Ignore The Papers - Miliband's Speech Was Comical And Lacked Substance

"Red" Ed's policies are finally taking shape, but he's still not the left wing leader Labour or the UK needs...
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"Red" Ed's policies are finally taking shape, but he's still not the left wing leader Labour or the UK needs...

I'm still not convinced.

Oh, all the papers that I would normally rely on are telling me that Ed Milliband's conference speech was a triumph. That, as the Mirror's Kevin Maguire puts it, 'Red Ed has his mojo back'.

I'm not seeing it.

Admittedly I've not seen the entire speech, I was unfortunately busy doing that 'keeping the wolf from the door by working' thing so I can only judge on the highlights. And I'm not convinced.

Obviously the policies chime well with me and quite a bit of the content of the speech sits well but the delivery? The man that delivered that content? No, not so much really.

Freezing bills to ease the pressure on the public and stop the energy companies endlessly hiking prices while pulling in record profits is a nice move. It attacks a genuine concern and is an clearly electable policy. In an ideal world we would be talking about renationalising the utilities that we once owned as a nation, as our birthright, we would be talking about reversing every corrupt, self serving action that Tory governments have ever carried out but realistically that's never going to happen so let's go for what we can achieve.

We need to rescue the NHS from the ConDem coalition that has destroyed every improvement that ten years of Labour had instilled in the greatest social achievement that this country has ever created. I fully trust Labour to rectify this, I only hope that they're in a position to do so. My lack of faith in our leader makes me worry that the chance will be lost.

Reduce the age of voting to 16? Fair enough, about time really. People complain that 16 year olds aren't experienced or wise enough to be trusted with a vote. Trust me, ability to use your vote isn't a matter of age, there are plenty of over 18s out there that I wouldn't trust to make an informed decision if their lives depended on it; that's how Nick Clegg managed to inveigle his way into a position of power.

And Ed pointed out repeatedly how thoroughly shameful the Tories' time in government has been, how Cameron is strong against the weak but weak against the strong. And he's right on every point but at every step of the speech he defused his argument with his jovial, jokey asides, constantly shooting himself in the foot with his 'I can't hear you, you can do better than this, do the conservatives get it?' approach.

Saving the country from the incumbent government's blatant war on the working classes is not a pantomime. I want to see a leader who is burnng with indignation, furious in his anger and determined to put matters right for the people that he represents. I want belief and I want to believe.

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But I don't. The start to his speech? About Ella falling off her bike and Ed helping her and her calling him an action hero? (Apart from the obvious fact that nobody has ever used the phrase 'action hero' in real life?)  Pathetic. Cloying, cringeworthy, embarrassing.

"What? What are you laughing at?"

They're laughing because they're under instruction to laugh at the carefully placed 'jokes' Ed. I'm not because you look ridiculous, needy and weak.

Ending the speech on the note of the bedroom tax was a master stroke; 'David Cameron was the prime minister who introduced the bedroom tax, I'll be the Prime Minister who repeals it' was a fine line. A line full of confidence that Ed will be PM, that he will have the strength to make the tough decisions, that he will rid us of the venal laws that Cameron and his Bullingdon club multi millionaire cronies have imposed on a class that they clearly despise.

The grin that followed that line took all that conviction away. It was the smug, slightly smarmy to be honest, smile of a man who appeared satisfied with himself. It wasn't determination, it wasn't strength and it wasn't belief , it was weak and unconvincing.

A year ago Ed Miliband gave a barnstorming performance at the conference. This speech wasn't at that level but the real worry is that Ed Milliband has spent a year in between conference appearances performing in a thoroughly anonymous manner.

My very real concern is that the Conservatives will walk back into power at the next election purely because the populace don't see a convincing, workable alternative. Because they don't see a leader in waiting.

It's too late for a leadership challenge. Change now would set the Labour Party back in the run up to 2015; it would be starting all over again. Ed Milliband will lead the Labour Party into the next, utterly vital, election.

I'm not convinced.

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