Miliband’s ignorant tactlessness sums it all up

Reports Miliband's crazed warningI’m not prone to taking serious note of anything written in the Mail, but the above is an exception worth publicising. It sums up all that is wrong with UK politics.

Ed Miliband is a millionaire with no real-life experience. He has no ideas of his own. He offers no serious solutions to inequality, educational under-achievement or dealing with a strained Health Service. He has no apparent notion of how to play the UK’s hand in the EU, or in NATO, or in anything really. There is no evidence of original thoughts on anything from global insecurity to local immigration. How have we possibly reached the stage that someone like this is the Leader of the Labour Party and a likely Prime Minister?

This is not meant as a partisan point, but is Ed Miliband seriously the best the British Left could come up with? Someone with no notion of reform, who turns up at Trade Union rallies and looks like a schoolboy, and who buys into Conservative spending and welfare plans seemingly because he can’t be bothered to work out anything different?

Worst of all, who the heck is advising him? Perhaps I am being harsh, but someone who has just come straight out of University – even if (arguably especially if) it is Oxbridge – lacks fundamentally the life experience to advise even a potential Junior Minister, never mind a potential Prime Minister. Once you have run a business/charity/agency; once you have managed a home with the chaos of children and elderly relatives; once you have seen a bit of the world – then, maybe, you can begin advising people how to govern and lead in an in-touch, meaningful, beneficial way. But of course, once you have lived you probably won’t want anything to do with out-of-touch schoolboys like Ed Miliband.

Then of course there is the hypocrisy of a millionaire whose only idea is to condemn the current cabinet for being elite even when his own Shadow Cabinet consists of 33% Oxbridge graduates and almost no one who has ever lived on less than double the average worker’s wage. He is out-of-touch and knows no one who can even explain this to him.

His incompetence knowing no bounds, Mr Miliband then comes up with the cunning plan to tell the Mail – of all papers – that the biggest issue facing Scots at the forthcoming referendum is a potential border patrol. Firstly, communicatively, it is the worst possible form of intervention – an Englishman appearing to make threats to bully Scots and just the moment the Scots have demonstrated (and quite rightly) that this is their decision and they are in no mood to be bullied by a poncy English millionaire. Secondly, it is stupid because it shows no sense that the trend towards “Yes” is a coral movement not a political one – it is not as much about Scotland’s relationship with its neighbours about the type of society Scots want to live in (and it is not one where they want to listen to nonsense from outside the jurisdiction). Thirdly, it is just plain wrong – there is no reason to believe the Common Travel Area would be affected (meaning the border would be open and flights would be treated as domestic – just as within/between the UK and Ireland currently). Of course, to cap it all, Mr Miliband had obviously forgotten the UK already has a land border – it is one thing to be out-of-touch, but to be plain ignorant takes the biscuit.

My point is not about Scotland (though it explains much of the momentum towards “Yes”), nor even about Mr Miliband – who was, after all, elected both by his party and his constituents. It is about how ludicrous British politics has becomes – headed across all parties by out-of-touch incompetents surrounded by inexperienced “advisers”. It is something of a death spiral too – elderly statesmen like Ken Clarke are leaving the game, while already nine of the Conservatives’ 2010 intake have announced an intention to stand down. The ‘most highly talented Parliamentary intake for a generation’ has come, seen, and decided politics isn’t for them.

This is a structural problem. More and more, politics in the UK has just descended into soap opera. From the battle of the Brothers on one side to the battle of the Bullingdon Club on the other, it’s all vaguely entertaining but none of it is vaguely relevant to the person on the street. A “Yes” vote won’t solve it, sadly, but it’s almost what the whole daft charade deserves. And it is not just David Cameron who should consider his position afterwards.

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22 thoughts on “Miliband’s ignorant tactlessness sums it all up

  1. boondock says:

    Without reading the article Im guessing his logic is that an independent Scotland is initially outside th EU unlike the Republic of Ireland. Sill it is definitely another gaff and another boost to the YES camp which keeps gaining momentum roll on Nigel Farge and the OO to help make up the minds of the undecided

    • Yes – and even then it doesn’t stand to reason. Norway is outside the EU, but having been in a common travel area with Sweden since long before the EU existed, has an open border with it.

      • Scots Anorak says:

        Interesting point, Ian. I had been worried that Scotland leaving the UK swiftly followed by the UK leaving the EU might lead to the Troubles re-starting, but if there is to be no hard border, that becomes far less likely. Of course, Ireland is not in Schengen, which would presumably make the retention of a common travel area with the UK easier. It looks like we can breathe a sigh of relief — so long as the Daily Mail doesn’t insist on customs posts!

  2. Chris Roche says:

    The UK’s head is squarely on the chopping-block. If the Scots vote YES the head will be cut off with one clean, relatively painless chop. if they the outcome is NO, look forward to a very bloody and messy decapitation requiring numerous grisly blows over an extended period of time. Grim but Interesting times ahead.

    • harryaswell says:

      I believe that the process will be extremely messy, no matter what happens. Both the English and the Welsh, and more than likely ourselves in Northern Ireland, will treat the loss of Scotland from the UK as a highly dangerous, savage, and very selfish act. Some will even regard it as traitorous. I agree, Grim but Interesting times ahead!

  3. harryaswell says:

    Milliband was, of course, chosen by all the Unions as their favourite for Labour Leader and possible future PM, ahead of his far more able brother David. Such a pity! Alas, the Conservatives’ need a “proper” sales person to expound their case and make it work. IJP, you are being highly unfair and discriminatory in your condemnation of Public School educated persons in power, Eton and Oxbridge in particular. Why do you suppose so many decide that politics is not for them? Most Public Schools have a system for taking in students who are from poorer families for free or for much reduced fees. Regarding the Scandinavian model, all very well so long as you don’t mind sky-high costs of living and a rather boring existence!! – From experience of Corporate sales’ conferences, it was all highly amusing to see our Scandinavian friends spending as much money as they could on drink and other goodies that otherwise they couldn’t possibly afford. In my experience, and being part Scottish, NO Scott would put up with a high cost of living for very long. If the “Yes” vote get’s it, then I give the new arrangement five years to crash!! – Then what??

  4. Martin J Frankson says:

    Agreed on all points Ian. Well said.

    Even if Scotland votes Yes, it will still be ruled an elite as all western nations seem to be these days. We live in times when ordinary people no longer take part in part politics or at least don’t rise to the top tables of power.

    On the subject of a Yes vote, I’ve made this point before, surely such a monumental decision needs a 2/3 majority and not a majority of 1 single vote ?

    The Queen can refuse to sign the Independence Act if she so wishes. Constitutional crisis? Maybe but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as calamitous as secession. Scottish independence affects me, you and everyone else in the UK. Where’s our vote on this? Scotland doesn’t exist in isolation

    • boondock says:

      Could you imagine the outcry if 35% defeated 65%! A large majority either way is preferable but if it came down to a handful of votes then so be it. Likewise its the Scots decision and nothing to do with us. Wasnt orange man Davy Adams not moaning that ulsterscots couldn’t vote in the referendum. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be so keen for people in the republic or from the Irish diaspora to vote in any future referendum here

    • The UK Government accepted that 50%+1 suffices.

      Interestingly, the Canadian Government gave no such assurance re either Quebec referendum; and Montenegro required 55% to secede from Serbia-Montenegro (which it *just* got).

      I am inclined towards your view, but the main thing is that the rules are clear.

  5. Blast from the past says:

    What do you mean by “a poncy English millionaire”. Do I detect a smidgen of homophobia?

  6. Martin J Frankson says:

    Ian you should really screen some of your commentators here. WordPress allows this facility. Check your settings. It’s letting the blog down

  7. Martin J Frankson says:

    Your espousal of liberalism with respect to allowing all postings on this blog is laudable but serves as a microcosm for what’s wrong in society. Once we tolerate the intolerable, a rot can set in that can be difficult to stop. The liberal paradox?

    • harryaswell says:

      Like your own refusal to accept and listen to other peoples’ opinion per chance? What next in your Orwellian world? Where is the right to free speech? I can see that you are truly a LibDem and Alliance supporter!!

      • Martin J Frankson says:

        Harry. There is nothing wrong with refusing to entertain those who wrongfully accuse Ian of homophobia and other such nonsense

      • I think it’s worth emphasising that the appeal was, quite rightly, to remove commenters who make false accusations rather than those who have different opinions.

      • harryaswell says:

        Martin. LOL!! So, OK. If you have been on the web for long, then you should realise that many people take great delight in pricking bubbles of pomposity and badly written comment. Perhaps you should make yourself more clear? – “I” took the comment as a fun comment, a joke? Can you really imagine Ian in a gay situation? One’s sense of humour is surely lacking here.
        Ian. I would also point out that most of our Captains of Industry DO come from, sic, “good” or “public” schools. i.e., Grammar education. Could it possibly be that the old saying that ” the dullard of the family either goes into the church or politics” still applies? It rather looks as if it might.

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