It’s 3 years since Uncut started so, in a series of pieces, we’re taking stock of what has changed for Labour since 2010. David Talbot looks at Ed Miliband’s public profile
Ah, the Daily Express. What to say about this esteemed presence amongst our media? Last content sometime during the Boer war, today its coverage sticks to the traditional middle class issues of house prices, cancer survival rates and Princess Diana. A friend to the Labour party it almost certainly is not. Indeed, under the tutelage of its chief political commentator, one Patrick O’Flynn, the Daily Express can have a serious claim to be amongst the first members of the fourth estate to take the UKIP threat seriously.
O’Flynn seems an amicable, if slightly misguided, chap who nonetheless stumbled across pertinent analysis as we consider the three year anniversary of Labour’s demise, and Uncut’s rise from the ashes.
Three years on the Labour party is out of government, out of sight and out of mind. O’Flynn dubbed this Labour’s “invisibility cloak” in his leader last week, which was a charitable way of highlighting that three years on from a historic defeat, the party’s hierarchy has not constructed a coherent strategy for Labour’s return to power.
Ed Miliband continues to be Labour’s invisible man. Still virtually unknown to the British public this void in the British political realm can surely continue no more. Cameron was known to taunt the then novice Labour leader at the back end of 2010 noting that “he had been in the job for the past few months” before adding, woundingly, “people are wondering when he’s going to start?”
Too much of Labour’s strategy at present appears to be based on the coalition’s unpopularity, and frankly keeping low and not saying anything too stupid.
Indeed, as a political strategy it is well worn and often successful in the short-term. But three years on, Labour has rightly set itself an ambitious target of returning to power after just a single term out of office – a feat, historically, that has been near impossible to muster. Wearing an invisibility cloak for the next two years simply won’t achieve that high aim.
David Talbot is a political consultant