I’ve said before that I quite like Ed Miliband as a person, OK his choice of a career in politics has introduced a certain degree of twattishness to a persona that would otherwise be a perfect fit in the corporate middle management structure (to be a success as a corporate manager requires a completely different kind of twattishness – think in terms of David Brent times ten) but he’s basically a decent bloke who while not Prime Minister material would make an adequate geography teacher in Runothe Mills Comprehensive.
So having taken a significant role in putting in a position way above his ability I think its unfair that with three days to go until the polls open, The Guardian and Labour Uncut have already launched the post-mortem on the failure of Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party.
From the Labour Uncut article we have:
Uncut has learned the real reason for Ed Miliband’s sudden night-time visit to Russell Brand’s Shoreditch home: panic caused by the early tallies of postal ballots being fed back to party HQ, from marginals around the country.
Labour is behind and urgently needs to reach out to new voter groups. Russell Brand was a means to that end. [ … ] These are not opinion polls results or canvass returns but actual votes, hundreds of thousands of votes, from across Britain. Numbers have been flowing from each marginal to party strategists to give the most accurate picture of the current state of play.
Labour insiders familiar with the latest figures have told Uncut that the picture for Labour in marginal seats, where it is fighting the Tories, is almost uniformly grim. (Read all – same link as above)
Meanwhile The Guardian, traditionally Labour’s staunchest supporter in mainstream media responded with cruelly to Ed’s ‘tablet-of-stone’ stunt by naming him Edymandias in a reference to Shelly’s poem Ozymandias which describes a collapsed statue in the desert whose emply plinth is inscribed “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.” The Guardian’s John Crace then comments:
In one of the tightest elections in 50 years [ … ] Ed Miliband has just raised the stupidity bar still higher. It makes Neil Kinnocks 1992 Were all right Sheffield rally moment look almost clever.
What possessed Miliband to imagine that carving a series of election pledges into an enormous slab of limestone that would be placed in the Downing Street garden were he to become prime minister on 8 May was a good idea? There isnt a single sentient being with connecting synapses anywhere in any planet in any universe who could think that was a good idea.
Even the title is a hostage to fortune. A Better Plan. A Better Future. This stone Ed, Im sorry to say, is symbolic of a totally Crap Plan. Or worse, No Plan.
When some future Arthur Evans finds this battered, broken foundation stone several hundred feet underground his first thought will be My name is Edymandias, King of Kings / Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. Shelley will last far longer than this. As for the rest They read more like focus group findings than serious electoral promises. (READ MORE)
Are Labour Uncut and The Guardian onto something. We will not know until Friday. But I can tell you I heard from a reliable source ( my cousin Bob though past retirement age still writes for an evening newspaper in the region) that when Nigel Farage said Labour was haemorrhaging support to UKIP in the north, he spoke the truth. That does not necessarily mean UKIP are going to win swathes of seats of course, but more likely they are going to take enough Labour votes to hand a significant number of marginals to The Conservatives. Which is not the result I hoped for but it’s a result.
Ozymandias of Egypt by Percy Shelly
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.