Home > Ed Miliband, Labour > How Do You Solve A Problem Like Ed?

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Ed?


How do you solve a problem like Ed?

That all depends on your political allegiances. Some don’t want Ed’s problem to be solved so that they can waltz into number 10. I don’t want a weak opposition leader, I want a strong one. I want the government of this country to be challenged. Ed’s simply not doing that.

What’s his problem? Actually, that should be problems.

First, he doesn’t sound or look like a leader. On Marr this morning, he looked fairly statesmanesque. It pains me to say that.

At the same time, he looked awkward, uncomfortable and frankly not PM material. This has and always will be Ed’s main problem. In psychology, and behavioural economics there is this thing called the blink test. This test, is how we judge the people we meet, what we think they are capable as such. Ed’s problem is he has clearly failed this basic test. It doesn’t matter how many times, he relaunches his leadership. He has failed one of the cruellest tests set by the electorate.

Its this test, which makes me think that Nick Clegg’s polling is recoverable. I think that because when people found out who Nick Clegg was in the election campaign, Cleggmania resulted. We took an immediate shine to Nick, so he passed the all important blink test. Because of the anchor effect in behavioural economics, those first impressions affect the rest of our decisions so whilst yes we need to rebuild trust, having a leader thats passed the blink test makes that easier.

Second is he promotes Keynesian economics but he didn’t promote them whilst in government in the good times. This lacks credibility. You can’t be Keynesian in the bad times but not the good times. That leads to distrust and voter misunderstanding. Take it from a LibDem, voter misunderstanding is not something you want to encourage.

Third, he nicks LibDem ideas and claims credit for leading the charge, when he has done no such thing. Take his interview on Marr this morning.

At 11.08, Ed starts saying he was the first person to latch on to “responsible capitalism” in his conference speech and that Nick and Call-me-Dave are falling over themselves in his wake. That’s so wrong its rolling on the floor funny. Vince Cable in his conference speech a week before Ed’s, coined the phrase “responsible capitalism”. Watch John Harris over at the Guardian talking about it with Vince himself as well as other delegates here.

Even longer than that, Vince and the LibDems have been calling this “responsible capitalism”, against big banks and big business because they can harm individuals freedom. You can debate, that in government we are not doing enough. That is fair enough but we are in government with the Tories.

Ed was also falling in behind LibDem ideas when he “took on” Murdoch. Remember the Telegraph sting operation which caught Cable saying, “I’ve waged war on Murdoch”.

Ed is just coming to liberal ideas. The government he served in did nothing to help deliver “responsible capitalism” and in fact didn’t even mention it. If Ed really has come over to liberal ideas, then he can come and join us. But he should stop claiming credit for ideas that liberals have been campaigning for, for years.

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  1. January 16, 2012 at 13:44

    The longer the knives are stuck into Ed, the more the voters will see his weaknesses and the lack of policy and even the stealing of other people’s policy and claiming he was the original espouser of those views.

    The Lib Dems are doing a good job in the coalition and the voters will come to realise what a stabilising influence they have been and stopping a right wing majority Conservative Govt doing what they would have done if the Lib Dems weren’t there to slap them round the face with a kipper to make them see sense!

  1. January 18, 2012 at 16:03

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