Posts Tagged ‘St Paul’s protest’

Miliband: seeing into the future or shouting at the sea?

30/11/2011, 07:30:01 AM

by Rob Marchant

Last Thursday, Ed Miliband was speaking at the IPPR on the economy, doughtily willing that Labour’s alternative can soon be heard again in light of Britain’s increasingly dreadful prospects. In spite of the response of many commentators that here was a battle he couldn’t win, his words indicated that he genuinely believes things are going his way on the economy and that Labour merely needs “one more heave”, as Dan Hodges¬†puts it. He and Ed Balls need only to keep saying the same thing, and the political tectonic plates will have shifted their way by the general election.

Never mind that Labour’s economic polling is awful and has shown little sign of shifting over the last year, in spite of the crisis. Never mind that the Tories have two fairly foolproof deflection strategies for this mess: blame Labour, blame Europe. Team Miliband is convinced that the tide is turning and it is just a matter of time.

Why? It is instructive to examine the psychology behind this. There seem to be two factors at play. One is about the vision thing. There are a few people in any generation – a very few people – who have the extraordinary gift of seeing the future. Not literally, like a soothsayer, but the visionaries: the Steve Jobses or the Thomas Edisons. Or ¬†the political figures who define a generation: the Mandelas, the Luther Kings, the FDRs, the Kennedys. People who see the trend lines in today’s thinking and can extrapolate them out, accurately, into the future, along with a road map. They anticipate, and they get it right. These people are extraordinary (not to mention usually pretty successful in their chosen field).


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