Ed Miliband: A Mili-can or a Mili-can’t?

Ed Miliband waving
Ed Miliband succeeded Gordon Brown as Labour leader in 2010. Will he be PM in 2015?
Photo: ARCHIVED Department of Energy and Climate Change

Since famously beating his brother to become leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband hasn’t been lacking attention.

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity but in Ed’s case he has been ridiculed at every opportunity for his appearance and somewhat clumsy and awkward manner. His aesthetic inefficiencies have been mocked on creative twitter accounts and highlighted by the press, the politicians and the public.

Yes, he may resemble Wallace from ‘Wallace and Gromit’ and he does look rather odd eating a bacon sandwich.  Although, I’m uneasy judging someone’s Prime Ministerial capabilities on looks and manner. I mean, when in the history of politics has an MP been called ‘sexy’?

Instead he should be judged – like anyone else – on the creativity and practicality of his policies and the conviction of his principles.

So, where exactly does Ed Miliband stand politically? Well, he’s certainly the most left-wing Labour leader I have lived under. And in being the biggest ‘lefty’ since Neil Kinnock – who himself was the subject of much mockery – Miliband has earned himself the label ‘Red Ed’ in reference to socialism.

Some of his speeches have been interpreted as being anti-business. In reality, I think he’s just trying to get across the narrative that he wants to help working-class people and is someone who will stand up to the so-called bullies in society. When was the last time a politician continually spoke out against cosy arrangements at the top of the tree?

He’s not convinced people of this, though, because of his education at Oxford University and having never had a job outside of political research and politics at Westminster. That, and missing out key economic sections of his speech, has not been detrimental to his credentials but it hasn’t aided him to say the least.

However, I think the real problem Ed Miliband has is his public image and he just can’t shake it off. To be brutal, the public see him as an idiot. In November 2014, his approval rating was at -55 compared to David Cameron’s -15.

The other issue is that the Labour leader won his position by being left-wing when he was supported by the trade unions. However, the UK public don’t like left-wing politics these days. Tony Blair couldn’t win an election standing on the left, so how can Ed Miliband?


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