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Face it: Ed Miliband could be the next prime minister

11 September 2012

2:41 PM

11 September 2012

2:41 PM

It’s fun isn’t it, all this speculation about a leadership challenge to David Cameron? It was obvious really in the run-up to party conference season. We all needed a new narrative. Last year we enjoyed giving Ed Miliband a good kicking and his ‘anti-business’ conference speech played into the hands of his critics. The infantile booing of Tony Blair’s name by delegates made it look like the party was determined to make itself unelectable.

But the reality now – and there are plenty on the left as well as the right who still find this a scary prospect – is that Ed Miliband is the man most likely to be the next prime minister. Looking back, the speech looks rather prophetic with its appeal for a shift in the country’s cultural values in favour of ‘grafters’. Ed may have turned a little red for some people’s tastes but he captured something of the public mood.

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Jenni Russell, a friend of the Labour leader but one of his fiercest critics at the time of last year’s speech, is right to warn of the dangers of complacency in the Labour ranks:

‘This should, then, be a good moment for Labour. It is in fact a dangerous one. The temptation is for Labour’s leaders to think that they can relax a little, in the belief that they have a comfortable poll lead, a convincing argument on the economy, and time to refine their remaining ideas on how to run the country more effectively. None of these things are true.

Labour has won nothing yet except the chance to be heard. For the first time since the 2010 election, large numbers of voters have a grudging curiosity about Labour’s alternatives. The party must move fast to capitalise on that. If it can’t articulate what Labour stands for, voters will lose interest.’

If Labour wins the next election outright, which is now not just possible but probable, then people need to realise what this will mean. There is every reason to believe that Miliband will stick with the team he has until the next election, which means a Cabinet dominated by Ed Balls, Chukka Ummuna, Yvette Cooper and Douglas Alexander. Do we yet know what this means for the country? As Jenni Russell says, we do not, beyond a sense that cuts will be less savage and job creation will be at the heart of an industrial policy.

But the government should take no comfort from this. The Coalition is now infected with the poison of perceived incompetence and the launch of Conservative Voice will not be easily dismissed as the background noise or sour grapes.

Already some Tories are resigned to defeat in 2015. So what happens if Labour gets it policy act together? Now that should be really scary.

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.

  • LIZZIE ELIS

    I WORKED SO SO HARD TO BECOME A NURSE, I MADE A LOT OF SACRIFICES, I LIVED IN POVERTY ALONE IN A DIFFERENT CITY WHERE I DIDNT KNOW A SINGLE PERSON THEIR FOR YEARS, IN ORDER TO GO TO UNIVERSITY.BUT WHENEVER I FELT LIKE GIVING UP, I THOUGHT WHEN I GRADUATE A BECOME A NURSE, ALL THIS WOULD BE WORTH IT. SO ONE DAY I RECIEVED MY DEGREE AND BECAME A NURSE, AND NOW UNDER DAVID CAMERONS GOVERNMENT IVE BEEN MADE REDUNDANT, ALSO NOW IM BEEN PUNISHED BECAUSE I CANT GET INTO EMPLOYMENT, IM ON THE VERGE OF LOSING MY HOUSE, I CANT AFFORD BUYING FOOD, PAYING FOR MY MORTGAGE, PAYING BILLS, AND SOON WILL ALSO HAVE TO PAY COUNCIL TAX ALL UNDER THIS TORIES GOVERNMENT, THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE RUINED MY LIFE. ON THE GENERAL ELECTION 2015 VOTE ED MILLIBAND LABOUR THEY ARE MORE CARING AND HELP PEOPLE NOT JUST THE RICH EMPLOYEES

  • http://www.facebook.com/rumana.begum.560 Elizabeth Cooper

    DAVID CAMERON IS CUTTING POLICE OFFICERS,NHS,HOUSING BENEFIT,COUNCIL TAX,RAISING VAT,PETROL PRICES,FOOD PRICES,UTILITY BILLS, NO TAXING MILLIONEAIRES WHILE MILLIONS ARE PAYING DOUBLE TAX ,WE ARE IN THE LONGEST DOUBLE DIP RECESSION SINCE THE WAR, BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE OF THE TORIES STRAGEDY. THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A NEW FAIRER GOVERNMENT. ! LETS END THE SUFFERING, LETS END CONTINOUS GROWING POVERTY, LETS END SQUEEZING LIVING STANDARDS, VOTE ED MILLIBAND – LABOUR 2015!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rumana.begum.560 Elizabeth Cooper

    VOTE LABOUR 2015!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rumana.begum.560 Elizabeth Cooper

    DAVID CAMERON IS CUTTING POLICE OFFICERS,NHS,HOUSING BENEFIT,COUNCIL TAX,RAISING VAT,PETROL PRICES,FOOD PRICES,UTILITY BILLS, NO TAXING MILLIONEAIRES WHILE MILLIONS ARE PAYING DOUBLE TAX ,WE ARE IN THE LONGEST DOUBLE DIP RECESSION SINCE THE WAR, BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE OF THE TORIES STRAGEDY. THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A NEW FAIRER GOVERNMENT. ! LETS END THE SUFFERING, LETS END CONTINOUS GROWING POVERTY, LETS END SQUEEZING LIVING STANDARDS, VOTE ED MILLIBAND – LABOUR 2015!

  • Robert Taggart

    Face it – then – ‘face off’ !
    As for ESM – F*** OFF !!

  • coventrian

    ‘The infantile booing of Tony Blair’s name by delegates made it look like the party was determined to make itself unelectable.’

    What were they supposed to when they heard the name of a war criminal, cheer?

    I’d guess the booing would add 1 or 2 per cent in the polls.

    • mightymark

      Strongly suggest you find a chair, something strong to drink and comtemplate, at least the possibility that the rest of the British public don’t share your obsessional hatred of a great prime minister. Having done so consider whether treatment for your extreme case of Blair Derangement Syndrome might be something that would help you become a happier and more fulfilled person.

      • coventrian

        I have considered this possibility, however most people hate Blair more than I do. By the way, parroting John Rentoul is not a clever idea.

        • embrewer

          Well said, ‘guest’. History will indeed judge Blair as a dangerous megalomaniac.

      • coventrian

        I have considered this possibility, however most people hate Blair more than I do. By the way, parroting John Rentoul is not a clever idea.

  • Hugh

    The polling has been much as it is since at least June, if not March; the prospect of Labour winning is hardly new. In fact, we’re probably, with the reshuffle and conference season, due for one of those periodic changes in narrative since there’s little left to write about the coalition’s trouble. This analysis could prove peculiarly ill-timed.

  • david

    In view of Nadine’s latest pronouncement it could be sooner rather than later, I’m telling you Dave will pay a big price for calling her ‘frustrated’ its gonna be like, ‘Play Misty For Me’

  • Ron Todd

    The only reason I can think of for voting for Cameron again is to keep the two Eds out. There is a good chance I will just not bother next time.

  • chudsmania

    Hahahahahaha!!! Someones hacked you calendar Mr Bright(or not so very) , its not April the 1st !!

  • Forlornehope

    If Ed Miliband gets elected in 2015 his first and overriding goal will be to get re-elected in 2020 and 2025. Neither Ed is stupid, both know perfectly well that turning on the spending taps or “taxing the “rich” until the pips squeek” won’t allow that to happen. Expect a lot of blame targetted at Cameron and Osborne, some largely symbolic tax changes and pretty much more of the same. It’s like that song from “Oh What a Lovely War” – they’re just jumping over each other’s backs. The only thing that might be different is if Balls does to Miliband what John Smith did to Kinnock in 1992 and throws the election to further his own personal ambition.

  • pauldanon

    Maybe Labour would be able to cut the public sector without bringing about a general strike. By 2015, economic reality will have taken over from Keynesian pipedreams. The regional fund has created 2,400 jobs at half a million pounds each.

  • anon

    This would be horrendous…..Steady Eddy and “Balls” would destroy the economy, drive away the wealth creators, and create hundreds of thousands of useless jobs for the lefties and the waste of space, unions.

    And even worse, Salmond may succeed in his goal of an Independent Scotland!

    Just goes to show how many completely dumb people live in the UK.

    • Jay

      Yeah, it would be awful if they came along and created a load of jobs wouldn’t it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

        Governments cannot ‘create’ tax-generating jobs. They may be able to create the conditions that allow private companies to prosper, but public sector jobs can only be paid for by revenue from the private sector.

        But then, Labour has long put the spending before earning. Like it did by wasting Marshall Aid on nationalisation (supported by just a third of the then-electorate) rather than infrastructure. Ever heard of the Wirtschaftswunder? Clue, it didn’t happen in the New Jerusalem.

        • Clem the Gem

          No Hilton, the Marshall Aid money left the country as quickly as it came in, due to Labour not imposing exchange controls. They naively believed that our “wealth creators” had some kind of economic patriotism. Oh, and who was it that helped to convince Truman to introduce Marshall Aid (and form NATO)? Step forward that Trades Union beast, Ernest Bevin.

        • embrewer

          Governments do ‘create’ tax-generating jobs. The pound spent by the government created employee is spent over and over. How is that not so? Just goes to show that the available facts are open to a mind-boggling variety of interpretations. Except the private prosperity translating into jobs scenario has never happened in the real world in all the years since Milton Friedman articulated a justification for looting the public purse and short termism,It has simply never materialised, but as a delusion it has never been abandoned.

    • erazmus

      Just goes to show how many completely dumb people live in the UK.
      That is because there are now more immigrants than native

      • embrewer

        I’m sorry? You’re saying there are more immigrants than native? Look, I know you’re in a tizzy about the tabloid created bogeymen but getting your bottom lip in a tremble over something entirely of your own imagination isn’t going to help. why don’t you take a good look at where the real power lies, at who’s making the real money and who’s exploiting who in this country and stop being shepherded around by those with a vested interest in keeping you ignorant.

    • Gareth

      The wealth creators don’t appear to be creating much wealth under Mr Osborne’s Chancellorship. Perhaps they’ve left already?

    • embrewer

      Yes, to reject this wonderful programme by the current government.. they must be out of their minds when things are going so marvellously. here’s to an outright victory for the Conservatives in 2015, and a return to Dickensian living for the many.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

    ‘So what happens if Labour gets it policy act together?’ That would mean not turning the money taps on….what real chance of that? Mortgage hikes for everyone, three months into a Labour Government. More likely, what chance a record low turnout?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

    ‘So what happens if Labour gets it policy act together?’ That would mean not turning the money taps on….what real chance of that? Mortgage hikes for everyone, three months into a Labour Government. More likely, what chance a record low turnout?

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