Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Marley’

Advice for Ed: Ed must use this week to exorcise three ghosts

01/10/2012, 07:00:04 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Helpful chaps those Conservatives.

The Populus opinion poll they conveniently published yesterday, (and which the media dutifully reported), exposes the essential weaknesses that lie behind the double-digit poll leads we have become used to seeing these past few months.

However opportunistic the timing, the findings (in line with other polls) will give Labour strategists sleepless nights.

Two thirds of voters say Labour should have elected David Miliband as party leader in 2010, while 56 per cent of Labour voters agree.

64 per cent of swing voters say they would be “more likely to vote Labour’” if the part “‘had a stronger leader than Ed Miliband” with four out of five believing he is not “prime ministerial.”

Meanwhile 72 per cent of all voters believe “Labour need to apologise for the part they played in causing Britain’s current economic problems before people will trust them again on the economy.” This rises to 81 per cent of undecided voters.

Despite the provenance of this research, the findings brutally expose the three inter-related problems that dog Ed Miliband this week: lingering comparisons with his brother, doubts about his personal qualities and the legacy of the last Labour government.

Starting with the first, there is little more David Miliband could have done to plough his own furrow since he lost to his sibling in that same Manchester conference hall two years ago. He has kept his own counsel and carved out a new, discreet role for himself. There is little either brother can do to address this unhelpful comparison, (or to stop broadcasters repeatedly mixing them up).

The second problem, however, Ed’s personal qualities, is a matter for the man himself to address. It is not enough for Ed to say, like Frank Sinatra, that he is content to do it “my way”. There are objective measures that the public will judge him on – strength, decisiveness, purpose – where he needs to raise his game.


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