Friday 19 June 2015

Medhi and the Ed Stone

As it's Friday night, we're going to hand over the blog to Ed Miliband (remember him?) for a while...

Thanks Craig, that's a great question. Good to be with you here at ITBB. (And, no, it isn't biased). And, look, thank you for all of your support following my party's humiliating defeat this past May.

Look, I want to come to the detail of that in a minute, but I want to make a broader point which is a very, very important point for the future of the country. I believe passionately that politicians should sound human...

Sorry to interrupt there, Ed, but here's something you might want to read - and that's far too irresistible not to post..

I remember the first time I realised Ed Miliband could be the next Labour leader. Standing in a packed room at the TUC's Congress House headquarters in January, at Ken Livingstone's Progressive London conference, I watched as the younger Miliband brother, clad in a fleece and jeans, inspired a captive audience of party members, Trots, anarchists, Greens and, yes, Liberal Democrats. Speaking without notes, the then climate change secretary passionately made the case for tackling global warming, despite the depressing deadlock at Copenhagen a month earlier. "He's awesome, isn't he?" whispered the young woman next to me, her eyes alight with excitement.
Of all the Oxbridge candidates running for Labour leader, it is Ed Miliband who displays the common touch - or, in the words of Neil Kinnock, the "X-factor". "He has a special ability to lift spirits and motivate people - the capacity to inspire," says the former Labour leader. The younger Miliband's strategists and supporters have known from the start that this is their man's strongest selling point: his ability to reach out, in our new, plural era of coalition politics. Throughout this protracted contest, throngs of energised Ed Miliband supporters have descended on the various hustings holding placards proclaiming "Ed Speaks Human".
Let us be clear: Ed M is not JFK. Nor is he the British equivalent of Barack Obama. But he does have the all-important ability to connect with ordinary people, especially the young, and to motivate and inspire them.
So, Ed, what do you make of that?

Thanks Sue, that's a great question.

Look, while I was walking on Clapham Common one night, I met a man called Gareth. He said to me, "Look, I want a politician who speaks human". I said, "Look, I am that politician". Gareth voted UKIP. We need to listen to Gareth...

Sorry, Mr Miliband, I'm going to have to interrupt you there. We've run out of time, I'm afraid. Back to Laura in the studio...

Thanks Craig. Now the Labour leadership contest may not be thrilling the nation but Twitter and the Newsnight audience are clearly swinging Jeremy's way. (Corbyn's, not Paxman's of course). Here's our political editor, Allegra Stratton...

Laura, I've learned tonight that Andy Burnham has received the backing of the Unite and Thunderbirds unions. According to Twitter, Liz Kendall is a Tory and the only hope for the nation is to vote for, for Yvette Cooper. 

Thanks Allegra. Now here's the former shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, and restaurateur and friend of Yvette Cooper, RenĂ© Artois  Thank you for coming onto Newsnight. Now, M. Artois, who do you think would make the best leader for Labour?

Merci, Laura, you stupid woman. Ah, Yvette!...

And to you, Ed Balls?

Ah, Michelle of the Resistance!, Yvette!


  1. Of all the Oxbridge candidates running for Labour leader....

    I think I see your problem...

    Is there anything Mad Mehdi has ever gotten right? Apart from that one admission that some quarters of the Muslim Community have a bit of a Jew-hatred problem, I mean.

  2. Using Kinnock's opinion as a guide to electability is a really smart move, Mehdi.

  3. So far as I can see, only the BBC find this "leadership" contest of any interest. It is quite irrelevant who wins although I would love it to be Jeremy Corbyn. That would be a laugh !

  4. Only the BBC seems to find this election of any interest. Personally, I would love to see Jeremy Corbyn get it. That would be a laugh. As for Ed Miliband having the common touch........... !

    1. Jeremy Corbyn always reminds me of one of those Open University academics from my youth (on the BBC) - an invariably bearded lefty with a 1970s dress sense discussing class tensions in the novels of Jane Austen or the contradictions inherent in capitalistic algebra.

    2. The beat goes on. Tom Utley in the Mail:

      When our fourth and youngest arrived home from Sheffield on Wednesday after sitting his finals, I happened to be reading The Duke’s Children, the sixth of the Palliser novels. I asked him if he’d read any Anthony Trollope — and to my surprise and delight he said that he had.

      But he hadn’t read any of the great man’s novels, for which he is chiefly famous. No, all he’d read was a bit of Trollope’s travel-writing about Jamaica.

      Why pick that, I wondered? It was for a university course, he said — in ‘Victorian perceptions of race and racial stereotypes’.

      So there’s the answer to my question about what Britain’s universities have come to. Trollope is no longer promoted and enjoyed for his wonderful tales about scheming churchmen, politicians, noblemen, terrifying aunts and poor-but- honest, love-struck middle-class girls.

      As a man of his time, who believed Englishmen were better than foreigners, he’s studied only to be tutted at for the occasional offence he committed against modern ideas of political correctness.

      Has anyone in academia the guts to stand up against this tyranny?


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