Ed Miliband has a fifty-fifty chance of being the next Prime Minister of our Country and having a majority (no better than that, as the results of the May 2nd local Elections showed that he and the Labour Party is not back as far as the people are concerned – whatever spin his guys want to put on the outcome). He needed another 50 councillors and a dozen more Council overall control to be on track for number 10.
He knows quite well that the media question whether he is up to the job as Leader let alone PM. The truth is that he has made an impressive start, but three years is a relatively short time to lead such a ‘difficult’ party in such knotty circumstances.
A problem he faces in charting the course over the next two years is that he is inundated with advice from his fellow politicians and supporters, many of them career politicians like himself, not close to the true life of the average voter.
You don’t have to be a member of the Labour Party, or have ever been a member, or intend to become a member to have no axe to grind, but take a view of the situation.
It is interesting that Miliband has been able to take-on Mr Cameron at PMQs. The extent that he has apparently been capable of winding up the PM, so he loses his composure and control, doesn’t really get exposed on TV coverage, but it is a significant result.
To become the next PM, it is imperative that Miliband’s image moves further towards statesmanship, rather than him simply winning political points. He should though have his main PMQ question on the Economy EVERY week for the next two years, if he is to make any impact – as that is the government’s Achilles heel!
UKIP are as much as a threat to Labour as they are to the Tories. They are on a roll and even people not much interested in politics will vote for them. The real reason is nothing to do with ‘policies’ though; it is because Nigel Farage comes across as an ‘honest’ man in a era where the lies, the misdemeanours, and the expenses scandals et al of politicians make them generally ‘untrustworthy’. Telling it ‘straight’ and avoiding the cynical backsliding and devious answers that typify senior politicians, generates real credibility with the public and anyone hoping to be PM needs to heed that.
Mr Miliband may have not one but two millstones round your neck: Tony Blair who fooled and misled the electorate and then amorphized into a personal global money making machine that any Tory would be proud of, destroys any hope of his lingering semblance of socialist credibility and damages all future Labour leadership. Then there is taking the blame for the deficit and still even now allowing the Tories to claim it was Labour’s mismanagement of the economy, will haunt Labour at the next Election (Don’t accept the view that it wasn’t worth them denying it, as the incumbent government always gets the blame for disasters!).
Miliband’s own privileged background, education, and choice of politics in place of common work, doesn’t make him one of the ‘working classes’ at all, but he needs to be seen as the champion of all workers, at all levels high and low, if he expects to be PM.
The abdication of his brother David after holding high office, into other better money making pastures does harm to him and Labour, as it is seen as another politician who was not really there as a servant of the people, but as an opportunist who then abandoned the task when he lost the leadership joust.
Appointing Diane Abbott, a not very competent poor socialist and pure self publicist as a shadow Minister just because she stood as a paper female candidate for the Leadership might be seen as understandable at the time, but she will damage his credibility if she continues in post.
Mr Ed Balls has to be replaced as Shadow Chancellor. He is a much respected great bruiser, is of course an important figure that has played a crucial central role for the Opposition n the past few years, but his talents would be better used elsewhere like Home Office or Foreign Office (he will fight about being moved understandably). Much creditability would be gained in major financial markets and public quarters for Labour by Alistair Darling taking on this major Opposition financial task leading up to the next Election.
Miliband will need to decide on and make such Shadow Cabinet changes now or soon to demonstrate an exercise of judgement and power, and to be seen to do so, if he is to be a credible candidate for Prime Minister.
The intended tag for the Labour Party as ‘one nation’ is as crass and damaging to Labour, as the Conservatives’ ‘big society’ tag is to them. Labour does need to move away from the ‘New Labour’ label which is tainted by Blair, but ‘Modern Labour’ would certainly be appropriate and a more acceptable catchy alternative.
No one knows in advance if a particular PM will be ‘up to the job’ – it’s a matter of suck it and see. How will Miliband cope compared to the others below?
David Cameron now Conservative PM is currently accused by many of not being up to the job – and his MPs are running scared about the General Election in 2015. Well, we will have to wait and see if something big happens to him to help him,
PM Margaret Thatcher was on very thin ice and on the verge of outage, when she got saved by starting (and winning) a war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in a conflict which many believe was her fault anyway.
Who also then in the recent past half century is possibly seen by many of us as deficient?
Antony Eden Conservative 1955-57 – a defect of character that got found out by the Suez crisis
Alec Douglas-Home Conservative 1963-4 –of course he renounced his Peerage to get the job but then critically harmed by the Profumo sex scandal and his aristocratic image
Edward Heath Conservative 1970-74 – undone by the 3-day week and his misreading the will of the electorate
John Major Conservative 1990-97 – did some unforgivable things in office and despite winning was always generally seen as a loser (the grey man of course).
Gordon Brown Labour 2007 -10 – lacked any charisma whatsoever and more importantly the courage to go to the electorate at the appropriate time (despite being Miliband’s guru and confidant).
Ed Miliband will probably never get to see my post, as that is the way things work at the top level, but perhaps these thoughts might get considered somewhere by his team. Later, I will give some more comments on current major issues such Immigration, Crime, Welfare, EU, etc which I hope will be helpful.
If Labour does not win the next Election then their Socialist ideal will be finally finished in these lands (unfortunately?).
The ONLY way for Miliband to win the next Election is to get the Labour vote out. The first Blair landslide 1997 win was because of two things – the Conservatives were so ashamed and disillusioned about their own government that they wouldn’t stomach go out to vote; Labour supporters came out in huge numbers until the late evening to vote. So labour can forget about their focus groups and other opinion polls and the European elections and spend two years in the field getting an organisation in place that will get the vote out on the day! It can be done, but will it?.
And Miliband needs to be fearful of UKIP – they will certainly spoil the Conservative’s party, but will they spoil Labour’s as well?
The one thing you can be certain of is that David Cameron MP will NOT be the PM in late 2015 – the circumstances of his demise should be an exciting mystery!