Miliband: A Caricature of Incompetent Miserablism

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After Peter Tapsell’s intervention in PMQs, there was no obvious need to proceed with the Opposition Day move to ban MPs having paid directorships or consultancies.

This is the Labour leadership’s move to get some votes out of the Rifkind/Straw sting.

Tapsell rose from his seat in all his opulence and warned that such a move would limit membership of the Commons to “inheritors of large fortunes, or those with rich spouses, or obsessive crackpots, or those” (to general delight) who are unemployable anywhere else.”

Hard to choose one of those categories to put Miliband into. He had a mansion tax inheritance, has a six-figure wife, is a political obsessive, a policy crackpot, and is employable by no one other than the Labour party. Harvard, maybe? He assumes so. Time will tell.

Cameron pointed out that the Miliband Motion allowed MPs still to have second jobs. And that the cap on earnings had been mooted then withdrawn. And that Labour MPs could still be wholly sponsored by a trade union under this proposal but the director of a family business would be banned.

Miliband offered across the despatch box to put a manuscript amendment to ban trade union sponsorship. Would the prime minister then support the Motion?

He was told not to be silly.

What a caricature of incompetent miserablism Miliband has become. Prohibit it or punish it, his first instincts.

He makes William Hague’s leadership of the opposition look Churchillian.

If a serious opposition leader really wanted to “restore the reputation of the House” as Miliband twice said he wanted to do – he would have said none of the things Miliband said. Nor would he have found himself chopping his position about as his colleagues made representations. And he certainly wouldn’t be wonking about offering manuscript amendments from the despatch box.

His friends and supporters both testify to his intelligence and decency. But the facts speak for themselves. He got a second class degree and he talks Manichean drivel about politics.

For instance: “The Tory party bought and sold by the hedge funds!”

What sad and sorry rubbish.

If it were true we’d have a single, low, flat tax on income, time-limited welfare, and full deductibility for domestic staff.

It was of the few times you might wish the noodle was telling the truth.


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Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

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