Master Edward Milliband aged about 16 in mentality if not years delivered a speech appropriate to a fifth-form debating society. Delivered in the flat panic-striken tones of an adolescent making his first public speech, with the added distraction of young Milliband’s near lisp, and filled with every ghastly cliche and platitude from the NuLabour lexicon, it shrieked one thing: this is not a person to be taken seriously, not merely in politics but generally, vide his failure to marry his partner and the absurd excuses he gave for not doing so when questioned by the media (didn’t have time because of this and that) or his odd failure to have his name on his child’s birth certificate as the father. He is also one of those “professional politicians” who went from university straight into politics by becoming a political researcher. At the age of 40 he has never had a proper job. Scarcely surprising that he should have remained so immature. (His brother David had the same lack of work experience. )
The speech was rigid with political correctness and dishonesty, the dishonesty of the speech is symbolised by his stance on immigration. Milliband reduced the issue to a purely economic matter when it is one concerned with the most fundamental issue a nation mus addressed, namely, who controls the nation’s territory. But even with the parameters of his definition he contradicted himself, saying at one point that free movement in the EU cannot be stopped, while at another saying he would stop immigrants coming to Britain and undercutting British workers by working for less.
It is also worth bearing in mind his ancestry as he is the son of immigrants and the member of an ethnic minority. It is difficult to imagine him being in practice anything other than rigid with political correctness or pro mass immigration.
The most significant pledge in the speech was his endorsement of AV. He did not say it would be Labour policy, but even if it is not most Labour MPs will vote as he does. The fly in the ointment is the Tory pledge to include a clause equalising constituency boundaries which would severely damage Labour. However, if that does not prove a barrier to the passing of the legislation to hold the promised referendum on AV the likelihood of it passing has improved if the Labour leadership backs it.
Apart from his personal defficiencies , Master Milliband is set for a rocky ride both because of his brother’s resentment and the the fact that he did not get the support of a majority of MPs and MEPs.
It is a very disturbing thing that the Labour leadership election should have been fought between two brothers who had no experience of work outside the narrow confines of Labour politics. That suggests a very narrow base to the Labour party at Parliamentary level and the ability of rival factions within the Labour elite to readily manipulate the result. The other oddity is that neither Milliband is really in the modern media mould for politicians, both looking distinctly odd in a way which my paternal grandmother would have described as “simple” and with unpleasing voices.