Party conference season: Ed Miliband scores 7/10

Party conference season: Ed Miliband scores 7/10

It’s been a pretty wretched week for Red Ed.

His conference speech was underwhelming in terms of delivery, and controversial in terms of content, and he’s still best known for being so desperate for power that he was prepared to stab his own brother in the back.

With the economy on its knees and summer riots fresh in the memory, the main opposition party should be 15 points ahead in the polls.

In fact, Labour’s lead over the Tories is perilously narrow (a mere three points on Friday). Yet I’d give him a healthy 7 out of 10 for his major interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr at the start of the week.

He avoided all the pitfalls that Nick Clegg plunged head first into the week before and he had one simple, believable message that he kept returning to: the importance of growth in the economy.

He showed that, unlike his hapless predecessor, he can “do people”, and when he answered questions naturally and without trying to recall his prepared soundbites he came across as rather likeable and convincing – much more so than when on a stage in front of a thousand people.

What he lacks, of course, is presence and charisma. Like Iain Duncan Smith and William Hague before him, both of whom Tony Blair effortlessly demolished, Milliband just doesn’t look like a potential Prime Minister.

This is a weakness that journalists, like playground bullies, will mercilessly exploit, seeking out opportunities to embarrass him further. As I wrote in my blog of July 7th, Milliband has already humiliated himself by giving exactly the same overly rehearsed soundbite to five questions in a row.

This week, he failed in a BBC TV interview to remember the name of the front runner for the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party – and his discomfort was obvious and cringeworthy.

Miliband is clever and likeable, and so far most of his party appears ready to back him through to the next election. But if he isn’t careful he’ll get a reputation for gaffes and geekiness that will become impossible to shake off.

Article date

October 3rd, 2011

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

Please Post Your Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ten − 4 =

Could Jacob Rees-Mogg become Prime Minister? Incredibly, it’s possible.

Could Jacob Rees-Mogg become Prime Minister? Incredibly, it’s possible.

According to some of the bookies, Jacob Rees-Mogg is now the…

Understanding the voters is the key to winning their votes

Understanding the voters is the key to winning their votes

A lesson that Britain’s Left is yet to learn