Week 38: Prat – Ed Miliband

by Ray_North on September 22, 2014

prat_iconThis Week’s Winner of the Prat Award is the Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband

Oh dear. Where do we start.

Ed Miliband has had a terrible referendum. When he arrived in Scotland to support the Union, he looked out of place, a man confused and unable to say anything of relevance at all – in fact he looked as much like a Prime Minister as my Uncle Gordon (currently residing in a home, dribbles quite a bit, bless him).

What he, and indeed Labour seemed unable to understand was that they were part of the problem – arrogantly, they assumed that the Scottish people’s wrath was reserved exclusively for the Tories – it wasn’t, it was reserved for all of the Westminster establishment, and that, Ed, includes you. Labour had a long time to make the people of Scotland, indeed the people of the UK, happy and included – but they failed to achieve that – they morphed comfortably into a conservative lite party, a party that became, ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich.’

Indeed, when I watched the bright young things of the Scottish Labour Party, who all seemed to be wearing the same type of grey suit in an eerily North Korean, way, cheering the results, it made me realise just how out of touch the people’s party is.

Then Miliband, really started to Prat Out in big style, in the days before the Scottish vote, messrs Clegg, Miliband and Cameron had clearly got together to discuss how terrible it all was, I doubt that it was stated in terms, but, the subtext of any conversation would have been ‘look lads, we’re in danger of losing an awful lot of the lovely things that having a UK wide Parliament brings us,’ and as a result, they came up with the ‘vow.’ Now at the heart of the ‘vow’ was the pledge to give more devolved power to Scotland and keep the Barnett Formula which gives the Scots a shed load more money than the rest of us. Also by implication was a pledge to reduce the power that Scottish MPs can have in Westminster – which Ed M happily, indeed, enthusiastically vowed to do. Or so it seemed.

Because, alas, what he didn’t seem to think at the time, was, that actually, without the power of the Scottish MPs, who are overwhelmingly Labour, his (dwindling) chances of becoming Prime Minister are seriously dented.

David Cameron obviously did understand this, and, perhaps one of the reasons of his own sudden enthusiasm for regionalism and devolution is that one potential answer to the West Lothian conundrum leads to the removal of a ruck of Labour MPs and would help perpetuate Tory rule.

It wasn’t a very subtle trap, mind you, Osborne and Cameron’s traps never are, but, Ed Miliband has fallen into it hook line and sinker. Yesterday on the Andrew Marr programme, he made a right prat of himself – conceding in one sentence how Scottish MPs had too much power over English matters, then dismissing the possibility of reducing that power.

Sigh, sorry Ed, this week you’re a prat.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddie Kaye September 22, 2014 at 10:10 am

Unfortunately, the constitutional can of worms opened up by the Scotland Referendum seems set to hog the landscape for a while to come.

I am finding myself less concerced about how we are governed, and from where, and more genuinely worried that issues are not being addressed by anyone while this debate is still being perpetuated.

There is genuine concern in y mind that ‘who runs Britain and from where’ – be it Westminster/ Holyrood/ Cardiff/ Brussels is going to take too much space in the build up to the Election. This at the cost of any meaningful debate of what anyone might do in power (as if we didn’t know already).

Ed Miliband has disgraced himself (almost to the point where he should go) – events and his fellow party leaders have left Cameron as the richest guy in the poorhouse these past few months!

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Mike Killingworth September 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

During election campaigns, Labour always loses 2-3 points in the polls and the Tories gain them. This time, the loss will be much greater, not so much because Ed Miliband doesn’t look or sound Prime Ministerial as because he isn’t. (Although most voters only bother about the first: the less time they spend deciding how to vote, the better, as they see it.)

At a deeper level, the problem is that governments have to serve two masters: the voters and the financial institutions. And when push comes to shove, the latter get their way.

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John Stone September 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Labour seems to have no strategy beyond whatever they think the last focus group told them. I’d thought they were timid, but increasingly I’m not even sure it is that. They’ve totally failed to understand that a fair amount of their core vote in Scotland is pro independence. Could none of their Scottish leaders see that, and that by being left to run the no campaign alone they were walking into a trap?

That said, there are potential elephant traps for Cameron here. He can’t deliver his EV4EL agenda alone. Hence he can’t deliver it entirely on his own terms. And UKIP will wait in the wings and pounce on any botchery.

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