In this week’s Spectator podcast, we put a Labour and a Tory supporter next to each other to debate the virtues of Ed Miliband. The difference being that Peter Oborne is a passionate defender of the leader, and Dan Hodges his most vocal critic.
Peter explains to Sebastian Payne that while he is a conservative journalist, his job is to tell the truth, and put political prejudices to one side, which leads him to conclude that Ed Miliband is a man of incredible accomplishment and bravery, whose efficacy is demonstrated by the ferocity of the press backlash against him.
Here’s what Oborne has to say:
I have followed Mr Miliband with growing admiration as Labour leader. I think he has been the greatest leader of the opposition since something like Attlee, I mean certainly since World War Two, in terms of sheer achievement.
The country is screaming out for a conviction politician and “we’ve got one in Ed Miliband”. He adds that he is uncomfortable with the extent that big business is funding the Tories. “If you want a hedge fund manager-run Britain, vote Conservative”.
Dan Hodges, however, is not convinced that he’s done a good job as leader of the opposition:
But the reality is, whatever Ed Miliband’s qualities are, the primary job of a leader of the opposition is to stop being leader of the opposition and to become Prime Minister, and to maximise your chances of becoming Prime Minister. And the reality is that Ed Milibad through the way he has conducted his leadership, through the strategic choices he has taken, has consistently minimised his chances of becoming Prime Minister.