Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Is Miliband Labour's IDS?

Another lacklustre performance from Ed Miliband today who succeeded in getting verbally punched up by Cameron in Prime Minister's Questions. The most telling moments were when the cameras caught Miliband's expression of indignant innocence when Government backbenchers asked questions and passed comments about the Labour party. These are early days for him (though they are not a flying start) but he needs to learn not to respond with such pained looks when he's under attack. He looks like he is hurting. He looks weak.

Ed Miliband is up to the job of being a cabinet minister and to be fair to him, he conducted himself competently in that role before Labour's election defeat, regardless of what you think of his policies in government (finding them in opposiiton is a bit more difficult). I don't get the impression however that he is prime ministerial material. It also seems that he is not cutting ice with the voters either. Whilst Labour's poll ratings are much improved on the Brown period, Miliband himself is slipping into negative figures.

I suspect his elder brother would have been on a higher personal rating now had the unions not foisted Miliband Minor onto the Labour Party. David came over as more of a candidate for Prime Ministern than his younger brother.

The question is, have Labour repeated the same mistake of electing the wrong leader for the wrong reasons, in the way that the Tories did back in 2001 when they opted for Iain Duncan Smith. He was chosen for who he wasn't (Ken Clarke) and for a presumption that he was more rightwing that actually he turned out to be.

So, is Ed Miliband the IDS of Labour - chosen because he wasn't David and because some in Labour think he is more leftwing than he actually is? Time will tell but this sluggish start for Little Ed is not good for him.

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