Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ed Miliband's Big Day

It's squeaky bum time for Ed Miliband this morning. He knows that his performance at his first PMQs this lunchtime will play a very big part in defining his future as Labour leader. If he fluffs a line or makes any kind of error Westminster watchers wil be merciless in their scorn. What he needs is a "You were the future once" moment. Miliband can expect to be smothered with kindness from Cameron initially, but that will soon change.

Ed Miliband's main problem is that he is so closely associated with the Brown regime. He even wrote the last Labour manifesto, and he knows that he will constantly be reminded of that fact. I would bet a lot of money that it will be raised by David Cameron today, and Miliband needs to have a response ready.

He has two other problems - what subjects to raise during his six questions, and what tone to adopt. Because the tone he sets today will play a large part in defining how he is reviewed by the punditerati.

Roll on 12 o'clock. At least Sky and the BBC might break away from this Chilean bore-a-thon. Yes, it's great that the miners are being rescued, but frankly, when you've seen one capsule emerge, you don't need to see it another 32 times.

18 comments:

Squiffy said...

I agree with the comment generally. It will settle the pattern of his leadership.

But David Cameron should be wary of making the point that Ed Miliband wrote the last Labour manifesto. For it was DC who wrote the 2005 Tory manifesto and it's best not to remind everyone about that fact because he has set a good precedent!

Squiffy.

The Boiling Frog said...

Yes, it's great that the miners are being rescued, but frankly, when you've seen one capsule emerge, you don't need to see it another 32 times.

Though you may want to keep an eye on the 21st miner due up - he's the one been caught cheating on his wife. Reactions on the surface could be interesting when he emerges.

Man in a Shed said...

Well that was a road crash for #RedEd.

Roger the Shrubber said...

BBC2 has PMQs, BBC Parliament has PMQs, BBC Radio5 no doubt has PMQs. I don't think EVERY BBC news network should have PMQs.

It's not as if the average PMQs is exactly gripping edge of the seat, must watch, Appointment to view, water cooler stuff.

Watching the reactions of those emerging from the ground, and the families/friends.. or Call Me Dave trying not to sound parrot like..

Ian said...

The Government needs to tell everyone clearly the simple reason that child benefit will not be means tested and will instead use the tax system, is the massive adminstration cost which would wipe out any potential savings. Honesty is sometimes the best policy.

David Lindsay said...

Cameron was just awful. He combined both the worst feature of Gordon Brown at PMQs (answering specifics with generalities) with the worst, and that is saying quite something, of the inarticulate, ill-read Blair creature (asking questions of the Opposition).

I don't know why anyone thinks that Middle Britain and the unions are two different categories, or that forty and fifty per cent taxpayers are in the middle of anything. But even they will relate far better to Miliband, or indeed to the unions, than to a man who now speaks like a character from Downton Abbey, and who has obviously never been questioned by anyone in his life.

Any accent becomes exaggerated, even to the point of incomprehensibility, if the speaker never meets anyone who does not speak with it. I give you David Cameron. Before long Middle Britain, whether accurately or conventionally defined, honestly will not be able to understand a word that he is saying.

Valleys Mam said...

Someone thought it was good - this is Sion Simon !!!!
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Not for a moment have I missed sitting on the green benches. Not for a wistful split-second have I wished that I had the choice again. As I’ve watched them twist and turn in the Westminster wind, and remembered how it feels, there’s been nothing but relief that it isn’t me any more.

Until today. Ed Miliband’s first prime minister’s questions was a great parliamentary moment. A performance of such assurance and aplomb on the first day of such an inexperienced leader that it will be long remembered.

All new party leaders begin by promising an end to the punch and judy style of traditional PMQs. They never mean it. Substantively, Miliband doesn’t mean it either. It’s not a debate; it’s a fight; and he wants to win. But presentationally – and may the ghost of Frank Johnson forgive me for the phrase – he just changed the game.

At a stroke, by simply willing it, he halved the heat and pace of what has always been a stupidly uproarious affair, and effortlessly took control.

At first he seemed so slow that one feared the worst. But he held his nerve and within a minute was completely in command of the occasion.

The prime minister was visibly unnerved by his new opponent’s extraordinary ease and effectiveness. He was quietly but firmly placed on ground he cannot win, politely asked questions he can’t answer, and embarrassingly kept there till Miliband’s time ran out. It was a remarkable performance. And Cameron hated it.

I can see Steve Hilton’s brain racing as he starts to process what just happened. It changes everything. Cameron came to office facing a great leader on the way out. Then, two years later, as Cameron began to hit his stride, Blair was replaced by Brown, who never really mastered PMQs.

What Cameron faces now is a young unknown who not only swept the prime minister aside on his first outing, but will improve every month.

And any one who thinks this is “just PMQs” understands nothing about modern politics. It’s pure communication. It’s soundbites. It’s television. It’s what works. And Miliband was brilliant. Much, much better than Cameron.

This was more than just a bravura performance by the new leader. It was a moment of hope.

Valleys Mam said...

Someone thought it was good - this is Sion Simon !!!!
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
Not for a moment have I missed sitting on the green benches. Not for a wistful split-second have I wished that I had the choice again. As I’ve watched them twist and turn in the Westminster wind, and remembered how it feels, there’s been nothing but relief that it isn’t me any more.

Until today. Ed Miliband’s first prime minister’s questions was a great parliamentary moment. A performance of such assurance and aplomb on the first day of such an inexperienced leader that it will be long remembered.

All new party leaders begin by promising an end to the punch and judy style of traditional PMQs. They never mean it. Substantively, Miliband doesn’t mean it either. It’s not a debate; it’s a fight; and he wants to win. But presentationally – and may the ghost of Frank Johnson forgive me for the phrase – he just changed the game.

At a stroke, by simply willing it, he halved the heat and pace of what has always been a stupidly uproarious affair, and effortlessly took control.

At first he seemed so slow that one feared the worst. But he held his nerve and within a minute was completely in command of the occasion.

The prime minister was visibly unnerved by his new opponent’s extraordinary ease and effectiveness. He was quietly but firmly placed on ground he cannot win, politely asked questions he can’t answer, and embarrassingly kept there till Miliband’s time ran out. It was a remarkable performance. And Cameron hated it.

I can see Steve Hilton’s brain racing as he starts to process what just happened. It changes everything. Cameron came to office facing a great leader on the way out. Then, two years later, as Cameron began to hit his stride, Blair was replaced by Brown, who never really mastered PMQs.

What Cameron faces now is a young unknown who not only swept the prime minister aside on his first outing, but will improve every month.

And any one who thinks this is “just PMQs” understands nothing about modern politics. It’s pure communication. It’s soundbites. It’s television. It’s what works. And Miliband was brilliant. Much, much better than Cameron.

This was more than just a bravura performance by the new leader. It was a moment of hope.

Valleys Mam said...

Someone thought it was good - this is Sion Simon !!!!
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
Until today. Ed Miliband’s first prime minister’s questions was a great parliamentary moment. A performance of such assurance and aplomb on the first day of such an inexperienced leader that it will be long remembered.

All new party leaders begin by promising an end to the punch and judy style of traditional PMQs. They never mean it. Substantively, Miliband doesn’t mean it either. It’s not a debate; it’s a fight; and he wants to win. But presentationally – and may the ghost of Frank Johnson forgive me for the phrase – he just changed the game.

At a stroke, by simply willing it, he halved the heat and pace of what has always been a stupidly uproarious affair, and effortlessly took control.

At first he seemed so slow that one feared the worst. But he held his nerve and within a minute was completely in command of the occasion.

The prime minister was visibly unnerved by his new opponent’s extraordinary ease and effectiveness. He was quietly but firmly placed on ground he cannot win, politely asked questions he can’t answer, and embarrassingly kept there till Miliband’s time ran out. It was a remarkable performance. And Cameron hated it.

I can see Steve Hilton’s brain racing as he starts to process what just happened. It changes everything. Cameron came to office facing a great leader on the way out. Then, two years later, as Cameron began to hit his stride, Blair was replaced by Brown, who never really mastered PMQs.

What Cameron faces now is a young unknown who not only swept the prime minister aside on his first outing, but will improve every month.

And any one who thinks this is “just PMQs” understands nothing about modern politics. It’s pure communication. It’s soundbites. It’s television. It’s what works. And Miliband was brilliant. Much, much better than Cameron.

This was more than just a bravura performance by the new leader. It was a moment of hope.

Dick the Prick said...

What on earth is 'squeeky bum time?' - sweaty palms maybe but err...never heard that one before!

ollie said...

Lol David Lindsay is accusing Cameron of having a weird voice - and NOT Adenoid Ed? hhmmmmm I bet everyone values your opinion, Lindsay. 0/10

Enlightened Despot said...

Cameron epitomised everything that turns people off politics. He could have answered Miliband effectively but adopted his usual style of turning every response into an attack on the Opposition.

The Speaker recently claimed that he is not permitted to require that PMQs be conducted on the basis of real questions and informative answers. He felt that the PM must be allowed to answer "in his own way". If the weekly half hour is reduced in style to a children's game, it arguably diminishes respect for Parliament and the perpetrators are therefore in breach of the Code of Conduct for MPs, which the Speaker can enforce. Indeed, if he does not do so, is he in breach himself?

doctordrink said...

Evidently it was squeaky-bum time for David and Nick. Clegg looked particularly ill, and Gideon Osborne amazingly pallid today.
David sounded more like the leader of the Opposition to me, whereas EdM seemed quietly on top of his brief.
Coalition could be in for a bumpy ride, especially if Osborne vs. Johnson follows suit.
http://clemthegem.wordpress.com/

cyberboris said...

http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/dave-v-ed-the-lion-v-the-crocodile/

How Ed Mili squared up to David Cameron at Question Time. Not the rout that many expected.

JB said...

Good to see your predictions are as bad as ever. Cameron was reduced to generalities since the WAY child benefit is being cut is clearly arbitrary and unfair.

Waxy said...

I have to say that Miliband was far more assured than I'd expected and did seem to have the PM rattled on a couple of occasions.

FF said...

Iain, I know you're fascinated by politics and all that. But Ed Milliband asking a bunch of canned questions in the House of Commons is more compelling than the tale of the Chilean miners coming out alive after two months underground?

not an economist said...

Dave was really rubbish: looked amteurish and a bit desperate in some of his replies. Ed was quite good. The "he was supported by the Trade Unions" refrain is already beginning to sound tired.

May be they should rename that satellite tv station "Dave" to "Edward" - in honour of Ed's startlingly good performance.