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And have you always felt this way about him?
but the papers have decided that he is, to fit their narrative, so that's what they run with every single day, and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.
have rated his performance as 'average' to 'very poor', according to LabourList.
But when you have 8/10ths of the papers doing the government's bidding, it does make it very difficult to get your message across and change any perceptions that they may have spread.
I think he's an intelligent analytical guy who might be hamstrung by his lack of presence and charisma. But I think he's done well in most major crises that have happened since he's been shadow opposition leader and did really well in putting pressure on Cameron over his lack of response during the phone hacking scandal and the riots.
I don't think reviewing what the Labour party stands for and taking time to announce policies, which is the main reason why people don't seem to think he does much, was necessarily a bad thing but I do think this year he needs to start making policy statements and setting out what Labour plan to do. So long as he does that I can see it all turning round for him over the next 18 months.
but I'm starting to suspect that current political strategy is based around keeping your head down when the next election is a way off, and then crank things up nearer the time. Which is irritating if true, because one of the major problems in politics in this country in the past couple of decades (in my view) is the lack of proper opposition. I can understand that opposition was difficult when Labour had a massive majority, but the Tories don't even have that, so it's a bit frustrating.
the time it seemed utterly inconceivable that Brown would lose to Cameron.
At the moment the only message the country is hearing is we're financially fucked and need to slash spending. And anything Milliband says to the contrary will fall on deaf ears.
The cuts are biting in, employment is rising and, unless Cameron works out a plan for growth soon, he'll hang himself on his own rope and the time will come when people really want to listen to someone with an alternative strategy. I agree with you but can see why Milliband's playing the long game.
I just don't agree with them doing it. And ultimately I think Ed Miliband is the one responsible for the strategy, and I think I might probably possibly think he's shit.
a majority of people (not just Tory supporters) still blame Labour for the state of the economy, regardless of whether it's fair or not. The mud slinging over that one certainly stuck, and those people tend not to be inclined to believe anything Labour say at the moment over economic issues.
It's a problem, because it's severely weakened the opposition - everytime they disagree with anything, the Conservatives and Lib Dems can just roll out "the state of the economy we were given" and "deficit deniers" lines again, shutting down debate.
Surely a strong opposition would lead to a more pragmatic and compromise based political system rather than an ideological one? I thought Tories didn't like ideologies?
They could have anyone in the job and 40-50% people still won't trust Labour on the economy.
There was a worldwide crash in the financial markets and an incumbant who was portrayed as lurching from one crisis to the next.
Cameron didn't do much to start off with, but he did put a lot of effort into repositioning the party to make them electable again. He didn't just twiddle his thumbs right up until he walked into No 10.
rather, with the help of the press, repositioned the image of the party.
He did enough to persuade the Tory press to switch to supporting the (erm) Tories and to make the party electable. Regardless of the economic crash, Duncan-Smith, Hague and Howard would all have failed to get as many votes as Cameron.
Why waste your big guns early on when you can save them up for year 4 and 5, the only ones people will likely remember when at the polling station?
his brother has the face of a future prime minister, Ed has the face of a maths teacher
made an absolute hash of it in my opinion. He suffers from the fact that the more time he spends in the job the more credence gets given to the idea that we got the wrong brother.
They didn't win, but they certainly didn't lose. Come on now.
lost the Olympic 100m final because he didn't beat everyone else in the race by 3 seconds.
because he stopped at 97m, and the other runners stopped at 95m.
tied himself to Walter Dix and hobbled over the line with him three-legged.
Although while not a Conservative government it has adopted an almost entirely Conservative policy platform.
actually go beyond the platform on which the Conservatives fought the election.
Including the absolutely shocking moves towards the elderly and disabled.
are being crippled by government policy, but I don't know anyone who's actually experienced any difference from Labour's boom-spending years.
Speak to those in the construction industry who used to build the new schools and hospitals.
Saying something like this just makes you sound, like the present government, utterly detached from the vast swathes of the population, especially the most vulnerable in society.
people can get on here, and inconsistently so.
People can defend racist comments as a storm in a teacup on the one hand while bristling at the very notion that the government's policies have any merit whatsoever on the other.
It's not a hard concept to grasp.
You didn't present the very notion of any merit in the government's policies. You implied that services on the front line are unchanged since Labour were in charge.
Please, carry on.
You're better than this.
but I've had a loooong, hard week at work and my tolerance for namby-pamby, liberalist, blanket criticism of the coalition is low.
Like you say though been a long week.
Joined Labour specifically so I could vote in their next leadership election.
Who would like to vote for, if given the opportunity?
But I don't think he has acquitted himself well when he should have been able to put such clear water between his party and the coalition. There's a very long time until the next election though.
but not backing the strikes was a horrendous misjudgement imo.
Had he backed the strikes (however justified and 'right' they were) it would have given the press yet another stick with which to beat him.
A bit like how every Home Secretary does what the press tells them and eventually all wind up derided by the press almost as much as the England manager does
It's more a failure to give coverage than negative coverage.
But god you're a tedious fuckwit
And he's probably kept more potential swing voters by not backing the strikes than he'll have lost potential labour voters (who don't really have anywhere else to go) so it was a pragmatic decision.
I've just read that no Labour leader has ever officially supported a strike, which I wasn't aware of. It seems a more acceptable stance in that light.
but he lacks conviction and is so desperate for allies he's allowing himself to be pulled from pillar to post, which just leaves him looking unprincipled. Maurice Glasman was pretty much on the money when he said Miliband has no strategy other than hoping disaffected Lib Dems will nudge Labour over the line in the next election. There does seem to be a lot of manoeuvring going on from the Blairite tendency at present though, hence the reheated neoliberal shite from Jim Murphy/Liam Byrne/Tim Allan over the last couple of weeks.
The biggest problem is the dismal quality of the alternatives on offer. I'm not sure Yvette Cooper is the answer (she's saddled with a lot of Brownite baggage and the Mrs Balls tag isn't going to do her any favours), nor is David 'Rendition' Miliband the miracle worker the Blairites think he is. If he was to replace his brother, the Tories would (quite rightly) haul him over the coals for his role in Iraq and general shiftiness. Chuka Umunna has shown some potential but it's far too early to talk about him as leadership material.
I don't really believe in the 'the press all have Tory interests so that's why he's portrayed so negatively' guff upthread - the majority of the time when he's interviewed he comes across as awkward and unable to present his arguments in a rousing, inspiring, articulate way. Love or hate Cameron but he did, and continues to do, this very, very well. Even when he had as few concrete policies as Ed Miliband seems to have at the moment.
He should have scored some major points last year in terms of national debates around riots, cuts etc... but he failed to do so, in my eyes. Not due to the Tory press, but due to the fact he's not gained enough skill in doing so yet. I hope he does - I've got a fondness for him which I'd like to be justified one day.
Leading a party these days is very much a PR job. I don't think Cameron's as slick as many, mainly because I rarely believe a word he says and seems to opportunist at times, but that's probably down to him having come after Blair. Likewise, it's evident that before he destroyed so much of the trust in him, Clegg's (individual) poll ratings were largely down to the way he spoke in public.
The plus side for Milliband is that the electoral cycle's still at a stage where he has time to fix that and that he does occasionally show a bit of fire. On the down side, I'd agree that he probably won't be good enough at presenting himself by the time an election does come around.
Things that seem to plague him are:
- Too hung up on grand reformist ideas, seen within the party as revisionist and only interested in 'revolutionising' capitalism/labour, which is seen as naive and impossible to implement within the election/opposition cycle we operate in.
- Not significant enough support from the party because of the manner of his election, meaning the spectre of his brother looms large and any inaction/mistake is not likley to be judged kindly.
- Wants to place significant distance between this leadership and the blair/brown years, whilst still carrying too many of the players from that era. A 'hands up, fair cop, we messed up over regulation and taxation and strayed from our principles' message is seen from within as odd because too many old timers associate that era with WINNING.
- No significant feeling of 'opposition' politics... and this seems key to me.... there is a stage managed opposition to Tory policy within the coalition itself, meaning the tensions of reform, row-backs and commons drama doesn't necessitate labour's presence at all. It can be packaged, managed an reported as a bitesize lib/tory dichotomy ... new ground in many ways, and hard to get a foothold.
- Lacks wit and incision, there have been so many opportunities to hold the current administration to account and so many holes in their (IMO - hugely opportunistic) policy decisions that have been passed up. Sadly, the Tories are winning the narrative battle on the economy, regardless of fairness or pain-allocation, there is a simple alternative narrative that I genuinely believe a fair section of the country would respond to, but Ed seems to lack the courage/boldness/clarity to present it at present.
- Caught between two generations, he is 'of the old' but attempting to present a reformed labour party, younger, less tarnished mps like Chuka Umuna and Rachel Reeves are seen as the first chance to put genuine water between the blair/brown era and any future labour government.
- The Tories, with border changes and cynical changes to the voting system are using their current power to give themselves a significant competitive edge in the next election already. When voting registration was made optional in the States, the significant reduction was from ethnic minority and low income households, the tories are banking on similar impact here, as they think that loss will affect the other parties a lot more than it will affect them.
TLDR: A good guy but facing significant and complex challenges.
but there is a feeling that they will benefit the Tories right?
means that pretty much any "First Past the Post" based on geographic constituencies will benefit Labour most and then the Conservatives to a lesser extent.
...is that Corby now have a Tory MP (Louise Mensch). CORBY.
no, the Tories have no control over the boundary changes, even if it will probably benefit them.
The electoral roll thing is this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/nov/04/electoral-reforms
Oppose Government Proposals to introduce voluntary registration on electoral role
Proposals drawn up by the Government would introduce voluntary registration and put an end to households signing up, shifting the onus on to each individual to fill out the electoral forms.
Electoral Commission research suggests 10 million voters "predominantly poor, young or black" will fall off the electoral register and it may go from having 90% of eligible voters on it to as low as 60%.
This proposal will hit students, young people living in rented flats in our cities and people from ethnic minority communities hardest. It is a basic human right to be able to vote and it should be made easier, not harder.
The real issue here is not some people not registering themselves, nor is it even the difficulty of registering (proving that you are a valid elector - though that is a key pressure point), the real issue is the differential impact that itwill have and the resulting boundary changes that will remove representation from poor, diverse areas to more professional leafier areas. It is most easily expressed as a transfer of seats from Labour to tory areas, but is more importantly anti-democratic in the under-representation of poorer areas that in any case need greater advocacy.
That lot is from 38 degrees, so don't trust the source, blah, but it gives the general idea of the concern.
then that would be one thing.
As it stands though, the reasoning is driven by a cynical desire to remove potential Tory non-voters from the process.
which is another thing altogether.
The incredibly complicated reasons behind WHY it has tended to be ethnic minorities and economically deprived voters who 'drop off' is obviously a much bigger debate, and sadly, is not something the Tories would be remotely interested in dealing with. As it stands, that is how the research suggests it will go, so they are shamelessly pushing on with it.
On a darker note, in a non official capacity I've heard a good few MPs already factoring in this swing into potential opinion poll ratings and a general feeling of optimism/winning on a technicality is already present.
reasoning behind it, have you?
so, I suppose there might be a SLIM chance that the 'behind closed doors' reasoning is being grossly misrepresented in the semi-public spheres in which I've been privy to it, but somehow that would strike me as straw-clutching.
I rejoined labour after the election, and I have to say I was really impressed by his leadership campaign (I voted for Dianne Abbott by the way)
He's done ok on the crises, but he doesn't seem to be able to land a killer blow despite Cameron providing ample oppotunity. It's like last season watching a rank mediocre Man Utd team canter to the title.
On the policy side I've just found him really ponderous. The deficit needs to be tackle by a balancing act of cuts, tax increases and encouraging growth. He's got the latter two, but just once I would like to hear him say 'this cut is sadly necessary for the time being'.
Great bit of goss I got from a meeting with Dianne Abbott at Parliament though. Basically 2 years ago everyone decided Dave was going to become leader. So the party machine is stacked with supporters of his brother. Add on to that that he has a cabinet that pretty much all voted for Dave. No wonder he finds it hard to get things done.
She also told me that when Alan Johnson was shadow chancellor if you wanted to make a financial commitment in public you had to fill in a form and wait 2 weeks to have it signed off.
He says he once saw him walking down a corridor with Chuka Umanna coming the other way. Umanna was giving him a polite nod and about to walk past and Ed suddenly flung out his arms and embraced him shouting 'CHUKA' like it was his long lost brother who'd just returned from a war. Bit embarrassing for all involved.
ed is a lot less silly in person and chuka was his private secretary for a while. he probably just really fancies chuka.
I disagree with Nick!
they consistently put the Lib Dems in double figures.
all the major pollsters use similar methodology (and the paper that commissioned the polling is irrelevant in anycase). Labour have been ahead for most of the year with most of the pollsters.
i simply cant picture him leading the country
I voted for him. Would do the same again.
it's all going tits up for the poor sod.
coming to the surface.
It is genuinely difficult trying to imagine a more inept and awkward looking election candidate. He has all the commanding stage presence of a nerdy accountant - Cameron looks positively presidential in comparison...talk about lean times for decent politicians