resembles the North Korean inner circle daring not to offer even constructive criticism of their dear leader:

“Miliband’s staff are loyal to him personally but in their determined or fearful supportiveness there is little space for critical candour. Nearly all those who work for Miliband are dependent on his patronage. He chose them and they are pleased to be close to him. They do not want to say things that he does not want to hear. The contrast with Tony Blair’s office is marked. Blair had to plead with Alastair Campbell to join him, going out to see him while Campbell was on holiday in France as part of the energetic wooing process. Campbell could be brutally candid because he knew Blair wanted him so much. Other advisers, such as Peter Mandelson, had been senior to Blair in the 1980s. They, too, could be ruthlessly or constructively critical, sometimes both. This does not happen very much in Miliband’s office; indeed, the opposite can happen. I am told that sometimes his staff applaud him when he returns from making a mediocre speech.”

Shame he doesn’t have the cult of personality to go with it…


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