Coffee House

PMQs sketch: Ed Miliband has giving up on winning – now he just wants to enjoy losing

9 July 2014

4:19 PM

9 July 2014

4:19 PM

Today we saw a brand new Ed Miliband. And a brand new campaign strategy. He’s given up trying to win the election. All he wants to do now is to enjoy losing it and to go down in style. This must be quite a relief to him. For the next 10 months he can ignore the grassroots and the business vote and the floaters and swingers in the key marginals. He can even dismiss the tedious views of his Manson Family shadow cabinet. What matters now is to raise a cheer from the die-hard loyalists. To put a spring in the step of the back-room boys. To hearten the SpAds and the ad-men and the sound-bite designers. And to make the Bubble burst with pride.

It’s an astonishing strategy. Almost a death-bed admission. The game’s up chaps. Let’s have a nice group hug and remind ourselves of a golden certainty. We lost the fight but at least we were right.

He began PMQs by squandering three questions in a row. His theme was the new national sport of ‘investigating historic child abuse allegations’. Or, to put it more simply, antiquarian vigilanteism. It’s great fun to play – part nostalgia, part prurience – and anyone can have a go. You select a decade from the recent past. You close in on a few grizzly old gropers. And you hound them to death. The government has even appointed a paedo tsarina, Dame Butler-Sloss, to lead the lynch-mob.

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Having dealt with this, Miliband turned to the NHS. Not the service itself. But an infinitesimally tiny aspect of its work as revealed in a phrase used by David Cameron last week. Patients, it seems, are lolling on trolleys for a few nano-seconds longer than the ministry would like. And last Wednesday, when Cameron referred to his file of notes, he got his digits in a twist. And he quoted a factoid that turned out to be a fib-oid.

Miliband pounced on this. He accused Cameron of misleading parliament. He demanded a correction and an apology because ‘the House of Commons Library called him out on it.’

Everyone enjoyed watching Mega-Wonk Ed challenging Super-Toff Dave with this EDL language. ‘Called him out.’

But what a useless ambush. No doubt Ed’s gang of geeks and boffins were melting with delight but everyone else was falling asleep. Cameron ambled over to a different part the pie-chart and produced a new statistical cross-section that suggests that the NHS is a beacon of excellence. It all depends where you examine the care chronicle. After 18 weeks or 26 weeks or 52 weeks? Or after 20 weeks, 148 weeks or 26,897 weeks?

Both leaders attacked each other with different sets of figures. And both had corpulent files brimming with surveys and statistical breakdowns. But where from? Allegedly 19,000 bureaucrats have been slung down the waste chute and into the incinerator. Yet the culture of institutional futility remains. There are still throngs of fact-finders touring the wards with stop-watches and clipboards and noting down how long each semi-conscious pensioner has been gasping, ‘water, water!’ in the broom cupboard.

A lack of care isn’t the problem. It’s a surfeit of arithmetic.

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Show comments
  • Thats_news

    Should Ed win, then he really, really would be f**ked.

  • swatnan

    Maybe he’s just realised that this isn’t the Election to win. 2020 could be far more favourable taking ver after the Coalition has done all the dirty work on austerity, and Labour can then herald a new age of peace prosperity and plenty.

  • Damon

    “Allegedly 19,000 bureaucrats have been slung down the waste chute and into the incinerator.”
    If only.

  • George_Arseborne

    Lloyd Evans has a very limited brain as a Spectator what ever to base the results of 2015 election to PMQ as a determinant.
    Who cares about Cameron’s childishness at the dispatch box. Why do they actually pay you for?

  • Mukkinese

    What a silly article.

    Was this written by a twelve year old?

    As a leftie, I am frustrated and angry at Labour’s constant missing of open goals, but to say that Miliband has given up on the basis of PMQ’s performance is daft…

  • gerronwithit

    Unfortunately the Manson Family Shadow Cabinet with the Turnip on Top are probably a shoe in at the next General Elaction.

    • Colonel Mustard

      We will suffer as a nation if they are.

  • Fraziel

    And yet labour are 7 points ahead in the polls and on course for a majority. That lead will come down as Miliband is so awful but labour will almost certainly be the largest party. What an indictment on the tories that they will likely get thrashed by a party with no policies and an appalling leader.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Actually it I unreformed constituency boundaries that will do that.

      • Mukkinese

        Perhaps if the Tories could keep their promises that would not be a problem for them?

  • Paul Owen

    Has giving up?

  • Ollie

    “Called him out” is EDL Language? Grow up and stop being so snobbish.

  • ohforheavensake

    And Labour are still ahead in the polls: and the electoral geography’s still strongly against the Conservatives.

  • allymax bruce

    Lloyd, nice send-up; made me laugh.

  • stringwhinger

    You can make a joke out of Ed. But the alternative with Cameron is equally as bad.
    If it means having Ed’s lot next, so be it, but most importantly Cameron and all he stands for, has to be destroyed.

    • HookesLaw

      No he does not. What Cameron stands for is decency and true conservative values, its nasty nutjobs like you need to be defeated.
      The notion that it is ‘important’ to defeat Cameron to give victory to crypto-marxist Miliband leading a europhile labour party is grotesque.

      • Wessex Man

        poor old Hooky, all your bluster, all of Dave’s ‘something’ must be done for the cameras, all of Dave’s ‘I’m proud of the Scottish Blood that pounds through my veins.’ Now the Clown Prince of Europe.

        It’s all go B******** up on a massive scale!

  • MrsDBliss

    I don’t get how he can make these accusations when there is written documentation that Harriet Harman supported the none prosecution of paedophiles if their victims didn’t feel they’d been violated. Which anyone whose had any contact with the care system will tell you the majority of abused system don’t, they’ve had such a twisted association of adult love. If she hasn’t apologised for that how can they go on about abuse which high members of the front bench deemed acceptable. After all the longstanding victim of Rolf Harris would have for many years not felt a victim.

  • R Fairless

    It’s all a load of meaningless claptrap; one politician in power shouting at another politician, not in power and not a word of it enlightens us poor plebs. The questions mean as little as the answers. The sad thing is they both seem to believe in it.

  • Geronimo von Huxley

    Man, can I say this now man??? You Brits man you make me laugh!!!! PMQs man??? Are you serious??? You guys shout at each other once a week man and that is what you call forward thinking democracy man I cannot believe that man where I live what we do to settle a conflict man is we don’t shout man we just get a big bazooka out man!!! Insane!!!

  • Daidragon

    Lloyd. One day, when you grow up, you might be worth reading but this is just risible schoolboy level stuff. ‘Manson Family’ shadow cabinet. Good grief.

    • telemachus

      A good graphic picture but he meant the Cabinet

  • Mike Barnes

    “A lack of care isn’t the problem. It’s a surfeit of arithmetic.”

    Funny you should end with that considering Opinium, Lord Ashcroft, Populus and Yougov all have Labour 7 point leads in their latest polls.

    How is he losing?

    • telemachus

      Exactly
      But that does not fit the Murdoch, Mail and DT narrative

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Or your socialist nutter gibberish narrative lad.

    • HookesLaw

      The tories won the Newark by election comfortably. At a similar period labour were losing Crewe. At a time when the real electorate in a real poll could have embarrassed the govt, the tories polled more than Labour and UKIP combined. At least UKIP have an excuse – instead of getting the vote out their leader was staggering home at 4 in the morning … in Malta! On a freebie little pointless jolly What was Labour’s excuse?

      • Daidragon

        Under normal circumstances the Tories should be quietly confident of winning the next GE. Doesn’t feel like normality to me though. Lib Dem’s in freefall, Greens growing, UKip holding steady. The 35% strategy really could work for Ed Miliband. Suspect it will ultimately come down to how well UKIP do. I think they’ll get 8 to 10% of national share of the vote, which would scupper Cameron imo.

      • Alexsandr

        oh I would not brag about newark. The sheer scale of the diminishing tory majority spells trouble for them in the marginals.

        • HookesLaw

          Marginals will concentrate people’s minds all the more. But are you bragging that Labour – Europhile labour – will win??

          • Wessex Man

            That would be so laughable if the Tory party weren’t more Europhile than Labour.

          • Alexsandr

            I do not think our psephological models are good enough to predict the G,, g1ven the fact there are 4 ‘main’ parties, the Scottish vote and events, dear boy. Plenty of guesses and wishful thinking which i ignore.

      • Mike Barnes

        The entire cabinet was forced to turn out several times to help a 30 year old generic millionaire win one of the safest seats in the country. Thousands of activists pulled in with the promise of free booze and food.

        Are you going to be pursing that strategy in every battleground?

        I know the Westminster bubble despises Miliaband, but I just don’t get where it’s got this impression he’s heading for defeat? Wishful thinking in the extreme.

        • HookesLaw

          The fact is sane people united to ensure Farage’s mottley crew were beaten. A great opportunity to show dissent against the tory side of the govt and the electorate chose not to take it. It happened.

          • Wessex Man

            Do learn to spell, it’s INSANE! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Wessex Man

        You little fibber Hooky babe, I know as do you that Tory resources were drawn from all over the country for Newark, I know Tory members from here in the West who spent a couple of days there, who met others from even further afield than that and while not there, making phone calls to the people of Newark and still you lose 50% of your majority.

        Your party will not be able to pull such stunts going into the GE, you no longer have the loyal members on the ground, they’ve all joined UKip!

  • sir_graphus

    Much as I’d like to join the Millibashing, the electoral maths favour Ed M so strongly that he will win whatever he says or does. It’s clear he intends to reinflict the 70s upon us (without the music), and he’s being careful not to promise anything but that.

    • telemachus

      Not the 70’s
      The prosperity of the 90’s

      • McRobbie

        Ahhh yes, the brown years…no more boom or bust..just bust.

        • Wessex Man

          weren’t the Brown years the noughties when we crashed and burned?

      • The Masked Marvel

        It was a false prosperity, based largely on fraud and accounting legerdemain.

        • telemachus

          Not false
          It led to the long delayed modernisation of the NHS and Schools
          I grant it was cut short when Lehman blew in

          • The Masked Marvel

            Nonsense. Lehman was a symptom, the boil that burst, not the cause. Like the dot-com bubble before it, it was all funny money that existed existentially. Unfortunately, real stakes were placed on the facade instead of solid ground, and we all know the result.

            Crash Gordon used the fake money while he could for his PFIs and other redistributive schemes, until he ran into the reality that Mrs. Thatcher was right about what happens when one runs out of other people’s money. Of course, he didn’t actually learn that lesson, and neither have you.

            • telemachus

              You are wrong
              The growth as orchestrated was sustainable
              US subprime sapped confidence and so the cards tumbled
              Do you really think that Osborne is in a different place to Brown?

              • Inverted Meniscus

                No it is a lie.

              • HookesLaw

                You are thick.
                The growth was built on a bubble.
                US subprime (orchestrated by by the democrats under Clinton) was the cause of the problem. The sub prime borrowing was bundled into special vehicles and taken up by British banks who were banks that were not as clever as they thought they were – bank poorly regulated by labour and encouraged in their activities by :labour.

                Osborne is in a much better place than Brown. he is reballancing the British economy instead of kicking it in the bo££ocks.

                • telemachus

                  Rebalancing?
                  Figures just out show manufacturing falling while his trumpeted recovery is due to soft service economic activity

                • Wessex Man

                  oh no! we now have Tweedle Dee arguing with Tweedle Dum!

              • wycombewanderer

                You do realise that for most of the 90s the conservatives were in office and from 97 until 2000, Brown stuck to the tories spending plans.

                So all of your praise for the economy of the 90s should be directed ttowards the conservatives.

                It was only after 2000 when the lunatic Brown went mad that thing got so fucked up and that took a few years because of the way the conomy had been repaired by the conservatives

                • telemachus

                  I take it from your post that you accept that the borrowing boom was initiated by Ken Clarke

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  No it was that socialist nutter Gordon brown.

                • DWWolds

                  It began in 2002 when Brown decided he would no longer follow the spending plans of the previous Conservative government.

                • Damon

                  Absolutely spot on.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Yet another massive lie.

              • The Masked Marvel

                It was mathematically unsustainable as well as physically. Once the subprime credit (cards and home loans) fell apart and all the myriad derivatives and debt-swapping basedon it went pear-shaped, there was nothing left to sustain it. Confidence sapped? You are delusional or just lying for a wind-up.

                Osborne is in a different place because he doesn’t have the same destructive ideology to drive him as Bruin does.

            • Wessex Man

              What you have to remember is that you are trying to reason with a socialist zealot nutcase who will tell any old lie to try and mislead people. Just ignore it.

              • telemachus

                Life is pure and debate serene until Rose Fingered Early Dawn appears in the Wessex household

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Except that he is absolutely right.

              • Andy

                ‘National Socialist zealot notcase’. Do get the correct description.

                • Wessex Man

                  sorry

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Ah you favourite lie, Lehman. The more you repeat it the more you emphasise the lie.

            • telemachus

              Why it remains important to tell people again and again is that the origin of the crisis in the US banks spread to induce near collapse of the banks around the world
              Until Gordon saved them

              • Inverted Meniscus

                No laddie that is a massive lie and has to be debunked. Brown was a cause of the problem with his credit bubble and ineffective banking regulatory regime. Continually telling the lie that his influence was in any way positive will not make it true. Brown is an arrogant, incompetent, cowardly failure and always will be.

              • facwit

                You’re actually quite funny.

                • Wessex Man

                  only has a complete joke.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Spam

      • Makroon

        Which was a Tory decade, with Labour coming in at the end to “stick to the Tory plan” for a couple of years.

    • Bill Thomas

      You are quite right – and this fact appears to be ignored by the Tories.

    • HookesLaw

      No only of UKIP split the right wing vote.

      • Alexsandr

        no, the tories will split the right wing vote.

        • robertsonjames

          In what meaningful sense is a party of government with 306 MPs “splitting the vote” with a spoiler party of protest that has zero MPs and little chance of many more?

          • Alexsandr

            yeah, but it winds hooky up.

            • HookesLaw

              No it does not – you are the deaperate saddo looking for an excuse to perpetuate ylour stupid opinions.

              • Alexsandr

                spoken like a true lefty -with the sense of humour taken out.

            • Wessex Man

              and it happens to be true, Hooky babe won’t admit it but the Tories have calculated that they will lose 18 seats to UKip.

          • Tim Baker

            Because David Cameron shifted his party to the left.

            Which allowed UKIP to out -flank the Tories from the right.

      • Wessex Man

        Now listen here Hooky babe the only people that will ensure the Tories don’t win are the Tories themselves, they now have on the ground the tattered bare remains of their old guard who were so effective that they could blanket an area the size of Malmesbury in a night, it now takes at least a week.

        If you Tories don’t win a majority, it will be down to people like Cameron and you turning off so many of the party members by trying to out Labour Labour.

        • Damon

          It might also have something to do with a grotesquely skewed electoral system that gives Labour a 5 per cent advantage before it even gets off the blocks.

          • Wessex Man

            no it will all be down to the Tories making themselves into New Labour, with all the cynicism and imperial distain for those who merely pay their wages.

    • Daidragon

      We had a balanced economy in the 70’s. Not just banks and supermarkets.

      • alabenn

        You cannot be serious, private companies were slowly being destroyed by socialist traitors whose first allegiance was to the Soviet Union, have you never heard of the Gnomes of Zurich, Healey had to go cap in hand to the IMF too pull the country out of the crap that Labour always dumps on the country.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Apart from the socialist nutter ravings of Telemachus that has to be the most barking mad comment on this thread. I cannot be bothered to debunk that rubbish with stories of British Leyland, uneconomic mines, shipyards etc etc. All subsidised in perpetuity by the profits of a hard pressed private sector. Socialist nuttery at its finest.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Ha ha! Was it based on the Welsh Labour model?

      • Stigenace

        Everything was equally crappy.

    • robertsonjames

      Absolutely correct. The difference between Blair circa 1995-7 and Miliband circa 2013-15 is about 10% and UKIP.

      The 10% is the gulf between what Blair thought he needed to win power, comfortably into the mid-40%s, for which he knew he needed centrists swing voters and even Tory switchers, and what Miliband reckons he needs, which is no more than about 34%, which he can achieve with a mixture of tribal Labour loyalists and left-wing ex-Lib Dems appalled at Clegg’s treachery in working with the evil baby-eating right-wing Tories. Add in the UKIP factor, which is worth several dozen fewer Tory MPs and several dozen more Labour and Lib Dem MPs, and Miliband can ignore the Blairite mantras about not raising taxes and not frightening the middle classes and go for broke, energising his core voters with a return to uncompromising retro-70s Socialism based on government price-fixing and market-rigging.

      Astonishingly, he has the advantage for which Blair would have strangled his granny, that he can even refuse any sort of European referendum to allay swing voters’ fears and still listen to the gratifying sound of the Kippers denouncing the Tories as Marxists and telling each other that Miliband is no more left-wing than Cameron.

      • HookesLaw

        So thats … vote for UKIP and let in Europhile Labour and kiss goodnight to a referendum on Europe.
        Glad we got that clear.

        • Wessex Man

          oh dear all the propaganda thrown by you straight back in your face Hooky babe.

    • Liberty

      Fortunately, the GE is not this week but in May 2015. I suspect that the Tories have a few tricks up their sleeve.

      • Wessex Man

        not really-no-and no!

  • Jock

    So it was Ed M whose ceaseless efforts brought this issue back into the spotlight? Who knew?

    • telemachus

      You should congratulate Tom Watson

      • Jock

        Not David Dickinson then? Pity Tom didn’t find his moral outrage when Labour were in power but I guess both men are late – just not in the same way.

        • wycombewanderer

          I find it more than a coincidence that this has risen just a couple of weeks after Max Cliffords jailing for being a nonce!

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Well done Tom you are the most emetic and disgusting man in Britain apart from that scumbag Ed Balls. There, he’s been congratulated.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Who just happens to be Labour’s shadowy director of online smearing and trolling.

    • Wessex Man

      no.

  • telemachus

    Oh yes Lloyd you have the narrative
    Miliband the geek who could never win an election
    *
    Then you make the mistake of belittling the children’s suffering! yes suffering at a range of paedophiles
    And then compound it by belittling the suffering of those whose health is in the decline
    *
    Thank God that caring does exist in Parliament and that a Party Leader has the courage to say so

    • Inverted Meniscus

      You socialist nutters are washed up laddie and none of your socialist nutter gibberish can alter the fact that Miliband is a preposterous, incompetent, duplicitous, narcissistic, imbecilic waste of space.

      • Paddy

        Don’t hold back.

        Not only is Miliband a “preposterous incompetent, duplicitous, narcissistic, imbecilic waste of space”…… his whole front bench is.

        • Tim

          …and yet regrettably they retain their polling lead.

          The sketch made me laugh, and I wish the substance of the message were true, but I think it’s a touch optimistic. I’m glad to hear someone else is bored of Cretaceous Paedogeddon though.

          • telemachus

            Again
            You should respect those wronged
            I suspect you also believe that Coulson should have been praised for what he did to Millie Dowlers family

            • Bill Thomas

              Certainly not. But I do think it was vindictive of the CPS to try him again. Even if he is convicted – it won’t add a day to the sentence he got for hacking; merely provide another gravy train for overpaid lawyers (I write as a lawyer for 49 years).

              • telemachus

                What
                18 months is enough for the suffering he inflicted on scores of innocent private citizens

                • Wessex Man

                  How much should you get you slimy lying communist zealot for proganda that’s not even funny?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Well if it comes to suffering inflicted on innocent private citizens how about 50 years for Gordon Brown. Assuming of course we can’t hang him.

            • con

              he didn’t do anything to the dowler family. even the grauniad has conceded that accusation was wrong.
              do keep up.

              • telemachus

                How many other lives did he invade

                • Alexsandr

                  he called peoples number, typed in 0000 in the hope it would activate their voicemail, because people were too stupid to change the voice mail pin from the default hardly crime of the century. It must have been fun listening to hours of banality about peoples trains being late, and requests to get some milk from the corner shop..

                • telemachus

                  You know well that he commissioned teams to trawl and filter
                  And then he stuck the boot in
                  In print Alexandr
                  In print
                  *
                  In a salacious rag

                • con

                  no idea, but nobody died.

                • Wessex Man

                  you sick so and so.

            • Tim

              get off yer ruddy high horse Captain Strawman! I just think this latest bout of collective handwringing about how rapey the 70s and 80s were isn’t perhaps the most vital use of such a large tranche of public money and the time and energy of our civil servants and police. You may disagree, but it’s a bit of a jump from a disagreement about optimal resource allocation to suggesting I condone the wrongdoings at hand (or indeed those of a completely unrelated case as you appear bizarrely to be insinuating).

        • telemachus

          Ed Balls has more talent and humanity in his little toe than the whole Cabinet

          • con

            you were doing reasonably well until you posted that. why savage your own case?

            • telemachus

              You are back to the narrative

              • con

                not balls, really, the man is useless and an albatross.

          • Alexsandr

            now you are being silly. he is an economic illiterate, and he deserves a kick for the useless tripartate banking regulation.

            • telemachus

              He is one of the most refreshing politicians of today
              He makes folks feel good and smile
              *
              Then they vote

              • Alexsandr

                probably not really smiling. it will be trapped wind.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                No they puke.

          • Tim

            Ed Balls

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Lie of the year 2014.

        • Alexsandr

          and one of them is a paedophile apologist, as is her useless husband.

      • telemachus

        You may think that now but you will look pretty stupid next May

        • Holly

          Nearly!

        • Inverted Meniscus

          You look stupid today, tomorrow etc etc, next May, June, July etc. You are perennially stupid.

      • realfish

        You forgot ‘opportunistic’.

    • Andy

      Children’s suffering ? Didn’t stop you Fascists promoting the Pedophile Information Exchange and tolerating rampant abuse in care homes run by Labour Councils.

      • telemachus

        Careful son
        At the end of all this you will find a lot of fairly Senior Tories on the Harris trail

        • Andy

          Just wait for those three evil bitches to end up in Holloway where they belong.

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