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Listen: Ed Miliband’s two car crash interviews in one day

20 May 2014

4:01 PM

20 May 2014

4:01 PM

Ed Miliband seems to have clambered out of the wrong side of bed this morning. The Labour leader has been touring the TV and radio studios, where his answers have become progressively worse as the day went on.

First up, Miliband spoke to Good Morning Britain about the ‘cost-of-living crisis’. When asked whether he knew how much the average weekly household grocery bill was, he said ‘it depends on how much you are spending and how big your family is’. Then when questioned on how much the Miliband household spends, he said:

‘We probably spend £70-80 on groceries at least, probably more than that. Different families will have different costs they face but what I’m clear about is that there is a crisis facing so many people


The presenter pointed out the average household bill is more like £100, putting it to Miliband he was ‘out of touch with reality’. Ed attempted to clarify his comments on BBC Radio Oxford later on:

‘Well, I said this morning it was on the basic groceries, the basic fruit and vegetables, about £70 or £80 – the total shopping bill was slightly higher than that, obviously. On the basics, I was saying it was about £70 or £80 but the overall shopping bill would obviously be higher.’

If he’s spending that much on fruit and veg alone, Miliband’s family are definitely eating more than their five a day — or purchasing plenty of white asparagus.  Leaving his grocery bills aside, Miliband then popped into BBC Wiltshire, where he was caught out on the question of who is Jim Grant. As the transcript shows, Miliband appeared not to know that Grant is the leader of the Labour group on Swindon Council, nor that it is a Tory-controlled council:

Radio Wiltshire Presenter: What do you make of Jim Grant?

Ed Miliband: I beg your pardon?

Presenter: Jim Grant, do you think he has done a good job?

Miliband: I think that lots of Labour representatives are doing a good job right across the country

Presenter: You do know who Jim Grant is, Mr Miliband?

Miliband: Well, you will enlighten me I am sure

Presenter: Swindon Labour leader

Miliband: Yeah I think he is doing a good job

Presenter: Will he feel like you support him enough if you don’t even know his name?

Miliband: Well he is doing a good job as leader of the council, Jim is, and I think that is the case.

Presenter: I mean it’s Swindon Labour leader. Do you think by your comments now people might be a bit perplexed by why you wouldn’t know who Jim Grant is?

Miliband: No, I know that Jim is doing a good job for Swindon and I think he is doing a good job as leader of the council.

Presenter: But he is not leader of the council is he Mr Miliband? It’s a Conservative led council.

Miliband: I think he is doing a good job for Labour on the council. I think he is doing a good job for Labour on the council.

Presenter: So let’s be clear. Who runs Swindon council?

Miliband: It’s a Conservative controlled council.

As we’ve seen with Nigel Farage’s LBC interview last week, all politicians have bad interviews which appear disastrous at the time. But Ed has endured three bad interviews in a row. The only blessing for him is that while he’s been digging his way deeper into a hole with every broadcast, Ukip have been mining an even bigger cavern down in Croydon with their carnival.

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Show comments
  • roger

    We gather he spends a lot on bacon, ho humm.

  • Dean Jackson

    As I’m not a Communist, and therefore have no political reason to support Ed Miliband, allow me to come to the rescue of the befuddled politician by querying, “Why should any politician be “in tough” with a Britain’s weekly food bill”? Precisely what will being “in touch” solve?

  • Hugh

    The first interview was fair enough and made a reasonable point about Miliband’s hypocrisy. The radio Wiltshire interview was a waste of time; we learned nothing other than the fact that Miliband had forgotten to cram up on a Labour council leader’s name on the way to the studio. It was a pointless and moronic exercise in trying to catch him out. It wasn’t his car that crashed.

  • HookesLaw

    It wasn’t a car crash interview it was a smear. He could not get a word in he was tired after a busy supper party. You lot in the Westminster bubble only pick on Miliband and ignore everyone else’s car crash interviews because you are anti crypto Marxists who want to sell the proletariat down the river.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Car-crash interviews? I think this is just journalistic self-importance. These interviews make no difference. If I am right then you are all wasting your time. Which, to a great extent, I think you are.

  • JsRUK

    Maybe he was tired?

    • Conway

      Tired and emotional? Wasn’t that George Brown?

  • GIN1138

    Out of touch, out of his depth and in just over a year, out of his job…

  • RavenRandom

    Ha ha that’s just funny. The right thing to do there is just say you don’t know, take the hit, and not get caught out in lie after lie, because that establishes that you are an unscrupulous liar.

    • David Booth.

      I suspect lying is in Miliband’s DNA.

  • Andrew Smith

    I find Milliband perplexingly odd as a person and entirely vacuous as a politician, but we need to be fair. I would challenge any male member of any middle class family to know how much they spend per week on their shopping. They just don’t.

    And what’s more, he said didn’t say 70-80 pounds but “probably more than that”

    • bugshead

      Yes, that probably sums up my own view, I find his political thinking pretty vacuous – he has obviously studied the great political thinkers but like all lefty student political activists, he has had to twist the thinking in order to appeal to his audience and those wretched plebs in the electorate. He has assumed the worst of Bliar (without the ‘charisma’) and nature has not been kind to his appearance. The result is that he has evolved into a political opportunist of the most unconvincing kind…… he will lose the 2015 election and be despatched to some obscure northern polytechnic to lecture on his dad’s scribblings.

    • GnosticBrian

      Surely one might reasonably expect a potential future Prime Minister to be able to anticipate the questions that he is likely to be asked by a particular interviewer and prepare accordingly. And to come up with a decent, thinking on his feet, answer to any left field questions

      • Andrew Smith

        Of all the things I am interested in in a potential PM, his cognisance of his shopping habits comes rather low on the list.

        • GnosticBrian

          Quite – but what about a potential leader’s inability to think clearly on his feet? As Denis Healey put it so many years ago, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”. If today’s performances are a guide, Ed does not understand that.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    One more time Seb; The LBC interview was no disaster then or now however much the Bubble wanted it to be. Did it add to or dededuct from UKIP’s vote?

    • Conway

      73% going to vote UKIP according to the LBC poll afterwards, I believe.

  • Bluesman_1

    “A terrible day for Ed Miliband”

    Yep, there was a y in it.

  • Roger Clague

    The band broke their contract and discriminated against UKIP because of threats of violence by the protesters.

    • HookesLaw

      Hilarious. Non disclosure of material fact voided the contract. Go sue.

  • Mangochutney

    Who let the gimp out this close to an election.

    • ButcombeMan

      It is painfully obvious why he did not take up the Farage challenge to debate before the EU election.

      If Farage could so easily detsroy Clegg, imagine what he could to the vacuum that is Milliband..

      There is a well used expression of people like Milliband on annual staff reports:

      “This man is marginally better than a vacancy”.

  • MirthaTidville

    I only read this trash to see if there was a UKIP bash somewhere in it…Of course I was`nt disappointed. What is the Speccie going to do after Thursday one wonders?

    • Alexsandr

      What lazy journalism. cramming in a UKIP smear at the end based on what. Some rubbish on tw@tter form some of labours rent a tweet trolls. Glad I dont have to pay for this carp.

    • HookesLaw

      More hilarity. You mean there was not a kipperkarnival that turned into a shambles with the organiser insulting Croydon? The writer made it up?

      • MirthaTidville

        Oh do keep up Hooky, I`m talking about this article..Honestly you labourites are all the same

    • David Booth.

      I suspect you only read this so called “trash” because you have so little else in your life Mirtha.

      • MirthaTidville

        Well seeing as you are are on here matey…pot kettle black I would have thought………..strange because from your earlier posts we would seem to be of one mind..still takes all sorts

        • David Booth.

          Martha you’re the one who says she spends her time reading trash.

          • MirthaTidville

            Firstly I`m not a she, or wasnt last time I looked but if you think the thread isnt trash, well good on wishes

            • David Booth.


  • swatnan

    It would help us all if the Disrict elections were held on a separate day from the Euro elections. Euro Elections should be held over the weekend, and District Elections in October also over the weekend. Then People like me and Ed would not get confused over the two..

    • Conway

      If you want to vote at weekends, you can always move to the continent. Why should we change because you are confused?

      • swatnan

        Thursdays is NOT a good day for me … and millions of other people. For a start I have to put the bins out on a Thursday. People should be allowed to vote at their leisure during weekends, just like they can collect their parcels from Royal Mail. Whoever chose Thursdays for voting needs to be skewered.

  • David Booth.

    Not only is Mr Miliband out of touch with this countries real problems but he also appears to be out of touch with the Miliband family!

    • telemachus

      I am appalled that you are taken in by this right wing electioneering nonsense
      Speccie has clearly decided that only 2 things make folks read their increasingly improbable threads
      UKIP and Miliband
      Sebastian can do better than this

      • David Booth.

        There are lots of things I’m “appalled” by but one of them isn’t the way that poltroon Miliband is portrayed in the press.

        • telemachus

          The press unfairly lambast Farage and you protest
          You should equally demand fairplay for Ed

          • David Booth.

            If you say the press unfairly lambast Farage I’ll take your word for it and the only fairplay I want for Miliband is to see the Labour Party throw him out following his humiliating defeat in the next General Election.

          • David Booth.

            If you say the press unfairly lambast Farage I’ll take your word for it and the only fairplay I want for Miliband is to see the Labour Party throw him out following his humiliating defeat in the next General Election.

            • telemachus

              So that Ed Balls can take over

              • David Booth.

                Not even the Labour Party in its most suicidal black thoughts would think that Balls would lead them to electoral victory.

                • telemachus

                  Ed Balls is one of the politicians with the common touch who makes you smile

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Delete “smile” insert “sick”. Actually insert “throw up continuously in disgust at the thought of this amoral, incompetent scumbag”.

          • atticus1900

            I do agree with the sentiment Telemachus, and for what it’s worth I think that Miliband performed as I expected him to: poorly. But was it a ‘car crash’? It could have been worse.

            My only thought on this is the difference in tone of the article produced by Mr S Payne when writing on Miliband or Farage, although I admit this is subjective.

            • telemachus

              Miliband may lack charisma
              But he has substance and a good team around him

              • Inverted Meniscus

                The same set of lying, incompetent scumbags who served Brown. No thanks.

            • telemachus

              Miliband may lack charisma
              But he has substance and a good team around him.

              • Kitty MLB

                Ed Miliband was clearly tired. You can see it in the photo.
                To make some kind of story out of that is disgraceful, regardless of what you think of a persons politics. One
                must never forget manners.

  • London Calling

    So. who’s the guy in swindon? someone knows, especially ed…..its best not to be caught out, but then so many people to remember, its hard to remember them all………………..tee hee……………:)

    • fundamentallyflawed

      Ed mistake wasn’t to struggle to remember the name of every single labour councillor – it was his attempt to bluff an question he had no answer too. Much like every serious attempt to answer the big questions (Europe/Energy Prices/Housing Crisis) he will also be found out one way or another on those topics as well

      • Mangochutney

        Why not, poor Nigel is expected to trowl all social media for 2000 candidates every night going back 15 years.

        • fundamentallyflawed

          Not expected to by me…

      • First L

        He should at least know the name of the leader of the council party that he is in the city of.

        • fundamentallyflawed

          Yes perhaps he should have done that bit of research – but his real mistake was to try to bluff an answer

  • Span Ows

    …so would this be ‘a car crash’ or a little bump (and drive off hoping nobody notices)

    • Conway

      I thought it was Balls who did that.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      At least Cameron performs U-turns in one manoeuvre: Balls has to do a seven-point turn and still manages to b*lls it up.

  • Barakzai

    As long as Ed keeps up his militant ‘tax the rich’ trope and his unfriendliness towards big business, this sort of thing is immaterial to his puppet-master, Len.