The speech Ed Miliband has just given to the Policy Network wasn’t a speech, it was a brief for a speech.
An intern, a 27-year-old policy poppet would have written a series of notes for the Leader:
We need to support a culture of long-termism. How do we say that in human?
It’s about people. People being the most important asset. Is there a way of saying that that isn’t fifty years old?
We need to celebrate business. Obviously we can’t just say that.
And in the interests of long-termism, we also need a new approach to infrastructure. How are we going to say that so people actually register we’ve said something?
An independent National Infrastructure Commission. Is that a big committee? We’re really going for that?
As important as the Energy Price Freeze are the series of long-term reforms in our Energy Green Paper, on which the industry is currently engaging with us. There must be something in here. Isn’t there? Or isn’t there?
How about a personal statement to make people think you would be a Prime Minister who champions the rights of the consumer and the rights of businesses to succeed and make profits in a competitive market at the same time. How should we approach getting that across?
Did that intern say, when all these talking points were lumped wholesale into the text – This thing about “high-quality, high-paying jobs” for everyone? What about the vast majority of jobs that aren’t high-paying? You know how we’re always running down shelf-stackers and Mcdonald’s workers? Why don’t we say I Want My Son To Be A Plumber? Why don’t we say, “And now I think of it, small businesses don’t want ‘celebrating’, nor do they want some Rubik-cubing, splay-toothed, hand-flapping humanoid saying he’s going to reform Local Enterprise Partnerships to show he understands.” In fact, say something really popular like I Resign. Because I certainly am. I’m going to join UKIP.
PS: The two applause lines were 1) No to an EU referendum and 2) Yes to mass immigration. Quite the representative audience, then.