sorry to hear that a close political ally has said your leadership has ” no strategy, no narrative and little energy”, I would find that kind of comment difficult to stomach so here is what I think.
I am not one to write to political leaders telling them what I think but on this occasion I sent him [or rather some lowly intern who reads his public emails] some simple advise. As a swing voter [and I swing to the left] I am not particularly concerned about a parties leader as substance overrides the personality but what I am looking for is the kind of leadership that inspires the politics worth voting for.
Over the last year or so Ed’s leadership is worthy of the criticism offered by Lord Glasman and I particularly agree Ed needs to show some courage. I feel all Ed needs to do to show courage, strategy, narrative and energy is be himself: you would be hard pressed to know who Ed really is judging by his performance. The current strategy is appears to be that of populist, a Blair 2.0 or a shadow Cameron. The message is about being likable, understanding of the common man and quick with criticism of the opposition but it is without substance. The real Ed is apparently an intellectual genius with a deep understanding of politics and an intelligent grasp of the issues.
Advisers have pressed the need to keep the message simple and to have smart soundbites for easy digestion so as not to scare the working classes who are turned off by anything remotely intellectual. Ultimately it is the right that have promoted the dumbing down of politics and the left who historically have striven to promote a better understanding of the issues that effect us. Now is a time when we really need to understand the issues.
Britain’s future is going to be very different to anything we have known:- climate change, economic downturn, unemployment, youth unemployment, energy inflation and lots of old people! I have witnessed unemployed youth on Question Time and other political debates demand the government do something but state job creation is a thing of the past, there are some things that can be done but ultimately it will be about us being clever and innovative. The youth and the unemployed in general will need to DIY by being passionate, clever and interesting and creating their own futures. The other option is to be more competitive with reduced wages, working conditions and lower expectations. Cultural conditioning has meant that youth will take on tens of thousands of pounds of debts for education but fear investing in their own business. Schools promote succeeding in academia but neglect developing passion and innovation. Our future rests with the values of the enlightenment which of course includes the academic but also free-thinking and passion and a man for the job could be Ed.
Dear Ed Miliband
please be courageous and be yourself, forget about the advisers and focus groups and start dazzling us with your alleged intellect. Be a leader, don’t fear the tabloid press, what are they going to do? call you academic? The leadership we need is as great as that shown after the war but the intellectual tradition behind that is part of your heritage so why not use it.
love and peace Jules