Ed Miliband’s Speech Overshadowed by David’s Comments

Posted on September 29, 2010

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Picture obtained from Wikipedia

Ed Miliband’s first speech as Labour party leader has provided plenty of talking points following comments made by his brother David.

Ed describes the invasion of Iraq as ‘wrong’, prompting David to ask Harriet Harman ‘you voted for it, why are you clapping?’

Ed was not involved in government when the decision was reached in 2003 to invade. Both David and Harriet actively supported the decision. Nick Robinson described the exchange as ‘angry muttered words’

Nick also describes Jack Straw, Andy Burnham and Alistair Darling’s reaction as ‘stony faced’.

This undermines the importance of Ed’s speech that set the agenda of the main opposition against the Coalition government. David has since declined to stand for a position within the shadow cabinet.

Ed is trying to distance himself from the title ‘Red Ed’ picked up after gaining the backing of the unions. He spoke at length about the ‘new generation’ that he is a part of. Distancing him from any previous stigma.

Addressing how he would steer the country through the economic crisis he says ‘This will require strong leadership. It won’t always be easy. You might not always like what I have to say.’

He spoke further about his closeness to his brother, continuously stating that he is ‘proud’ of him. Regurgitating statements he has previously made.

David’s comments have detracted from the serious issues raised, but the punchy delivery we have become used to from our party leaders was also lacking.

Damian Thompson wrote on his blog for The Independent:

‘Anyone hearing Ed Miliband speaking for the first time could be forgiven for thinking that this was a newly elected Labour backbencher with some hope of junior office in the administration after next’

Ed does not deliver in the same slick manner we are used to from politicians. The frailty of his jokes reminds me of Thatcher’s use of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch.

Guido Fawkes was even less impressed by his performance, denouncing it as: ‘left-lurching, deficit raising, money wasting, demotivating, buzz wording, fool talking, high taxing, fast spending, ever wasting, vote losing, Labour.’

It remains to be seen how Ed will perform in the Commons in debates against Cameron and Clegg. But as it looks, David will not be there to help or hinder within the shadow cabinet.

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