(First published June 20, 2011)
It’s difficult to have much to say about Ed Miliband as it appears there just isn’t that much to talk about. Nice guy – wouldn’t look out-of-place standing in the corner of a room at wedding looking awkward and shy. But labour leader?
With zero enviable charisma and no big plan for his party, it appears that Miliband (E) is leading Labour further into the political wilderness. In a recent interview with the IOS (Independent on Sunday), he said “I think if you’d told me as a teenager I’d be leader of the Labour Party, I wouldn’t have thought that was going to be the case. That’s not the way I’ve thought about my life.” Brilliant. So the man who is supposed to be the voice of the working class has never had a real ambition to lead a party. That’s a great start.
He then went on to add that “The most difficult thing about this job is not having enough time to see your kids. There are always frustrations in politics, but actually the thing I care most about is having the time to see them.” Even less dedication to his party.
Perhaps I’m being too critical. It’s quite in line with his parties values to be in politics for the people not the profit. That means he genuinely cares right? Also, we should commend him for sacrificing vital bath-time with his kids in his efforts to rescue this Country and be charmed by his sense of frustration at not being able to see them enough. Right?
When you read interviews with the younger Miliband, or watch him at Question Time, you feel like this is all just a bit too much effort for him. He’d rather be spending time with his family. Understandably. He’d rather not deal with the dragons (sorry, Tories). That’s understandable too. But you get the overwhelming impression that he’d just rather be anywhere else.
So when you criticise the papers or opposition for nosing into his private life – this business with a rushed wedding to his wife, his “war” with his brother and his Mother’s despair for her “collapsing family” – ask yourself that maybe they have to dive into his private life, because maybe, just maybe, aside from those around him, there is just nothing interesting about Ed Miliband.