Monday, September 22, 2008

Miliband Falls Flat

I've been at a dinner tonight pontificating on the general political situation tonight, and have just got back to see the Miliband story which broke three quarters of an hour ago on the BBC website.
The foreign secretary, tipped by some as a future leader, was discussing his speech with staff who told him that it was being given six marks out of ten. He was heard to reply: "I couldn't have gone any further. It would have been a Heseltine moment." His aide replied: "No, you are right. You went as far as you could. That was what the party needed to hear."

I'm not sure this is as big a story as the BBC are making out. It really would have been a big story if he had said: "I wish I had gone further and done a Heseltine."

I listened to Miliband's speech driving up to Manchester on the radio. I was underwhelmed. He made all the errors David Davis was said to have made in 2005. The delivery was wooden, he fluffed too many lines and he stuck too rigidly to his brief. Most people here seem to agree with that analysis, with the likes of Quentin Letts and Kevin Maguire also panning it. It got a perfunctory, rather than ecstatic, standing ovation and left the audience wondering if he had been built up beyond his reputation. If only he could make a platform speech like his brother Ed.


Anonymous said...

If Kevin "Toilets" Maguire thought it sucked, it must have slurped.

I know someone who knows someone who works with Miliband. Apparently he does all the EQ peoply crap well, but "there is no sign of a first-class mind in there".

He has a face you'd never tire of punching.

Anonymous said...

SORRY IAIN, but Milli is in the highest demand at Manchester by the Media

Anonymous said...

Labour activists are getting mugged by reality over at Labourhome:

"...under Brown only Falklands II could save us."

Anonymous said...

Companero Milliband. I rest my case, m'lud.

Anonymous said...

Miliband is a slice of what I am just about to have before I go to bed.

Jack Straw can be heard singing in the bath.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Two Tories and Gordon Brown's top propagandist think the speech fell flat.

Or could it be that Tories and Brownies have a common interest in having that story spread about?

I wonder.

Ben said...

If he compares himself with Hesseltine he's flattering himself. Agree with him or not, Hesseltine had flair and colour; Miliband is as dull as ... well, as Miliband.

Anonymous said...

"...under Brown only Falklands II could save us."

Perhaps he can persuade his Socialist Comrade José Zapatero to invade Gibraltar!

Anonymous said...

Iain, i'm surprised you don't think this is bigger news?

The way i see it, it's the first time we know for certain that Miliband's after the job. And soon. Up until this point - as with that newspaper article a couple of months ago - he's been able to cry mis-interpretation or whatever.

Any interview from now on in is going to see him asked about it, and he simply won't be able to brush it off.

Meanwhile, Brown won't know what to do. His first instinct would be to shuffle him out of the cabinet next week, but he's stuck in a corner so will end up leaving him as he is.


Democratic-Centre said...

@ 'Thoughts?'

Yes, firmly fixed on the Glenrothes by-election, death by 1000 cuts.

John Pickworth said...

I have to say, given they're supposed to fighting for their political lives, all the speeches have been quite dull so far.

Still, it all bodes well for the Great Leader's turn today ;)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for Miliband, he is as photogenic as Brown and for this reason alone he is unelectable.

Just look at the two photographs taken of him yesterday (the one with the banana and the other with Brown)- he looks manic!

Imagine, if you will, this man as Prime Minister, being blitzed by the press every five minutes. The UK would become more of a laughing-stock than it is already, and do you know I reckon he looks more like Mr Bean, than Mr Bean himself!

What an embarrassment!

Anonymous said...

Give us a break.

The Milibands are the the socialist spawn of marxist scum.

Now they are slippery careerists who believe in nothing but their own advancement and they will be nowhere once Brown is toast.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who slings his jacket over his shoulder and chops the air when he is making a speech reveals himself as a comedian.

We proles might have goldfish memories but they are not that short.

For all we care, Millipede could have the intellect of Gladstone and the heart of Princes Di. He still looks like just another leering degenerate on the make.

Anonymous said...

Surely saying either; "I couldn't have gone further...etc" and "I wish I had gone further...etc" amounts to same thing in political reality.

By being overheard saying he's trying to avoid a Heseltine moment means he's just created one

Anonymous said...

I'm sure he wasn't the first to see a parallel with Hesleltine's behaviour, but he was very stupid to voice it.

One other parallel I see is that he didn't want to force Gordon out just yet as his usefulness is his uselessness.

Cameron has adopted a similar approach, many untaken PMQ death blows left undelivered - this has been noted by many commentators.

The nearer to end-of-term (ie 5 years) Gordon survives, the more likely Millitosser will be the 'obvious' candidate.

Labour Party - poor lambs !. Since that nice Mr Callaghan a succession of Vagrant, Windbag, Nice-but-dim, Caravanner, Liar, Tosser and next a muppet.

Man in a Shed said...

Quite honestly his performance was creepy. Every time he mentions "Gordon" you instinctively know he now hates him.

The look back from the lectern was cringe worthy as was his class swat runs for school president style.

He could be worse for Labour than Hatty Harperson.

Man in a Shed said...

Anon 11:27pm - Falklands II would sink the government and perhaps destroy Britain as with our closed down Navy we would lose.

More like Suez II with Brown in charge.

Anonymous said...

Quentin Letts, was underwhelmed as well.

But more importantly thinks Hazel Blears is the ONE.

"Later in the afternoon we heard briefly from Hazel Blears. She was perky, relaxed, animated, committed, intimate, all in the space of three minutes.

Now I know many of you will read this and laugh like goats but if Labour really wants a new leader to dent Cameron, and if Alan Johnson truly isn't going to run, I reckon Labour could do worse than opt for the ginger chipmunk"

Now I am a Tory voter and always have been but I certainly would not object to PM Blears.

Miliband was posing and preening like some teenage Hamlet

Anonymous said...

Why did he keep repeating

"The Tories are beatable"?

To me that sounds very defeatest as if he is saying that the Tories are winning and winning well.

Letters From A Tory said...

According to the BBC analysis immediately after the speech, some parts of the audience weren't even clapping, let alone standing.

Anonymous said...

If Miliband is Labour's great white hope, then Labour is doomed.

At least we know what Harman stands for and can vote against her accordingly.

Is Miliband casting himself as 'The Not the Tory' candidate?

Now that really is a cry of 'Excelsior.'

Anonymous said...

Quite right Iain, every time I hear him, I turn the radio down - he is really quite hilariously wooden and fake, almost like a satire of what a Modern Blairite NewLab-oid ought to sound like. The prat is hopelessly out of touch with contemporary reality of soaring gas bills and food prices, still stuck in a sort of zombie-like state of Blair worship circa-1998. Complete with the big ears, slimy delivery, obnoxious smugness and phony knowledgeableness.

What's even wierder is the slavish BBC admiration for him. Could it be that they are hyping him up for some reason we know nothing about. Perhaps connected to keeping someone else out? About whom we should be told something? Do tell Iain. What do we not know about Alan Johnson for example?

Anonymous said...

Miliband is as dire as tired old Gordon, he's just younger.

David Lindsay said...

Milly's Friends, as seen on last night's Newsnight:

- David Aaronovitch, old Communist Party hand turned Murdoch columnist, and key member of the largely Murdoch-employed junta of old sectarian Leftists which ordered this country to war in Iraq;

- James Purnell, persecutor of the sick and the disabled, and David Cameron's choice for his own current Cabinet position, making Milly and him the Weirdo and the Weasel; and

- Eddie Izzard, more than a little at home in the gender-bending world of New Labour and New New Labour.

Meanwhile, if I may, you yourself report that:

"The city of Chester's delegate has had her pass withdrawn and booted out of Conference after bumping in to David Milliband. She told him that he was a disgrace for the way he is "plotting" to bring down Gordon Brown. Miliband's people complained and they have now withdrawn her pass as a result."

Be afraid.

Be very, very, very afraid.

Anonymous said...

of course the lift incident is important. He's the Foreign Secretary for Christ's sake. Blagging away in front of a stranger shows he lacks discretion. I blame Brown for appointing a little boy to this position so he could boss him about (backfired didn't it?). I rather agree with Milliband's Russian counterpart and his forthright remarks to his face.

Anonymous said...

Today programme reports this morning that British Foreign Office is manouvering at the UN to ensure that Sudan's dictator (and passive/active supporter of mass-murder in Darfur) does not have to attend trial in The Hague.

This sterling work is presumably directed by the dismal Millibrand whilst he preens himself as a Great Man and Moralist of Our Times and the Labour "Conference", which is in reality nowadays exactly like the Tory rallies under Thatcher. Eg, zero democratic content.

Not much coverage of the above elsewhere in the media and nothing on it even on the Today website, although it can be heard on their iplayer broadcast for this morning at around 6.30am. Burying Millibland's true character seems to be another part of the BBC agenda at present.