Ed Miliband’s Last Supper
Swap the biblical bread for a bacon sandwich, and switch Judas for Jason Cowley, editor of The New Statesman, and many people will see why this week sealed the fate of Labour’s lacklustre leader. But Ed Miliband doesn't deserve the analogy. He's a walking disaster
One of the most poignant moments recorded in all four canonical gospels is an event known as the Last Supper, where Jesus predicts that one of his Apostles will betray him.
Painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the late 15th-century on the wall of the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, and popularised by popular author Dan Brown in his 2003 book The Da Vinci Code, the themes of betrayal and impending doom for Jesus are as potent as they were when the text was first published.
Swap the biblical bread for a bacon sandwich, and switch Judas for Jason Cowley, editor of The New Statesman, and many people will see why this week sealed the fate of Labour’s lacklustre leader. For in the latest issue of the only dedicated left-wing magazine to originally support his leadership bid, the weird Mr Miliband was branded a man with no understanding, no plan and worst of all no vision for the future of Britain.
It is indeed true that when Ed dramatically stole the crown that many inside the Labour party believed rightly belonged to his brother, Conservative strategists breathed a sigh of relief. From their perspective, the socialist, union-backed academic was much less of a threat than the polished, Blairite threat posed by the older brother David.
But how quickly Ed’s crown turned from one made of gold into a crown of thorns. A series of cringe-worthy photographs where, during a visit to the market, he looked decidedly awkward as he tucked into a bacon butty and appeared terrified whilst handing a beggar a 2p coin, has all but destroyed his image as a Prime Minister in waiting.
Some blamed an inexperienced press team, poor communications and planning. But, for all the shortcomings in this department, many now concede that it is Ed himself who is the problem.
This problem goes way beyond his geeky personality and limited social skills, which some may argue are symptomatic of a man who has never had a proper job or worked in the real world.
The New Statesman article said, “Miliband is very much an old-style Hampstead socialist."
"He doesn’t really understand the lower middle class, or material aspiration. He doesn’t understand Essex Man or Woman. Politics for him must seem at times like an extended PPE seminar."
What’s so acutely damaging about these claims is that everyone knows they are completely true. Over the last few years, the Miliband agenda has lurched from one opportunistic brainwave to the next. He has failed to develop a compelling personal narrative and express his long-term plans, meaning voters cannot make a meaningful connection with him.
One senses that he entered politics at the wishes of his father, viewing elected office as the equivalent of holding a senior post at Oxford University, instead of a means for improving the lives of millions of people.
What little narrative the public have seen has been one of negativity: the relentless defence and championing of those who refuse to work and prefer to live on benefits; more emphasis placed on those on the dole than those who wake up at 6.30am and endure a ten-hour shift every day.
These foolhardy causes have alienated Labour from its traditional working class base, driving a wedge between those striving to build a better life and the party which is supposed to be helping them to achieve this.
With the clock ticking on the General Election next year, Labour is frequently polling level with the government, when it should be riding high. With growing economic confidence and a strong, and most importantly, prime ministerial sense of leadership from David Cameron, the Labour Party and their hapless leader are facing electoral annihilation if they fail to get a new front man.
Ed Miliband lacks the credentials and character to become Prime Minister. He simply does not have the energy or the passion to do the job justice, and the public knows this. Worse for Labour, the Tories do too.
As Obama strategist Jim Messina told a recent Tory away-day, 'I’ve never, ever lost an election in my life. And I'm not going to start with Ed Miliband.'
The Tory election machine is already in full-swing, with an aggressive and relentless mix of campaigning and a message of long-term economic planning. Labour would be wise to prepare for the worst. Ed Miliband doesn’t stand a chance.
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