New Statesman Turns on Ed

The New Statesman was the only publication to endorse Ed Miliband for the Labour leadership in 2010. Today the magazine turns its back on Ed, arguing “that since then Miliband has failed to find an authentic voice to connect with the electorate”. Jason Cowley writes in this week’s editorial:

“Miliband is very much an old-style Hampstead socialist. He doesn’t really understand the lower middle class or material aspiration. He doesn’t understand Essex Man or Woman. Politics for him must seem at times like an extended PPE seminar: elevated talk about political economy and the good society…

Miliband does not have a compelling personal story to tell the electorate, as Thatcher did about her remarkable journey from the grocer’s shop in Grantham and the values that sustained her along the way or Alan Johnson does about his rise from an impoverished childhood in west London. I went to Oxford to study PPE, worked for Gordon Brown, became a cabinet minister and then leader of the party does not quite do it. None of this would matter were Miliband in manner and approach not so much the product of this narrow background…

Miliband is losing the support of the left (to the SNP, to the Greens) without having formed a broader coalition of a kind that defined the early Blair-Brown years. Most damaging, I think, is that he seldom seems optimistic about the country he wishes to lead. Miliband speaks too often of struggle and failure, of people as victims – and it’s true that life is difficult for many. But a nation also wants to feel good about itself and to know in which direction it is moving.”

Usually reliable as a loyal mouthpiece for Labour’s rapid rebuttals, today’s Staggers cover story from George Eaton has some source quotes of a less helpful kind:

“Morale has never been lower,” one shadow cabinet minister told me [ . . . ] No MP I have spoken to has argued that the Labour leader’s parlous ratings aren’t a problem or dismissed them as a “Westminster bubble issue”. “We’re all very, very concerned. The reality is that whilst we don’t have a presidential system, people are thinking increasingly about who they want to be the prime minister,” one shadow minister said. He went on to describe a “sobering moment” in which a voter told him: “You’ve been a fantastic MP, but I’m not going to vote for you. Because Ed’s not prime ministerial… 

One senior MP suggested that Miliband should abandon Westminster, save for Prime Minister’s Questions, and go on a rolling tour of marginal constituencies. “The 200 to 400 voters in key seats who say on the doorstep that he’s the problem, he could win them round by talking to them.” But he doubted whether Miliband had the will to do so. “His confidence has gone. It’s like a light’s gone out,” he lamented.”

And that’s just what Ed’s friends are saying about him… 




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn on Big Ben Bong Ban

“… if we have to miss Big Ben in reality for a while so that work can be done, well, that’s something we have to go through. It’s not a national disaster or catastrophe.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Sheerman Lobbying Prompts Calls for Ban Sheerman Lobbying Prompts Calls for Ban
Nasty Nat Picks on Tory MP’s Young Children Nasty Nat Picks on Tory MP’s Young Children
Remain Media Coverage Criticised By Experts Remain Media Coverage Criticised By Experts
Wings Over Scotland Arrested Wings Over Scotland Arrested
Watch and Hear: The Last Chime Watch and Hear: The Last Chime
Bonkers Bong Bowing and Reporting Bonkers Bong Bowing and Reporting
Why Transition Must Be Short Why Transition Must Be Short
PICTURES: Seumas’ Temper Tantrum PICTURES: Seumas’ Temper Tantrum
Don’t Believe ‘Victory For Hammond’ Spin Don’t Believe ‘Victory For Hammond’ Spin
Angry Adonis Wanted ‘Office for Students’ Job Angry Adonis Wanted ‘Office for Students’ Job
City Envoy Slams “Bewildering” Brussels City Envoy Slams “Bewildering” Brussels
Labour Pledged to Sell-Off Public Land Labour Pledged to Sell-Off Public Land
Corbyn’s ‘Local GPs’ Visit Staged by Labour Spin Doctor Corbyn’s ‘Local GPs’ Visit Staged by Labour Spin Doctor
Joly-Gone: Maugham Deletes Centre Party Plan Joly-Gone: Maugham Deletes Centre Party Plan
Milne: North Korea ‘Rational’ to Have Nukes Milne: North Korea ‘Rational’ to Have Nukes
LibDem Chief Exec Out LibDem Chief Exec Out
Jones Ditches Momentum For Radio Show Jones Ditches Momentum For Radio Show
Chlorine Chicken? EU Mired in Food Safety Scandals Chlorine Chicken? EU Mired in Food Safety Scandals
Juncker’s Junkets: Commissioners’ €500,000 Expenses Juncker’s Junkets: Commissioners’ €500,000 Expenses
Owen Jones in for Nawaz on LBC Owen Jones in for Nawaz on LBC