Features

Ed Miliband could still win. Here’s what would happen next

He’s not an out-and-out ideologue. But he is indecisive, full of strange ideas about business, and convinced that he’s a man of destiny

11 April 2015

9:00 AM

11 April 2015

9:00 AM

What if Ed Miliband wins? His victory is still seen, especially by those on the right, as a near-impossibility — an event so improbable as to defy the laws of political gravity. But then again, we’re three weeks away from the general election and still the Conservatives still haven’t managed to establish a convincing lead. He might yet defy the bookies. And what then?

Imagine it’s the morning of Friday 8 May. Prime Minister Miliband has just crossed the threshold of Downing Street, the famous door swinging shut behind him. What happens next?

One thing happens immediately. In that instant, he divests himself of his biggest negative. The perception that Ed Miliband simply does not look like a prime minister dies. The bacon sandwiches, the otherworldliness, the lonely sojourns on Hampstead Heath — they no longer matter. Within an hour, the analysts who spent the past year mocking him will start to talk about his resilience under pressure, his single-mindedness, the bold new direction in which Britain will go. This is how punditry works; all victories (and defeats) are retrospectively declared inevitable. He has the part, so by definition he looks the part.

So is he ready to play it? The Conservative party has built an entire election strategy on the assumption that the British people will answer that question with a resounding no. But Miliband would enter Downing Street with more experience then any newly elected prime minister of the past 35 years. Tony Blair had no hands-on knowledge of life inside government at any level. David Cameron had worked as an adviser but held no ministerial post. Ed Miliband has done both, as Environment Secretary and as a senior adviser at the Treasury. He understands how Whitehall works.

Speak to anyone who is in regular contact with Labour’s leader, and they all agree he is only too ready to embrace the top job. ‘He’s absolutely convinced he’s been pre-ordained for some big historical mission,’ one senior shadow cabinet member told me. ‘Don’t ask me what the hell it is. But he genuinely believes that.’ Another — rather less charitably — said, ‘Just because you think a lot it doesn’t necessarily make you a great thinker. Ed’s problem is that he regards himself as a great thinker. And he isn’t.’

Great thinker or not, allies confirm Prime Minister Miliband would call time on the ‘chillaxing’ culture that has come to define David Cameron’s management of Downing Street. One friend says, ‘He gets up early, and he’s into the media planning. Then it’s into meetings, and they’re scheduled back to back. The office will build in a bit of downtime, but then he won’t take it.’ Admirable as this is, it can create a problem. ‘You need space to sit back and breathe. Over the past five years Ed hasn’t had that. And if he gets into Downing Street I only see things getting worse.’

And here resides the paradox. As one aide explains, ‘The thing you have to understand about Ed Miliband is that his strengths are also his weaknesses.’ Speak to anyone who has worked at any level in Labour’s operation and they will praise their leader’s intellectual inquisitiveness, his empathy and his inclusiveness. But there is one other thing they all agree on: his congenital indecisiveness.


‘If Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister then what I want to know is how anyone will get a decision out of him,’ says one Labour MP. ‘Look at the time it’s taken to pull the manifesto together. Now place him on the slow rolling treadmill of government. Where’s a Queen’s Speech coming from?’ A shadow cabinet colleague agreed, and struggled to rationalise Miliband’s inability to assert authority. ‘I can’t fathom it. It’s like there’s a stubbornness there, a sort of arrogance. He almost takes a pride in refusing to make his mind up.’ Where does that stubbornness come from, I ask? ‘It’s how you’re brought up. There’s some weird stuff going on there.’

Another contradiction can be found in his loyalty to his much-maligned inner circle. One former aide points to the way he sticks by ‘some really useless people. It’s a massive blind spot with him. Not just his own staff, but MPs who have been with him since the beginning. On one level it’s commendable. But it would come back to bite him in government.’

Everyone I spoke to saw the ‘Red Ed’ caricature as a Tory and media construct. ‘He worked in Gordon Brown’s Treasury, explaining to Labour MPs why they had to stick to Ken Clarke’s spending limits,’ said one ally, ‘and he didn’t lose any sleep over it.’ Although he now claims to have opposed the Iraq war, no one can remember him doing so at the time. A more agnostic MP told me, ‘There’s a reason why Ed and Len McCluskey don’t get on, and it isn’t because they’re ideological soulmates.’

Several of Milliband’s favourite ideas are about not what he’d do with government, but what he’d do to companies. One of the latest, last weekend, was a plan to divert money from Help-to-Buy Isa savings accounts into the home-building sector — a plan to create 125,000 more houses. This is a theme of Miliband’s government: he recognises that he won’t have much money to throw around, so would like to meet his social objectives by issuing more instructions to business. He calls this ‘pre-distribution’ — using regulation, rather than the tax system, to move money about. Capping energy prices, for example, or breaking up banks.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, and Chuka Umunna, the shadow business minister, have spent the past few months attempting to reassure Britain’s business chiefs that if elected they will water down their leader’s niche brand of anti-capitalism. Balls has let it be known that he does not endorse the simplistic ‘producers vs predators’ dividing line Miliband drew in his 2011 conference speech, while Umunna has been lobbying internally for Labour to build a stronger partnership with the business community.

Given the suspicion in which Balls and Umunna are held by the Miliband inner circle, it is by no means certain that they would retain their briefs in Miliband’s first cabinet. This in turn would create one of the great uncertainties of a Miliband premiership: neither he nor anyone around him has any experience in business. For all their bright ideas about what companies could do for them, they haven’t a clue whether their various means of exerting pressure will work — or what unintended consequences may follow. One head of a FTSE100 company recently granted a rare audience with the putative First Lord of the Treasury sat dumbstruck as Miliband asked him, ‘Why exactly do you need to pay your shareholders dividends?’

Miliband’s supporters claim, with some justification, that if you assess his leadership to date, his strongest moments have been when the pressure is on. ‘Every time he’s been backed into a corner, he’s come out fighting,’ says a friend. ‘With Rupert Murdoch, the battle with Unite over Falkirk, confronting the energy companies.’ A shadow cabinet supporter agrees. ‘This is the guy who took out his own brother. He’s tough enough.’

His critics, with equal justification, point to the fact that Miliband’s lack of strategic thinking and numerous tactical blunders are what leave him constantly backed into corners in the first place. ‘Yes, I suppose he would be good at dealing with the 3 a.m. call,’ says one former shadow minister, ‘so long as he remembers to plug in the phone, can find the phone and doesn’t drop the phone when he tries to pick it up.’

Which brings us back to that Prime Minister Miliband paradox. He thinks, but he also over-thinks. He listens, but he cannot decide. He fights hard, but finds himself fighting on too many fronts simultaneously.

But one thing cannot be denied: Labour has, as a party, held together. Traditionally, it disembowels itself after losing office. Under Miliband, this has not happened. According to one shadow cabinet member, this may be Miliband’s greatest accomplishment. ‘The great crisis facing both of the main parties is how we hold it all together,’ he says. ‘Everything’s cracking: Ukip, the SNP. Now, whatever you think of Ed Miliband, he’s found a way of gluing things over the past five years. He’s given Labour a chance of breaking the cycle of defeat followed by defeat. So maybe if he won he could do that for the country.’

Maybe he could. Maybe he couldn’t. The problem is, there’s only one way to know for sure.

event

Hear Dan Hodges on ‘View from 22’. Dan Hodges is a former Labour party and trade union official, and writes for the Telegraph.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Darnell Jackson

    This is a novelty, comments allowed on a Hodges piece.

    The lights will go out Dan, that’s what will happen if Milliband somehow wins.

    • GraveDave

      At least no one will fear writing about it. In fact the Sun, The DT, The Spectator, The DM etc., will relish it. Unlike with the Tories, whose criminal
      f–k ups tend to go almost unmentioned by the aforementioned presses.
      Btw, the last time the lights went out it was another Tory put them out.

      • woohoo02

        Red Tory or Blue Labour as long as the Loony Left has a stranglehold on policy, the lights will indeed go out.
        The time of Left Wing Governments, masquerading as Centrists are over, the scales have fallen off too many eyes.
        No matter what the rigged Polls say, the truth will-out on May the 8th.

        • GraveDave

          as long as the Loony Left has a stranglehold on policy, the lights will indeed go out.

          Metaphorically speaking -perhaps.

          • Mr TaxPayer

            They’ll go out for real on cold windless days. A few thousand dead pensioners and a population unable to charge their smartphones will see a clamour for building proper power stations.

          • Pacificweather

            I like a good power station me. Just not in my back yard.

      • Rick.Brown

        I think you will find it was caused by the trades unions.

        • GraveDave

          And your failure to handle them.

          • Rick.Brown

            Don’t blame me – I was living outside the country then.

        • Pacificweather

          Phew! That’s OK then. None of those left now. Trade unions or employer subsidies? It’s not an easy choice if you want to cut the deficit.

    • global city

      Perhaps the country needs a calamitous period of Labour government to purge both socialism and ‘light blue’ toryism from mainstream UK politics once and for all.

      • Carvetii

        Yep. I’m still confused how Brown didn’t convince a generation not to vote socialist, but hey-ho, I guess we still haven’t hit rock bottom yet.

        Thing is, anyone who is even considering voting labour only has to take in recent headlines from France to see what ‘paradise’ awaits after Miliband victory…

        • MountainousIpswich

          France, Greece, Venezuela. The socialist idiots in this country are like dinosaurs, with a brain to match, voting for the asteroid.

          • wudyermucuss

            They have been given too much leeway.
            Confront them,and they crumble,like their insane ideology.

          • Orderandprogress

            You could add Brazil, ruined over the past 13 years of “Workers Party” mismanagement.

          • Paul Cooke

            Socialism working a bit….Bolivia, reduction in extreme poverty and a growing economy.Socialism not working, Mozambqiue post-independence, a growing economy but South Africa start a civil war. It is usually
            torn down by others for it to work….

        • Aberrant_Apostrophe

          Labour has a growing dependent base: the majority of the Public Sector, welfare claimants and the majority of immigrants. By actively growing all three areas it will be only a matter of time before their numbers exceed the threshold to give Labour a clear majority in the HoC.

          • CommonSense Matters

            The Public Sector – remind me, is that the place that the Conservatives have sold off to private enterprise – where vast private profit is made through providing poor quality services to all those ‘dependents’. Exactly what’s your criteria for ascribing ‘dependent’. Do you understand irony?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            a) Correct.
            b) Good.
            c) Live with it.

          • Francis Grose

            Labour will never form a natural majority government again. Scotland has gone to the SNP for the foreseeable future, and given we have FPTP voting, as a result goes the necessary MP’s for Labour to rule alone.

            Ed has shown he can’t cut a deal with the Right of his own party, let alone any other party. He can only strike leftwards, towards the SNP / PC / SF / Greens, and towards further disintegration of the political and economic status quo.

          • Fraziel

            You might wonder why it is that the tories treat those people like thay are scum. I understand opposition to unskilled mass immigration, yet the tories do nothing about it. I understand the opposition to a massive welfare state where people get large sums for doing nothing, although many welfare claimants are now treated like criminals. Why? Not all of them are lazy wasters not wanting a job, in fact most are not. As for public sector workers many of them are low paid ( 82% of dwp staff earn under 20 k a year) and work incredibly hard under very trying conditions, yet the tories treat them like they are worthless parasites.

            Maybe they should consider that and a lot more of those groups of people ( especially the latter 2)would vote for them. If they lose, as now looks likely, they only have themselves and the appalling way they treat such large sections of society, to blame.

            Now being a floating voter i do not especially like labour but losing to miliband? What an utter humiliation that will be. Some hard questons will need to be asked and , i suspect, the tories will turn even further right and lose even more votes.

        • global city

          somebody who gets on TV needs to be regularly raising that issue for potential voters to cogitate on!

        • Ron Todd

          I am still confused how Wilson / Callaghan didn’t convince people not to vote Labour for the rest of eternity.

          • Pacificweather

            They kept the baby boomers out of Vietnam and the unemployment quadrupled under Thatcher. That probably accounts for it. If you had said Blair/Brown I think you will get the answer to that question next month. Mr Ed may reap what he helped to sow.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The Vietnam war was from 1954 to 1975. UK baby boom was 1957 to 1972. No UK boomer was even 18 before the war ended you twerp.

          • loveandchains

            Er… I think you’ll find that a bobyboomer is officially someone born between 1946 and 1963. So yes, many of us were !8 and older before the war ended and I could have been one Wilson kept out of the war.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            No. You are thinking of the US babyboom. We only had a blip of babies 1945-48. Our boom was 1957 to 1972 peaking in 1964/5 . It is amazing how many get this wrong, seeings how so much depends on correctly predicting demographics. It is due to the poor quality of journalists and the media constantly parroting inaccurate facts.
            Nobody born 1949 to 56 in the UK can call themselves a boomer, we had no boom.

          • Pacificweather

            Google ‘baby boomers’ and check the dates. It referes to the baby boom that occured when the soldiers returned from the second world war. An apology won’t be expected.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            No apology required. Google is wrong. You too are wrong to accept second hand information. Go and look at the ONS data. Look at UK births and you will see the peak years were 1945 to 48( the returning soldiers you speak of) but then a huge lull until 1958. Unlike the US we had no boom from 45 to 65, ours was 58 to 73.
            Only today the BBC got this wrong on PM at 5 o clock saying UK birth rates were now the highest since the 1950s. But in the 50s we had average births, the peak year was 1965.
            Check out Barry Pearsons well regarded blog on babyboom myths perpetuated by our lazy media who rarely check facts.

          • Pacificweather

            I was using the press definition whereas you may have actually done the work. I always respect someone who does the work. I’ll check the data as you suggest and get back to you.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            An excellent starting point is Gavin Weightmans blog on the babyboom myth. It is frankly ludicruous of the media and government to keep repeating this, especially as so much socio-economic planning turns on using accurate statistics. Numbers of births between 1949 & 1958 were at least 1.3 million lower thsn in the years before and after.

          • Pacificweather

            According to the ONS, 1947 was the highest year with 881,026 live births and 1964 was the next with 875,972.

            However, 1946 to 1949 were all high years and qualify as a baby boom. As does the later boom.

            http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/birth-summary-tables–england-and-wales/2010/birth-summary-tables–england-and-wales-2010–13-07-11.xls

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Yes. Like I said. 1946-48 were high. Demographers call it a baby blip. 1949 went below 730,000 births and we only hit 1948 levels again in 1960.The sustained boom was 1958 to 1972 for fifteen years. Of course the really peak year was 1921 after the Spanish flu and WW1 when we had well over a million births. Those people reaching age 24 in 1945 contributed to an echo boom in 1946.
            Average births 1949-59 were 696,000 per year. 1960 to 70 were 824,000. Fully 1.25 million more births in a decade.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The Wilson years,1964 to were the best years the UK ever had.

      • Peter Stroud

        I don’t think we can risk the luxury of going down that path.

      • Darnell Jackson

        You may be right

      • jeffersonian

        If only. All that’ll happen is that we educate another young generation newly hatched out of their Marxist uni that the only way forward is down. (Although of course it’ll be described as a great progressive leap)

        • global city

          If the Tories win they will do nothing about the serious infiltration of academe you outline. Thatcher didn’t and neither has Cameron.

          The Marxist mess goes much further than that also…. neither did anything about those areas (like the vestiges of the command economy infrastructure like local authorities and nationalised companies being privatised rather than first being re-decentralised).

        • mrs 1234

          Also Labour intend to lower the age for voters to 16 so that means once they are in they will never be voted out until of course Muslim parties spring up and no longer need the Labour Party. Unfortunately for the UK and especially the English everything is pointing to a Labour victory.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Mouth breather. My daughter is at Sussex Uni’ doing History. She has studied Marxist theory and finds it utter tripe as one would expect.

          • mrs 1234

            Despite it seeming to be the knee-jerk, or simply jerk, response of a lot of people these days does not mean that responding with a personal insult to a point of view with which you happen not to agree lends your counter ‘argument’ weight. On the contrary it has the opposite effect and also it is a terrible example to set your daughter.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Um, Marxism and tripe are not insults.

      • James

        I am not convinced the UK could recover from Labour.

        • colchar

          Has it recovered from Labour’s last period in office?

          • James

            Nope. A friend is a Chief economist has convinced me to move abroad for the next 10 years – my immediate family left when Blair got in and stupidly I stayed.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope more Tories leave soon.

          • James

            Not sure how you and your wife would be supported on benefits without an economy.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            My wife and I earn £2,000 a week. We get no Benefits. But we are not greedy or idiotic like yourself.

          • James

            Idiotic is the troll who disagrees with my post – despite being backed up by the IFS and IMF.

        • Pacificweather

          If it can recover from Gordon Brown it can recover from anything. Ed is going to end employer subsidies. Dave my be saving that as his secret weapon to be used closer to May 7th. That would give him victory in coalition. If he is really convincing even a working majority.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Cameron wants not to tax millionaires when they die.

          • Pacificweather

            You can’t tax dead people but you can tax their heirs. I’ll settle for £999,999.

      • colchar

        Are you forgetting the Blair/Brown years? The country has already had that, and sadly it didn’t lead to their disappearance.

      • Sam Seal

        Good idea. Better vote Labour then, eh?

    • Kingbingo

      Indeed, normally Hodges is so odious and desperate to incite acts of violence against UKIP politicians and members that his comments section needs disabling to avoid being called out for his….how to put this….

      “the fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists”

      • Johnnydub

        Spot on. Dan Hodges is an anti white racist.

    • Molly NooNar

      This is the typical rubbish that we’ve become so use to. Fear used as a weapon. It is absolute nonsense, life will go on just the same as it did before. Just like the Greeks were warned the world would end if they elected Syriza, but no everything still seems just as it was before.

      This idea that we can’t trust the public to vote for what it thinks is the best candidate/policy platform is disgraceful. I’m just waiting for the Tories to complain about the unfairness of the electoral system, yet they were happy to ram it down our throats and refuse to change it. No sympathy here.

      • MountainousIpswich

        No – if Miliband wins, not only will the lights go out, the country will go bankrupt, many people will lose their jobs, and the Russians will invade.

        • GraveDave

          The Cold War had to be the biggest con in our history.
          But look how secure the world was under the USSR.
          Now we’ve got our own little USSR.

          • wudyermucuss

            Ah yes,Cuba,Hungary,Czechoslovakia………..good days comrade,good days……

          • rtj1211

            Vietnam? Assassination of legitimately elected leaders in Chile and Congo?? The list of governments overthrown and wars undergone by the USA since 1945 is remarkably longer than that of USSR/Russia……

          • wudyermucuss

            All in response to the spread of communism.
            The right response to a totalitarian and failed ideology.
            In my name.
            We won.
            We’ll win against the Islamists too.
            Because we have right on our side,and might.
            PS Feel free to move to Russia,China or North Korea anytime.
            No?

          • ramesesthegrumbler

            Really? Care to provide a couple of lists so that we can see?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)

            Guatemala 1954

            Indonesia 1958

            Cuba 1959-1961

            Guatemala 1960

            Congo 1964

            Laos 1964-73

            Vietnam 1961-73

            Cambodia 1969-70

            Guatemala 1967-69

            Grenada 1983

            Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)

            Libya 1986

            El Salvador 1980s

            Nicaragua 1980s

            Iran 1987

            Panama 1989

            Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)

            Kuwait 1991

            Somalia 1993

            Bosnia 1994, 1995

            Sudan 1998

            Afghanistan 1998

            Yugoslavia 1999

            Yemen 2002

            Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)

            Iraq 2003-05

            Afghanistan 2001-05

          • ramesesthegrumbler

            Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
            Nope that was USSR/Chinese aggression.

            Indonesia 1958
            China again.

            Cuba 1959-1961
            USSR sponsored coup.

            Congo 1964
            USSR sponsored coup.

            Laos 1964-73
            Chinese expansionism. USSR aggression.

            Vietnam 1961-73
            Chinese expansionism.

            Cambodia 1969-70
            Viet Cong expansionism.

            Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
            Soviet backed agitation.

            Libya 1986
            Soviet backed agitation.

            El Salvador 1980s
            Soviet backed agitation.

            Nicaragua 1980s
            Soviet backed agitation.

            Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
            You are joking right?

            Kuwait 1991
            Same action as Iraq 1991 surely?

            Somalia 1993
            UN sponsored intervention.

            Bosnia 1994, 1995
            UN sponsored intervention.

            Sudan 1998
            Islamic insurgency.

            Afghanistan 1998
            ?? Soviet intervention 1980 was at the root of this.

            Yugoslavia 1999
            UN sponsored intervention.

            Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)
            The consequence of UN failure to follow through and remove Saddam Hussain and his fellow butchers from power.

            Afghanistan 2001-05
            UN action.

            You missed the following USSR Military interventions/aggressions.

            Ukrainian War of Independence (1917–1921)
            Finnish Civil War (1918)
            Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920)
            Estonian War of Independence (1918–1920)
            Lithuanian–Soviet War (1918–1919)
            Georgian-Ossetian Conflict (1918–1920)
            Polish–Soviet War (1919–1921)
            Invasion of Azerbaijan (1920)
            Invasion of Georgia (1921)
            China (1929)
            Japan (1932-1941) – although the Japanese were just as guilty.
            Xinjiang (1937)
            Poland (1939–1956)
            Baltic states (1940–1991)
            Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (1940)
            Hungary (1945)
            Romania (1945)
            Bulgaria (1945)
            Czechoslovakia (1945)
            Eastern Germany (1945)
            Austria 1945–1955
            Manchuria 1945–1946
            Kuril Islands 1945
            Hungary 1956
            Czechoslovakia (1968–1991)
            Chinese border wars 1969
            War of Attrition (1969–1970) with Egypt against Israel
            Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
            Eritrean War of Independence (1974–1990)
            Angolan Civil War (1975-89)
            Ethio-Somali War (1977–1978)
            Afghanistan 1979–1989
            Lithuania 1990

            … and that’s not even a complete list and excludes all those civil wars and coups they financed in Africa, Central/South America, Asia etc.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Nincompoop.

          • MountainousIpswich

            The biggest con in history?

            I’d love to say you’re a Putinbot, but even Putinbots aren’t that stupid. What are you, 12?

          • colchar

            Well that is clearly his IQ.

        • Mode4

          The Country is bankrupt, Dave made sure of that and yes I fully expect to see Putin running up the beaches to claim our enormous debt for himself. He’s that sort of guy.

          • Thomtids

            It seems that the Treasury has decided to test the theory that Fiat Economies don’t go bust, they just keep printing money and, thereby, devalue the savings and income therefrom designated in that Currency. The BoE (British Govt.) has temporarily put money-printing on hold whilst the ECB takes up the Torch and steals 40 billions a month from its depositors.
            Have the Americans stopped pissing into the pot yet?
            Or is the standard idea now that it isn’t “real” money and you just borrow the extra interest that you pay on our £1,500,000,000,000 National Debt? Or you designate your currency in leaves and loiter around deciduous forests in late Autumn (as Douglas Adams observed).

          • colchar

            Wrong, it was the previous Labour administrations that bankrupted the country – you are conveniently forgetting about the ‘no money left’ note.

          • Paul Cooke

            No, wrong, it was the previous tory admin who did thaty. What was it 43 per cent, and Labour got it down to 35…And I am sure the same goes for the previous, previous, previous…no nation can balance its book….the UK has never and never will.

          • Paul Wyatt

            Strange then that between 1997 and 2008 the Labour Government actually brought the National Debt down. It was only when the banks crashed that we had the problems. Mervyn King now admits it was not a Goverment Problem but down to the banks. And as for Tory claims of Poor regulation, was it Not David Cameron who as Shadow Chancellor repeatedly told then banks if he was in power then there would be less regulation to let the banks do what they were good at. Which appears to be Rat Rigging scandals, Tax Haven Accounts etc. Mr Osborne because of Poor/Lack of investment and non use of fiscal multipliers has doubled our debt in five years by borrowing more money than ALL Previous Labour Governments to give us a GDP of about 250 Miollion less than he predicted. A nice days work if you ask me. Hope he’s not being paid on a results basis.

          • davidofkent

            Not entirely true. Gordon Brown doubled the National Debt. That would not have been required if he had built up resources during the very good economic years, but he was busy bribing his client state.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Brown aimed for debt never to exceed 40% of GDP. Cameron has managed 90%.

          • Squatter

            Utter rubbish.

          • Squatter

            Wrong. It had nothing to do with the banks and your facts are wrong & dates cherry picked.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            If Labour had bankrupted the UK we would be unable to borrow, but the Tories have borrowed £650 billion in 5 years.

          • Squatter

            They had no choice because of Brown’s borrowing spree.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The country is better off than at any time since 1967.

          • Squatter

            Brown and the Red Eds bankrupted the country.

        • berosos_bubos

          and many more old people will die in the cold.

          • colchar

            Oh spare me…the claims that old people die in the cold in the UK are ridiculous yet are swallowed hook, line, and sinker by those who are too lazy to think for themselves and actually look at the reality of the statistics or the government reports. Here in Canada we have winters the likes of which you cannot imagine in Britain and we lose an average of 100 people per year to the cold – and most of them are fools who pass out drunk on the way home, those whose cars break down in isolated areas, the homeless, etc. If we only lose about 100 per year despite enduring conditions the likes of which you in Britain cannot imagine, how can anyone claim that thousands of British seniors are dying in the relatively mild winters that you lot experience? To claim that the elderly are dying from the cold in the UK is just stupid, especially if you read the government reports on excess winter deaths as I have (have you ever done so???). A couple of years ago they said that a decrease in deaths was due to that year being a year in which the flu wasn’t as bad. Being warm does not prevent anyone from getting a virus like the flu! And one of the categories of deaths that are included in those statistics is poisonings. Poisonings for Pete’s sake! What, exactly, do they have to do with the cold??? Those deaths pad the statistics but have nothing whatsoever to do with the cold. Another category of deaths is those that occur from circulatory diseases – and those deaths can occur year round but spike during the winter because of excess food and alcohol consumption, as well as stress, around the holidays. Again, those deaths pad the statistics but have nothing whatsoever to do with the cold. Another category is dementia and alzheimer’s – what the hell do either of those have to do with the cold??? The problem is that those who campaign for extra benefits for the elderly take the number of excess winter deaths and claim people are dying from the cold when that is not at all the case…it simply isn’t true and is nothing but PR spin (I work in PR and know spin the instant I see it – and whoever spun those stats and got people in the UK believing that seniors are dying from the cold did a GREAT job because far too many of you believe that tripe). If you look at the actual statistics you will find that warmer countries, like Spain and Portugal, have more excess winter deaths than the UK does and that colder Scandinavian countries have fewer excess winter deaths so how, exactly, can you (or anyone else) blame those excess winter deaths in the UK on the cold when the facts simply do not support that claim?

          • rtj1211

            Actually thousands more DO die in Britain each and every winter. It’s mostly because for decades we built poor houses, fueled by cheap coal and/or oil/gas. It left us dangerously unprepared for expensive energy, which leads to people turning off the gas in the winter as they can’t afford the extra bills.

            In Canada you’d have social disorder if you built houses the way the Brits build them – you’d all die the first winter.

            Because we only have a hard winter about every 10 years, our housebuilders have got away with shoddy rubbish for generations……

          • Pacificweather

            Thank the industrialists for global warming. Cold is now a thing of the past.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            I prefer to see it as cold people dying of old age.

          • Squatter

            Dumb.

        • colchar

          And Argentina will invade the Falklands again.

          • Pacificweather

            Dave wants them to do it before the election.

        • Pacificweather

          Putin would make a great British prime minister. The country is looking for a strong leader. Cheap oil, cheap vodka, what’s not to like?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Plus an easy win at the Eurovision.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Please explain how if Miliband wins the election the Russians will invade the UK. Will they blitzkrieg across Moldova, Belarus, Poland ,Romania. Germany. Belgium and France and then cross the Channel. Or will they sail through the Dardenelles across the med’ , through the straits of Gibraltar and up past Falmouth? Maybe they will wait until late summer and go ,through the Baltic and round Denmark. You twit.

      • Paul Cooke

        Thank you Molly, this is the most balanced thing I have read in the whole campaign, you should run.

        • Molly NooNar

          I’d only ever run to be a councillor, there’s no value in being an MP as far as I’m concerned. Moaning to a chamber half of whom are asleep if even present or ranting into a camera just doesn’t do anything for me. There is no prospect of changing the madness that reigns. If Guy Fawkes lived in these times, he’d be a folk hero rather than public villain.

          • Paul Cooke

            Good point. I remember many years ago in the late 80s, I think I was 14 and I was fooling around in class and my teacher told me to grow up, so I said, what be an adult like the politicians in the houses of parliament and shout and scream at each other…You are right. Local is better, after being a community worker for years and years, local is best. Although I have come across my share of local MPs….I class Guy Fawkes as a folk hero but yes indeed he would be more now. I take it you know the comic and film, V fo9r Vandedattea? Your comment was the most balanced and honest I have heard though.. Things done really change as much as they tell us, no one talks about Bolivia and how socialism has improved extreme poverty by 40 per cent or how their economy is growing, or how 85 per cent of the population now have more rights….I just wish more people would vote, 15 million is a big number and I understand why not, but I wish 15 million would spoil the ballot papers..Viva la Revolucion….

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Happy 40th birthday. Mr Naive.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            To be a local councillor one must be simultaneously deluded and bereft of any talent, while overly eager to hector one’s neighbours.

    • copywriter

      Shouldn’t your post be top of the list when “Sort by Best” is selected?

      • Darnell Jackson

        Only if it has the most up votes

    • Squatter

      Correct.

  • ohforheavensake

    But Dan…. You’ve told me Milliband was toast. Over and over and over.

    You weren’t… wrong, were you?

    • john p reid

      Maybe it’s the Ukip vote splitting the right vote,, then there’s the lets labour win, they’re so bad they’re out of power for a generation, and we get rid of Cam and get PM Boris in 2020

      Circa, let Ted Heath lose, labour are rubbish 1974-1979 and have a decade of Mrs T.

      • fubar_saunders

        stranger things have happened. I did think back in 2010 that we were in for another re-run of 1970-79 all over again.

        So far, its not beyond the possibility of being played out exactly like that.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Odgers is wrong. Miliband is the only possible candidate for PM in 24 days time.The only imponderable is which of the tiny irrelevant parties wins a few concessions by propping him up.
          Live with it Tories. A Jew. The son of a Marxist intellectual will be picking your stuffed pockets for 5 years.

          • fubar_saunders

            We’ll soon see. Makes no odds that he’s a jew, who gives a toss about that?

            As for the stuffed pockets… we’ll see. We’ll see who it affects most, what happens to capital, what happens to sterling… your sneering says more than you think.

            Its not about the public, is it? Its about power. Its never been about the public. Youre no different to the tories. Just more public school educated millionaires who pander to the “Im hard done by, me” shtick that plays out in the heartland consistuencies full of hate filled benefit dependent people with chips on thier shoulders, like you, where Labour has returned MPs for nearly a century and the places are still cackholes.

            He may well be the next PM. If five years of Wallace is what it takes to get Labour kicked out for a generation like they were post-1979, so be it.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            I am neither benefit dependent nor public school educated. I also live in one of the safest Tory seats in the country.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        loose

        • Pacificweather

          Ted Heath’s unchained melodies. An album from beyond the grave could be a hit for the conductor of the three day week.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I’d keep quiet about Ted the Sailor man if I were you. Paedophile is one thing, but child murderer is in an entirely different league.

        • The problem with Michael Shrimpton, Geoffrey Dickens, David Icke and even Simon Danzuk is that they are all really fantasists to some degree; but then since you have lived in Japan (or Malaysia, or Thailand) rather than in England or elsewhere in Britain since the year 1971 (or the year 1972, dependent on the level of your medications within your system on that particular day!), you MUST know England better than me, I am sure! “It is on the Internet, therefore it must be true!”

          Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are semi-independent Countries with (at least nominally) no direct control by the British Home Government. Ted Heath would had quite literally stepped on a practically (especially for him) fully-foreign piece of land, the moment he disembarked his boat and landed onshore in a port in Jersey.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        Could anyone. In all honesty. When all is said and done. At the end of the day. When it comes down to the wire. Could anyone, ever, ever imagine how totally and utterly awful the UK would be if the Bulgarian aristocrat Boris Pfeffel Johnson were PM?

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Mili who?
      Let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly.

      • loveandchains

        Correct. After the election we can do away with the Mili/Milli band problem altogether…Evertone can just refer to him as ‘Prime Minister’

    • Tiberii_filius

      If it turns out that he is wrong, I wouldn’t recommend a party. Only a nutter would want to celebrate the British electorate repeating its mistakes of 1997, 2001, and 2005, mistakes much of it acknowledges.
      Does anyone know if lemmings are deemed to be sane or insane?

      • Pacificweather

        The majority of votes were not for Labour in all those years. But we love our post code democracy so much we voted for it.

      • davidofkent

        Don’t forget the big mistake in 1974.

        • loveandchains

          Or the appalling mistake of 1979…

          • Indeed, Iran becoming an Islamic Republic.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Or the abysmal mistake of 2010 facilitated by those shisters in the Lib Dems.

  • john p reid

    As a Labour Party member, I dont think the Tories or UKIP are any more right wing than New Labour, In fact they’re both much less authoritarian

    • GraveDave

      The Tories are right wing enough – just as long it’s a safe bet and ‘populist’. Like with prisons, justice, austerity, benefit reform, fat white people and chavs. Just as long as it’s not rocking the PC boat too much.

      • Extoryfruitcake

        Wilipedia – “Populism is a political doctrine
        that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the general people, especially contrasting those interests with the interests of the elite.” Something wrong with such a doctrine in your opinion?

        • GraveDave

          You say conceptions I say perceptions.

          • Extoryfruitcake

            You are clearly happy to invent your own definitions then.
            However, “Perception” – the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding. Either word will do for me. Populism is the opposite of elitism, and I’ve had my fill of elitism.

      • john p reid

        A tory Home Secretary who’s had moreublic inquiries into historical alleged police malpractice,than labour did, hardly tough on prisoners, law etc, 20,000 police cut,and police budgets halved to breaking point,

        • john p reid

          And gay marriage

        • GraveDave

          I did say populist. As long as it looks and sounds good enough on paper.

        • Pacificweather

          Well that’s definitely a reason to vote Tory.

          • john p reid

            Criminals probably think cutting police by 10% is good too, less of them to catch em

          • Pacificweather

            But fewer of them will be inside the force which balances things out.

          • john p reid

            Balances it out, ther was 130,000 police apparently 1% dodgy so that 1,300

            And crime doubled, under the Tories and violent crime is going up, you really think crime doubling in the 80’s was only 1,300 people?, lol

          • Pacificweather

            Crime figures fell to a new low in January 2015. May be that’s because of early retirement.

          • john p reid

            I suppose less police men’s less criminals get caught, but violent crime went up, and in lots of areas of England all crime went up

          • Pacificweather

            You have been reading the Daily Mail again. It will make you go blind just like your Dad told you it would.

          • john p reid

            Don’t get the dad reference,
            funnily enough I had just read the daily mail,and they’re saying the complete opposite,saying where Labour people too increase police numbers,it’s doesn’t make sense as the person who advised Labour on reforming police officers, was former Met commisioner John Stevens who’s being investigated by the IPCC over not telling everything about the Stephen Lawrence investigation ,despite the investigation onset criminal and is just a inquiry,nothing proved,that this somehow undermines Labour,this is th same mail,that when it coe sto investigations, regarding corruption forget that the party they support,is the same ine who’s former head of PR Andy Coulson,use to be editor of the sun and is in prison,

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3033361/Labour-vows-protect-10-000-bobbies-police-adviser-faces-investigation-Stephen-Lawrence-murder-cover-claims.html

          • Pacificweather

            The article is the Daily Mail is their tarring with the same brush technique. In the print version it will say the opposite a few pages later. Boris Johnson always says the opposite further down the page in the same article but he is a man in a hurry. The Dad reference is that the Daily Mail is mental masturbation. Think opiate of the people with photos of women in bikinis thrown in for good measure.

          • john p reid

            Well the Mail,reference falls down, by my dislike of them swearing at Miliband and police numbers, then.

  • misomiso

    At the moment, nothing scares the Labour party more than winning and putting Ed M in Downing Street.

    • Carvetii

      Do you think Miliband might win the election and then have an ‘accident’ just a few weeks later? Then another unelected PM is inflicted on the country..?

  • Andrew MacDonald

    Criticising Miliband for lack of strategic thought while Cameron is in Downing St is faintly ridiculous.

  • Fraser Bailey

    So Dan, after years of saying that Miliband couldn’t win, you are finally coming around to that which has been obvious to many of us for years. Namely, that so many people are dependent on the state that it is very difficult for Labour to lose, that the boundary system etc favours Labour, and that although the Tories have actually governed rather well, they have not changed the terms of our society for the better, thus there is no real reason to vote for them.

    • Pacificweather

      The Tories governed rather well because they had the LibDems on their shoulder and chose employer subsidies over 4 million unemployed but don’t let me influence you to vote for them.

  • GettyRos

    What choice is there with either Cameron or Miliband. Cameron is bereft of truth genes and Miliband is bereft of logical thoughts. They are both fake and both seem to be very bad actors on a very large stage.

    We have nothing to lose to keep voting for UKIP…..they may be an unknown quantity, but judging by the history of the other two parties, they can only be an improvement.

  • RavenRandom

    Thought you said Miliband was definitely toast. What’s changed?
    I have to say the quote on dividends is alarming for a man who wants to be PM.

  • madasafish

    Look at teh shambles about non doms. Balls opposes it in January and supports it in April.

    Now imagine that in Government. Hollande will appear a genius by comparison.

    • tb303

      Aren’t we forgetting the multitude of U-turns cameron’s lot have made over the last five years, especially in the first two.

      • woohoo02

        Whichever flavour of Socialism, red or blue, they are definitely in it together, this election campaign has turned into a farce, as the right side of the zombie tries to deny the existence of the left and vice versa.
        Farage and UKIP have told the electorate about the challenges this country faces straight, no one can deny that.It is time to give the new guy a chance.

        • global city

          Unless UKIP ditch the strategy of placing immigration at the centre of everything (rather than the EU) they will have missed the chance to achieve what you (and I) wish.

          • wudyermucuss

            Immigration is at the centre of everything.
            A country is its people and their culture.
            Let’s say war starts,Russia expands into Europe.
            Can you imagine conscription?
            No,me neither.

          • Pacificweather

            We would either have to constript the Eastern Europeans or starve. Can you imagine today’s youth digging for victory. Tommy Atkins writes home to ask his mum for a new iPhone because he dropped his in the mud at the bottom of the trench. Fortunately, an armistice is called so Spielberg can make the movie.

          • wudyermucuss

            Nonsense.
            You underrate our people.

            I was thinking more of our mass immigration conscripts many of whom would,of course,prefer to fight for the other side,(and actually are).

          • Pacificweather

            We plough the seeds and scatter the good seed on the land
            but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand.
            He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain
            And then he sends Hungarians to pick it all again.

            All good things around us are sent from Heaven above. That is what we are calling the EU these days isn’t it? Heaven.

            I am sure with the right realtity TV show about crop picking our nation would rise to the occasion. The Carrot Factor. Britain’s Got Cabbges. I’m a Celebrity Get Me a Turnip.

      • MountainousIpswich

        Ed Miliband has had five years to write a manifesto. He’s doing it 2 weeks before the election as proven by Balls dismissing the non dom thing just 3 months back.

        • Pacificweather

          Employer subsidies are killing the Tory vote. Even Dave has seen the problem. He just needs to make up his mind to risk gaining more than he will lose by announcing he will end them.

    • gelert

      Miliband never mentions the Hollande he lavished praise on only two years ago.

    • joeblond

      That’ll be the non-dom policy that has a 77% public approval in a YouGov survey, presumably.

      • G. P. Brown

        Yes. The politics of envy that patently pervades Labour thinking does seem to resonate with many.

        Was the poll conducted before or after Mr Balls comments and the £8bn contributed annually were available to help them understand the consequences for the country?

        • Pacificweather

          The politics of envy have been renamed the politics of aspiration. Back in the day people aspired to be rich enough to vote Tory but they have made it such a distant dream their vote has collapsed. 44% of the vote is now their distant dream because they killed the aspiration vote. Margaret new how to get 52 seats out of a 2% vote reduction. She was the master of aspiration.

    • Recce

      With the exception of the Ed Balls piece, I think the non-dom issue has been a campaign victory for Labour. Through the simple tactic of bait-and-switch Labour got the Tories to defend the abolition of non-dom status, and then switched it for the abolition of the inherited non-dom status, about 10% of non-doms. By Newsnight it was all about defence of the inheritable status from Labour.
      Watching Daily Politics yesterday, at the end of interview with Labour, asked the question was this an abolition of tinkering of the rules, there was a pause, a strong statement of denial, and then just on the end a soft statement of inherited status. I really think this was the plan from the start.

      • MountainousIpswich

        Non doms contribute no less than £8 billion to the economy annually. The equivalent of 10 million people on the basic rate. That’s purely on the money they hand over and doesn’t count how many people they employ or how much they invest in British businesses.

        End that non dom status (Plus raise corporation tax, mansion tax, banker taxes etc) and that income will drop to £0. And it won’t come back. Where does Ed Miliband think he’s going to find 10 million ordinary workers to fill that income gap?

        It’s a policy that is literally suicidal for the British economy. The man will bankrupt this country. He is not only an imbecile he is actively dangerous. And idiots lap it up because they’ve been brainwashed into hating the rich or thinking that they don’t pay tax or that they are somehow exploited because they haven’t got the brains to make their own money.

        • Recce

          If Ed were to completely scrap the non-dom status, then yes they would lose that sort of money. But they are not actually scrapping it, just given the illusion that they are. 90% of non-doms hold that status for 7 years of less. It’s the life time non-doms who they are actually going after. These are the people who are less likely to actually move on, but will probably use other legal tax avoidance schemes. Meanwhile the “non-doms” will be rebranded as “temporary residents”

          The reason I’m calling this a “campaign victory” is that usually when Labour tries the “Tories are the party of the rich” line, I don’t think it connects with the middle England voters. But I think they may have done it with this issue, by baiting with “all non-doms” and switching to “inherited non-doms”, the Tories being made to appear to defend the “inherited non-dom”.

          With so much of the country only casually following the election campaign, I think this bait-and-switch will work. I expect to see Labour quoting the Tories defence of non-doms while painting it as the defence of few “inherited non-dom”.

          PS. How do you get paragraphs using the keyboard. I’m having to copy and paste your blank line into my post to get the effect.

          • Ben

            Just hit enter twice. Failing that, if it’s causing your posts to be prematurely posted, try holding shift then hitting enter twice. HTH.

        • davidshort10

          It is inconceivable that every single non-dom would leave the country. They are here for many other reasons. Many of them come from hellhole countries after all and unfortunately the British have to put up with them, especially Londoners.

        • Pacificweather

          Privilege or suicide? It’s a difficult choice for the Tories. Core vote or aspirational vote. Margaret new how to get the aspirational vote. 44% of the vote is completely beyond the vision of Cameron and Osborne.

        • Aberrant_Apostrophe

          Where does Ed Miliband think he’s going to find 10 million ordinary workers to fill that income gap?

          Obviously by importing 10 million immigrants. In practice it would have to be 30 million, as they would be mainly low wage earners and not pay much, if any, net tax.

      • davidshort10

        Non-dom is an absurdity and no political party or government should support it, nor should it revolve around whether they contribute or not to the economy overall. Isn’t it time politicians made decisions on principles not cost-benefit analysis? How can anyone support something brought in due to the circumstances of the 18th century? The kind of people who are non-doms will not leave to live somewhere else. If you are from Russian or one of the Stans you are here for the safety and quality of life. Otherwise they’d be in a hellhole like Monaco.

        • Recce

          When you say “the kind of people who are non-doms will not leave” you are correct for 2 different reasons. Firstly, the “fake” non-doms who were born here and live here permanently on an “inherited” status will have close ties that they will not give up. They will pay the little bit of extra tax liability coming their way.

          Secondly, the remaining 90% of non-doms will take up the replacement status Labour would introduce, called something like “temporary resident” and for them it will be business as usual.

          I expect non-doms to rotate out of the UK a little sooner than the current 7 years because of Balls rule changes. At the moment Balls is talking about 2-3 years limit for the new status, because that’s the length of a Uni course. As a doctors’ training is 5 years, I expect it to go up to that, but the real reason is that between 1/2 and 3/4 of non-doms move on after 5 years and Ed won’t want to rock the boat too much.

          Yes the non-dom status has it’s roots in history, but so has income tax. Unlike income tax it’s hardly been reformed, with the biggest change being the tariff Osborne propose in 2007 and implemented by Labour in 2008. But the tariff is only on those with a large overseas income. Yes it needs further reforming. The idea of an inherited status only passed down the male line has no place in a modern government.

          But even with Balls rebranding it, the overall concept of “temporary residents” only paying UK tax on UK income isn’t going away; it’s just being removed from less than 10% of non-doms

          • davidshort10

            I suppose what is also odd about it is that it probably relates only to non-British people so nationals are at a disadvantage to foreigners. In the beginning, it must obviously have been British people who benefitted and who were intended to benefit. Still, we British unlike the Americans can be non-res as I am and not pay tax on earnings made abroad as long as you don’t spend too long in the country. I would not be surprised if the logic is followed and that gets tightened up.

          • Aberrant_Apostrophe

            Income tax was introduced to fund Britain’s fight against the French in one of the many wars. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we ceased fighting them some years ago? Still, I suppose taxes are like drugs: once you’ve tried them, it’s hard to give them up.

          • Recce

            Although I’d like to blame the French for income tax we would have ended up with it anyway. The UK dropped it after Waterloo but brought it back again about 20 (?) years later. Again it was on a temporary basis but I think that the Crimean War helped make it permanent. There was a piece on Radio 4 a few weeks ago on the history of tax on the UK and the drive to create a “fair” tax system isn’t new.

            At least when they brought back income tax they did drop the brick, glass and window taxes at about the same time.

  • David Prentice

    But there is one other thing they all agree on: his congenital indecisiveness.

    The hallmark of a man who lacks the real-world experience to choose from a number of right-seeming options. He will be a catastrophe but another disastrous Labour govt. might be beneficial in the long-term.

    • Peter Stroud

      But can we afford the luxury?

  • EppingBlogger

    A government led by Milliband would lead us down just a bit faster than the coalition has done – more debt for our children and faster default. Such a government would lead to a faster loss of national independence and democracy but there would be no change in the nature of this just a faster route to an end-game all Westminster parties want.

    We managed to get out of the mess created by the Wilson-Heath-Callaghan governments but only by finding a determined leader (whatever her faults) and by adopting monetary and free(er) market policies. It was painful to many as a change of direction usually is. The change require to free ourselves after another 5 years of Cameron or Milliband would be much more significant.

    The big question which concerns me is will there by outright deflation and associated depression or will the government succeed in its attempt to induce inflation. Either way, what are the right asset classes to protect my personal pension and other wealth as I approach retirement.

    The main advice I would give anyone is: try to get a job in the public sector in a role least likely to be abolished by any government. That way at least your income is secure and a pension follows. There is no premium for taking on the risks outside so don’t do it.

    • Fraser Bailey

      You are right about everything, EppingBlogger. Too late for me to get a nice public sector non-job. Based on my observations of modern Britain, I have long thought that the best bet is probably to own a pub close to people who are in receipt of benefits.

      • Roger Ackroyd

        And choose a pub which is outside the majority ethnic reach of a certain religion otherwise your local council will close you down. For me, my escape hatch is open and poised. West of Ireland.

        • Albert Zbingswiki

          Are you referring to our benevolent, peaceful, not-at-all-homicidally-unstable, soon-to-be Overlords?

      • wudyermucuss

        Ah,the benefits gravy train….£70 a week,forced labour,endless sanctions…….

        • sammy gravano

          Is that the most anyone on benefits gets?

          Seventy quid a week.

          Or are you just a deluded leftie thickie.

          • davidshort10

            For most people, that is what the dole is. Not a lot of money and soon you might even have to ‘work’ for it, which will of course lead to fewer jobs. And people who have put in in the form of national insurance get the same as those who have not and also get the same insulting treatment at job centres.

          • Pacificweather

            £70 a week is what they get from working. The employer subsidies are on top of that.

    • johnnysaf

      we also managed to get out of the mess of the Wilson-Heath-Callaghan era by enjoying peak North Sea oil production in the 1980’s

      • Pacificweather

        Just a shame we spent it keeping 4 million people unemployed instead of building a sovereign wealth fund.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly. Leader of the Opposition when all is said and done.

    • Pacificweather

      Buy land. They have stopped making it. Vote Labour to increase immigration and watch the price of your land rise. Wait for the government subsidy then build houses on it. It worked for me.

      • Ben

        I’d implore anyone suggesting that they’ve stopped making land to visit the Middle East!! Joking aside, you’re right of course.

  • Tim Reed

    “He calls this ‘pre-distribution’ — using regulation, rather than the tax system, to move money about. Capping energy prices, for example, or breaking up banks.”

    As you remind us, this is the man who was advisor to Gordon Brown at The Treasury, who was busy encouraging all of those bank mergers, so that they became ‘too big to fail’.

    • global city

      The UN have this as a clear and stated aim….to see capitalism turned into something else through the power of regulation.

      • Tim Reed

        You’re not wrong…

        At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres,
        executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

        “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

        http://tinyurl.com/q69c9m2

    • Peter Stroud

      Remember the other advisor was Ed Balls, a business friendly economist. Miliband is Marxist at heart.

    • Pacificweather

      Brown’s employer subsidies proved so successful even Osborne kept them going.

  • gerontius redux

    “Ed Miliband could still win”

    You have been writing in the Telegraph, week after week, that Miliband cannot possibly win.
    Do you think we don’t notice?

  • trotters1957

    Lots of tin foil hat Tories on here today, as usual, predicting the end of civilisation.
    Spouting the same old reactionary nonsense.
    Miliband is a social democrat, pro capitalism, pro austerity, pro benefit cuts.
    Some silly billies on here.

    • Steve Davies

      Every time I consider subscribing to the Speccie, I run into the buffers of their readership. What a bunch of loony-toons.

      • GraveDave

        He could be right. For all the fuss about Austerity, Ed Balls and other back benchers have already committed to continue with much of it. And why not? They can just keep blaming ‘the last lot’.
        Much like your lot do now.

        • G. P. Brown

          The comments of your outgoing Treasury Minister along the lines of “The cupboard is bare, good luck” would seem to indicate to me the complete shambles the economy was left in.

          Labour may well be very lucky to have lost the last election because I can only imagine the squeals of stuck pig Labour supporters (such as you?) as they would have attempted to reduce the deficit.

      • William_Brown

        Welcome!

      • G. P. Brown

        What makes you think the looney leftie comments on here come from subscribers?

      • berosos_bubos

        You should try reading the articles then, they are even worse.

      • davidshort10

        You’re mixing up the readership here with the readership of what is still a fairly intelligent good-read magazine despite its managing director. I gave up buying a printed subscription after 25 years when he was appointed but i do pay £2.99 a month for a subscription via my phone. I’ve since discovered that I can read the whole issue for free by simply clearing cookies every time I reach a ‘limit’ on my Mac but will still keep paying. I only read it on the Mac so I can access the comments. £2.99 a month is worth it for Rod Liddle, Low Life, Toby Young, Aidan Hartley, Rory Sutherland and a few others.

        • Pacificweather

          Rod is fun. The old bint sitting in the corner chewing her tobacco?

    • fubar_saunders

      We shall see, Trotters. We shall see.

      I guess you’ll be back here in 5 years to take either the brickbats or bouquets?

    • GraveDave

      Miliband is a social democrat, pro capitalism, pro austerity, pro benefit cuts.

      I suspect you’re right. He’ll probably keep the bedroom ta -oh, sorry – ‘spare room subsidy’ too. But at least whenever the Guardian or Mirror write about it all he will will feel compelled to put on a sad face sometimes.

  • Peter Stroud

    There is no doubt that Miliband is his father’s son, at least with regard his Marxist views. Expect a return to old Labour’s belief in the state knows best – if Miliband gets the keys to number 10. Red Ed has already shown that he is prepared to control prices, (remember his threat to control energy prices), yet he clearly knows nothing about business. Expect a return to incomes policy and to the state poking its nose into employment contracts. Expect the trade unions to flex their muscles again. New Labour is dead: old Labour is resurrected.

    • There’s a big difference between guff a politician spouts to get elected and them actually following through. One rather suspects that in power, Milliband would have been told by Civil Servants that such a price cap would have to be modelled by the relevant Department and/or in fact was illegal under EU law, by which point the debate and Milliband’s intellectual curiosity would have moved on.

      The real question is whether Milliband and Balls have a world-view and intellectual arrogance that would lead them to implement radical changes that fly in the face of the global neo-liberal economic consensus, such as dramatic tax increases on the rich and companies, immigration controls, employment law and capital movements. But even if Milliband would like to do that, I don’t think Balls and the others will let him get away with it.

      • Peter Stroud

        I don’t think that it is a certainty that Balls will end up in the Treasury if Labour is elected.

        • Indeed, I fully expect that before the first cabinet, Miliband would get Balls and Burnham out of the Treasury and Health briefs and install loyalists. Don’t know what he’d do with them, but I’m sure it will be an offer they couldn’t possibly refuse.

          • Peter Stroud

            I hear he put a horses head in Balls’s bed. Don’t know about Burnham. What a godfather.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly…..

  • Violin Sonata

    You seem somewhat befuddled Mr Hodges.
    You say one thing then spontaneously change your opinion.
    Clearly you’ve been reading Miliband’s ‘ happy warrior’ notes.
    Not forgetting the blank sheet of paper in Brown’s recycled notebook, with Balls
    dictating the agenda. Not even the strength to stand up to a man he personally finds
    responsible for the damages of the last government. Let alone leading a country.

  • Rillian

    More Eu red, or more Eu blue, hmm decisions decisions…

    I’m going purple this time, I suggest you all join me.

  • Henryhomer

    Inevitably there is some uncertainty about a new PM. What we do know is how rotten the current one is. Cameron is a man with terrible judgement about people and whose first instinct is to get it wrong, followed by a U-turn and claim that was what he meant all along.

  • It’s an interesting scenario and I think the answer is that we don’t really know what Milliband and Balls really believe in. Sure, we’ve seen what they did when Gordon and Tony were running the show, but since then it has been two very ambitious men who want to be back in charge, trying to move hell and high water to be loved and get their hands on the levers of power again, I don’t think we really know what their agenda is, if there is one.

    The first point is that they are still young guys and both witnessed the dysfunctions of New Labour. Milliband and Balls know that if they mess up and screw up the economy then they will be out, in 5 years, if not before through some kind of Westminster coup, if they steer a steady course and are lucky, then they could get another term and possibly more.

    Of course what they are able to do will depend on the majority they win. If it’s a big one, say Clegg loses his seat, Cameron and Farage go, the Tories elect someone controversial like Teresa May as a leader, then they’ll have free reign to be radical (should they wish to be).

    If they win on a technicality and end up in a coalition then they are going to be constrained by having to keep their partners happy and retain a parliamentary majority, but of course, like Cameron, they have the excuse that they would have done it, but the nasty Greens/Lib-Dems/SNP blocked them.

    So what will they do? Well the easy ones are that they won’t run an EU referendum, there won’t be further devolution as they won’t want to give further fodder to the SNP and Plaid (or have the branch offices show them up), the “Bedroom Tax” will go, Universal Credit will probably go, there will be a fudge on tuition fees, some kind of token clobbering of the rich (though it won’t actually raise much money and they know it), tax thresholds will increase at a slower rate, easy money will be sloshed into housing associations and there will be public money for high profile and unionised areas of the public sector like the NHS to keep the unions and the party activists happy.

    Beyond that, how radical will they be? There’s an argument that not a lot will change between Milliband’s indecision, them wanting to run a tight and steady ship in order to get re-elected and perhaps a desire to keep contenders for the throne in their place. Balls and Umuna will discretely reach out to business and do selected favours, the usual suspects will smooth things in Brussels.

    It’s going to be fascinating!

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly…

  • DWWolds

    In other words, he will be Brown Mark II.

  • alabenn

    So, the Suns famous headline about switching off the lights will in fact come true, life imitating art eventually.

    • GraveDave

      The only time I remember us having regular power cuts was from the Heath years and the Major years.

      • William_Brown

        Yep, courtesy of commie union leaders.

  • Freddythreepwood

    What happens next? Well, you don’t have to look very far, Dan. It’s just across the Channel, for all to see. So we won’t even be able to say that we sleepwalked into it.

  • Recce

    For years Labour lost elections because they didn’t want to win for the wrong reasons. Commendable for sticking with their principles. Ed is bring back that ethos of sticking to his principles, which again is commendable. But yesterday when the question rose as to whether Ed would still abolish the complete non-dom system, even if it lost money, the answer seems to be “yes”.
    Now Labour don’t think they will lose any money on the non-dom status, because they are not getting rid it completely, just for those that inherit the status. But I do believe that Ed will always take action that would be detrimental for “the right reasons”. The world isn’t black and white, it’s full of grey, but Ed comes across as too much of an ideologist

    • Caps Lock

      The words Labour, Ed Miliband and principles do not belong in the same sentence. Labour would sell their souls to gain power, as Miliband showed by stabbing his brother in the back to gain the leadership. Labour do not have principles, they are low life lying scum and anyone who supports them are the same or outright stupid!!

  • Tim

    I read Dan Hodges. He has two articles in him. .Only two.

    1) UKIP are racist
    2) Milliband won’t win.

    He’s offensively wrong on one and, unfortunately, may be wrong on two as well.
    Based on this track record, why does anyone pay this man money to write stuff?

    • GraveDave

      Because any mention of Miliband or Labour (and I’m no Miliband fan or Labour supporter)is a guaranteed lever switch to get the other old gang
      of failures frothing at the mouth about who’s to blame for it all.
      .

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Miliband, Tim.

      • Labour Mole Catcher

        Ed and Jack: The love that dare not speak its name.

  • Infidelissima

    Britain has become like any other Muslim sh!!hole: the pits of the universe.

  • Recce

    So Ed is ambitious and wants / likes to win. He’s going to have to form a coalition if he wants to form a government, be it formal or not. He’s indecisive and doesn’t seem to play well with others. Just how is a coalition going to work? He can’t make up his own mind, how’s he going to agree anything with the others in the coalition?

    • William_Brown

      He’ll do just as Nicola tells him to do – he’s afraid of Scottish girls and bald Russian men.

  • Bob Hutton

    Miliband WON’T win. There will be another Tory/Lib coalition with help from the DUP on a confidence and Supply basis.

    • JoeCro

      A Con/lib-dem/DUP pact is certainly possible, Labour/SNP +/- Lib dem is, I think, more likely.

  • Nockian

    I’m looking forward immensely to not voting. I don’t care who gets to play King as I no longer have any skin in the game. No expectations, no self interest, no priorities or wants. Perfect peace. Game over. Walk away.

    If you have any doubts about who and why you should vote for any of these toss pots then you shouldn’t vote at all. Don’t vote tactically, or in protest. Quietly turn your back, push your voting slip back in your pocket and find something more important to do. These politicians deserve neither time, nor attention. Treat them like attention seeking children and ignore them.

    On voting day, turn off the tv, take your family for a picnic, swim in the sea, read a book you never got around to reading, go to a movie, meet an old friend for breakfast. Do anything other than affirm the status of these entertainers as anything more than belly button lint.

  • olliebear1516

    Miliband’s greatest ‘achievement’ is constructing an entirely false narrative that he’s resilient. Same as the ‘vested interests’ bs. He proclaimed to ‘stand up’ to Murdoch, and was then photographed holding up a copy of the Sun. He is only comfortable when he’s attacking the rich and the successful, like Kinnock and Foot. Miliband is Son Of Foot.

  • convincing

    This country has yet to heal itself from the last Labour shambles. Letting Ed loose before it has fully recovered does not bear thinking about .
    He may think he is destined for something but if he gets the keys we are all destined for something.
    DISASTER..

    • GraveDave

      Letting Ed loose before it has fully recovered does not bear thinking about .

      Ah bless. You’e been listening to Dave and George again.
      ‘Don t let him undo all our hard work.’
      If only it was their hard work.

      • convincing

        No, sorry to disappoint you. Just common sense. Labour always leave a broken economy, letting them loose on a still broken one would be a very dangerous starting point.

        • GraveDave

          How old are you son?

          • William_Brown

            …old enough to recognise fact, by the look of it.

          • convincing

            Haha…retired mate…get real. I said the country is not healed, I didn’t say it was anything to do with those in Westminster.

  • paul

    Hodges is Cameron’s bitch !!

  • Scradje

    I don’t think he is indecisive at all. I expect him to deliver precisely what he has openly admitted to: bringing back socialism.’ See the speccy from 2013:
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/09/exclusive-the-moment-ed-miliband-said-hell-bring-socialism-back-to-downing-street/
    Ed’s father was a Marxist, their great family friend and mentor to the Miliband boys wa the grisly old Stalinist, Eric Hobsbawn. Ed’s chief sponsor is Len McCluskey. I doubt if red Ed will even find his potential partners; the natz, to be particularly left wing.

  • Rupert Williams

    Hmm… Environment (the most disastrously expensive bill ever passed by the British government) and the Treasury (German-wings approach to managing the economy)… quite a track record.

    If you do vote for him don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • thetrashheap

    If Milband wins nothing will change except a few women and ethnic minorities will be given junior roles in government which they don’t deserve on merit and a few crazy feminist laws will get passed.

    Labour are neo-liberals in identity politic clothing. They exist to show the illusion of choice.

  • Richard Eldritch

    Meh..Rod Liddle’s talking sense on the other thread…..

    • Mukkinese

      That would be a change…

  • James

    When my uncle emigrated upon Blair being elected, one thing I remember is that he said the UK is full of sheep who don’t know why they vote – he was right. Last year he moved back because, our lovely European partners decided to raise revenue by taxing foreigners on their property. I can’t imagine what he is thinking now – probably building his own nuclear defense in the garden.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      I take it your uncle relocated to Europe. Or security clearance to Disneyland as it is sometimes referred to. When you fly the UK coop, take yourself somewhere east of Suez.

  • wudyermucuss

    ‘He’s absolutely convinced he’s been pre-ordained for some big historical mission,’

    Oh my God.
    That is hysterical,terrifying,and explains everything.
    No-one has skin that thick.

    • Peter Stroud

      Yep, you’re right. It is truly frightening.

    • Mukkinese

      You mean he has passion and commitment, unlike Cameron who is only good at running away from encounters with that big bully Wallace…

    • new_number_2

      I bet the source of that quote is Dan himself.

    • berosos_bubos

      he must be related to Gordon who saved the world.

  • Paul Nicholson

    So no stock market crash, run on the pound or Russian invasion?

    ‘Works best when under pressure’ is hardly a catastrophic flaw and there’ll be plenty of pressure with most of the deficit cutting left undone by the outgoing coalition.

  • Mukkinese

    After years of claiming Miliband could never win we see Hodges obsession has not diminished one iota, even though now he thinks Miliband could win.

    Has Hodges actually ever been right on something he has said? Not for some time now. Especially since he became a Tory attack dog.

    I wonder what it is that Miliband did to Hodges to foster such obsessive contempt and push him over to the dark side?

    • new_number_2

      Ed had the temerity to stand against his Blairite brother who Hodges was a big fan of. Hodges has never forgiven Ed for this.

  • djkm

    No one really knows what would happen if the conservatives continue, though because they apparently have no policies that they want to talk about. Well, they say that they have plans that are ‘fully costed’ but don’t want to talk about them for some bizarre reason. Maybe because they have not yet been fully transcribed from the back of Osborne’s napkin.

    • Mukkinese

      Or they might think there would be a negative reaction to them…

      • djkm

        Well, that explains a/ why they’ve delayed their manifesto and b/ why their entire campaign so far is slagging everyone off, and evading any discussion regarding policy whatsoever.

        They either have faith in their policies or they don’t. How are people supposed to make reasoned decisions if they don’t know what they’re voting for? ‘The other party will do X if you vote for them’ isn’t much of a pull, TBH.

        • berosos_bubos

          they are trying to by-pass the BBC.

  • Joseph

    What’s that I hear? Oh yes, the sound of Dan Hodges back-pedalling as it becomes clear Miliband could well become prime minister, thus proving wrong everything Hodges has written for the past 5 years.

    • new_number_2

      Dan could find himself eating a lot of humble pie in a few weeks.

      • berosos_bubos

        He will secure a new ministerial role – Minister for humble pies.

  • JoeCro

    The Left Alliance of Lab and SNP still looks very much on.

    • djkm

      Have the conservatives ruled out an alliance with UKIP? They do like demanding others do or don’t do things they don’t like, but really don’t like answering very simple questions themselves.

      • JoeCro

        UKIP are unlikely to win significant numbers of seats and are an irrelevance in the makeup of the next government.

        • djkm

          Doesn’t hurt to rule it out then, eh?

  • lakelander

    He wasn’t Environment Secretary, he was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

  • lakelander

    But I thought, Dan, Miliband was going to be roundly defeated and, should UKIP win more than 7% of the vote, you will run naked down Whitehall.

    It very much looks as though a strong UKIP vote will split the (majority holding) Right and deliver to us a left wing Labour (or Labour/SNP) government, against the wishes of that right wing majority.

  • Cuse

    Dan Hodges.

    Never knowingly correct.

  • Grumpy

    As a Prime Minister I expect Miliband to receive all the support and success of Spencer Percival.

  • paulus

    I wouldn’t bother worrying, he has no chance of winning or you better hope he doesn’t or he will be like an avenging angel coming after you.

  • Robertus Maximus

    “Ed Miliband has done both, as Environment Secretary and as a senior adviser at the Treasury.”

    Yes, therefore he has first-hand knowledge of how to wreck an economy, given he was one of those chiefly responsible for the economic mess we are still in and the suffering it has caused. If a man walks like an idiot, looks like an idiot, and talks like an idiot, he surely is just that – Ed Miliband. Do try to write something more sensible Mr Hodges.

  • Michael Foy

    Is this the same Dan Hodges who for five years assured us in his Daily Telegraph columns and elsewhere that Milliband personally and his policies and his 35% strategy were so inadequate that it was literally impossible for him to win a general election, that he was doomed to inevitable defeat? I believed Dan and was greatly comforted but now this bolt from the blue. What happened Dan?

    • Doug

      He’s finally waking up to the fact that his five-year-long delusion (aka Hodge World) bears as much resemblance to reality as unicorns and magic pixie dust.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly..

  • Hegelman

    And will you resign like a man, Dan, if Ed does win? After all those years of your telling us he was a sure loser?

    Mark Steyn swore he’d resign if John Kerry defeated Dubya Bush in 2006.

  • John Smith

    But dan you have been telling us for years he will not win
    Is this you rowing back

  • berosos_bubos

    Romney got a higher percentage of the white vote than Reagan. No there is no solution aside from heading for the hills. At least U.S. states can leave the Union. Here it won’t make any difference.

    • Romeny had my vote, brother. I was upset when Obama won the first time, and very depressed when he won the seoncd. Would YOU be happy to have your country run by the philosophic equivalent of a shoe salesman/? One that was a committed Leftist, mond (a shoe salesamn that read the Founders and Burke and Plato would probably be much better).

  • berosos_bubos

    Milliband was the mastermind behind the most expensive and wasteful legislation in history (global warming guff – a trillion just for the U.K.) but we won’t be hearing from the Conservatives on that.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly.

      • Aspergers alert (Number 1)!

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Still voting for ignorance and stupidity?

  • CommonSense Matters

    £1.3 trn debt – the Tories with our money. That’s why Milliband will win – because the Tories don’t know about money and they have put the NHS in a blender along with all public services. They have tried to blend us in to a soup of despair. But they will despair when the electorate serves them the gruel that they have been dishing for the last half decade. It will be gruelling for them.

  • mitchyboy

    Bad democracy, well it isn’t is it? Both Labour and Conservatives have around one third of the vote each according to polls. So two thirds of voters want neither and might as well sit at home and watch Telly for all the good their votes will do.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Britisher pals, let’s hope that after the election you won’t have to worry about spelling “Miliband” correctly.
    However, in the worst case you might want to move your emigration plans from the back burner to a more conspicuous heat.
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • E Hart

    It has to be said that the Tories are effing useless. They are attacking a supposedly weak man (somewhat counter-intuitive at best, stupid at worst); they are focusing on Trident (a low priority for the electorate); babbling on about a EU referendum (not too high on the list either); they’ve spent GBP3bn on reforming the NHS (despite not having a mandate for doing so) and have achieved the worst A&E performance in years (No.1 priority for the electorate); they are talking nonsense about coalitions and vote-and-supply arrangements ante-post (having spent five years in coalition with the Liberal Dem. dodo); they’ve run up the national debt to record levels; achieved the fastest growth in shite jobs on record; clamped down on immigration and seen it increase; nobody has got any money to spend (and in many instances the state is keeping them afloat with no tax, lo-tax, WTC and HB); growth is at the spectacularly low level of 2%; the housing market is out of control (demand but no supply); the balance of trade is piss-poor; construction is down; tax receipts are down; down is down; mince is up; pish is on the rise…

    They have a pair of low denomination cards they could play: they’ve accidentally prevented unemployment from rising and they have paid down half the deficit in the slowest recovery since the end of the Pleistocene. The only reason they’re still in the game is the British electorate know FA about economics (preferring instead the Neo-Cleggian model of Nick and Miriam and ye olde maxed-out-credit card) or “it wasn’t me who wasted all that cheap money” Austrian nutjobs (who want to take us to serfdom on their corporate coat-tails indemnified with TARP/QE/bailouts).

    Dave is a liability. He should have taken on Miliband. It would have revealed two things; he’s piss-poor but he has guts. Instead he just appears weak and gutless. A PR man in a poke. Admittedly, the whole process (the election) is a depressing joke but they don’t come funnier than Lynton Crosby masterminding this. How can you mastermind anything and have Fallon, Boles and Shapps on the loose?

    • Alexsandr

      yuo cant pay down a defecit. You pay down debt. Keep up.

  • James

    I have to say Cameron may have lost this election on his own doing – now Labour have taken the lead in 3 major polls I can see UKIP also growing closer to election. The EU referendum is bigger than politics, but Dave has acted in the interests of Tory donors with investments in the union, rather than the British people. For that reason alone, many people will vote Farage, especially now Labour are taking a lead. Fingers crossed my application for foreign citizenship will go through because, this will be the end of the UK. Relatives inform me emigrating is not a bad thing.

  • JonBW

    But you’ve been writing articles saying Ed can’t win for the last four years Dan!!!

    • James

      Dan is a let down in the Telegraph – comes across like a Guardianista-type jouno.

  • Peter Bering

    He is a Jew. That is what is important about Miliband.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Za jews cause all za trouble in za world.
      And they call me anti-Semitic.

      • Peter Bering

        Your response is completely irrational based on knowledge of both the Tribe and history, but comfortably in tune with what many people somehow feel obliged to say. And, by the way, noone is ever “anti-Semitic”. Many people are anti-Jewish. (the closest anyone would come to “anti-Semitic” are part-Semitic Israeli Jews chasing all-Semitic Palestinians from their homes)

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Context, context …
          Where’s your sense of humour, infidel?

          • Peter Bering

            there was no humour in your post

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Of course there is humour. Exaggerating your anti-semitic comment calls attention to your bollock-brained stupidity.
            Autism rocks. Is that your problem you humourless rube? And I say this with all due respect.

          • Peter Bering

            Still no humour. You just sound like an Israeli or something similar.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Israeli? Now you’re really being nasty.

  • Nicholas_Keen

    “could still win”? The odds are that he will win.

  • OK, there’s the first lie, right in the header or whatever you media in-people call it: ‘he’s not an ideologue’. Jaysus J oseph Mary and the full cathedral choir. Like h-ll he isn’t.

    The only reason there IS a Labour party is that SOME people can’t overcome their irrational belief that enforced dragging down of all to a basic level is better than the freedom to allow SOME to lift themselves — and many others less hard-working or talented — with them. In short, if Labour could have ruled Western Civ. from the beginning, Western Civ. would not exist. I am implacably opposed to those warmed-over, two-feet-and-one-arm-in-the-grave, yesterday’s beer-swilling love-a-German-if-he’s-wrong Marxists. They are fascists in waiting and that is what the Left has always proved to be. Small in soul, small in vision, and especially small in understanding. Love a hagfish today: vote Labour!

  • Pacificweather

    When I read the strap line I thought that it could be equally applied to Cameron. I hadn’t realised how similar they are.

  • Francis Jezierski

    Curious headline. Surely polls point to Mili + Sturgeon. M was Energy Secretary

  • revkevblue

    No one will win this election. we will have another coalition, and I am voting UKIP to keep them honest, because somebody has got to.

  • Bobby Mac

    What a disaster if PM Miliband freezes energy prices. But wait a minute, PM Cameron has just promised to freeze rail fares. My goodness, I can see the ‘Red Dave’ headlines in the Mail already.

    • snowright

      Your comment clearly reminds all of us that the Left have absolutely no idea how the economy and Government works – suggest you do some homework before your next comment – you wouldn’t want to make yourself look a fool again would you?!!

  • gerronwithit

    The whole horrible cabal of politicians in Westminster do not have a clue! We’re doomed!

  • Commenthead

    I think if “The Happy Warrior” got in every other day would be a train wreck. The media would kill him with virtually every story (not the Beeb and Guardian obviously, but all the serious outlets) , especially as the recovery begins to tank. And from Day One as a gloriously victorious Labour PM he would actually be dealing with the ramifications of the SNP wipeout. How much of a winner or leader will this make him look? Half his party will be in uproar, it’ll never really work at all. He might get very lucky and be PM for a while, but five years is impossible. Added to which, we all know he’s useless anyway. Why the hell did he go into politics?

  • plainsdrifter
  • Neutrality44

    If Ed Milliband wins – here is what happens next…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVTRKktkqO0&list=PLhuFhVeE7N6M7p5K5SywnpgBhixdhRpQX

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Still can’t spell Miliband?

  • Joel

    Miliband was Secretary of State for Energy, not Environment.

  • david kirkup

    funny what you will do for money and i am not talking about the turncoat Hodges dislike of labour now. he can put a foot in both camps by writing in the D T today and this piece for the speccy. a Judas, if ever there was

  • Sam Seal

    That’s right, there’s no chance Miliband could win. So don’t even bother voting, all you tightly clenched types. Obviously everyone loves IDS, Gideon and Gove, and can’t wait to see what cleverness they come up with next.

    So on 7th May, just stay at home.

    Everything will be fine.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Vote early, vote often… just don’t vote Labour.

  • Hegelman

    For Dan Hodges there is only ONE iron rule: Ed Miliband is NEVER right.

    If he thinks a lot, it’s too much. If he doesn’t think a lot, it’s too little.

    If he changes a Blair policy, that’s wrong. If he doesn’t change a Blair policy, that’s wrong.

    If he speaks he’s wrong. If he keeps quiet he’s wrong.

  • Hegelman

    “His victory is still seen, especially by those on the right, as a near-impossibility — an event so improbable as to defy the laws of political gravity.”

    Dan is covering his ass after years of braying every day that Miliband will lose.

  • Hegelman

    In his entire scribblings never has Hodges said one damn thing worth knowing.

  • Dogsnob

    Are there only the two parties contesting?

  • Terry Field

    Recent articles in the most serious journals have concentrated on the proposition that the British state is collapsed; that its politics is at an end.
    The insanity of this comedic election supports that view.
    Since collapse is here, why is it a surprise people like Miliband, and Balls will enter the power void; after all, shits like Blair and Balls were there???

    • tolpuddle1

      Yeah, and even Call Me Dave.

  • ItinerantView

    “‘He’s absolutely convinced he’s been pre-ordained for some big
    historical mission,’ one senior shadow cabinet member told me. ‘Don’t
    ask me what the hell it is. But he genuinely believes that.’
    According to Damian McBride quoted in the Mail, “Miliband was obsessed with maintaining his father’s legacy. Winning the leadership was Ed’s ‘ultimate tribute’ to his father – an attempt to ‘achieve his father’s vision and ensure David Miliband did not traduce it’.
    That would be presumably a Marxist vision, one that would no doubt continue, what appears to be, Labour’s mission to completely undermine the social fabric of the UK.
    Taking us to new dark ages and calling it ‘progress’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2435751/Red-Eds-pledge-bring-socialism-homage-Marxist-father-Ralph-Miliband-says-GEOFFREY-LEVY.html

  • David

    This is what – as the late, great Vincent Hanna used to say – “a bugger’s muddle”. They’re all crap, and what differentiates them is that some are even crapper than the others. On the crap-ometer, Labour scores very high.

  • Sh!tshoveller

    I’ve been telling Hodges that Labour will win this election for the past two years. And if it wasn’t for the SNP, Labour would be romping home right now. As it is, they are likely to be a minority government – the SNP will scupper any attempt by the Tories to form a coalition again.
    The Left hates shareholders, to a good marxist they are speculators making money off the backs of the oppressed working class which makes them lower than vermin.
    It wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if Labour passed legislation to nationalise or otherwise restrict dividends, and tax profits made out of stock-market upward movement. The SNP thinks the same way so this is quite possible.

  • Paul Danon

    I see “still the Conservatives still”.

  • tolpuddle1

    Ed M is indecisive because his heart is Left but his head is Centre.

    As for he what he would do (or be able to do) – not very much; that’s globalisation.

    And what will Cameron do if he wins (likely) but doesn’t gain an overall majority (even likelier) with the SNP holding the balance ? A Tory minority government ? – which won’t give the SNP what they want , thus won’t be supported by them.

    Fascinating.

  • tolpuddle1

    Britain is in a labyrinth – a maze – from which there are no exits.

    As Britain is a leading upholder of:

    1) The arms industry (including exports to our enlightened Saudi “friends”)

    2) The abortion industry (200,000 per annum and about 8 million since the 1967 Act)

    this seems to be a sort of poetic justice, a proof that God does indeed exist and is just and compassionate (despite what our capitalist friends seem to imagine)

    – and even clearer proof that the wicked do not prosper forever.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Heads up fellow Internet correspondents:
    Miliband
    Savile
    Single “l”. No excuses, ifs or buts.
    Prevention is preferable to cure.

    • Twit. Twit. Twit.

    • Aspergers alert (Number 16)!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I’ll have the same as Mad Jock here. With a double portion of baked beans.

  • Squatter

    There is no doubt Marxiband the economic illiterate will be PM.

    Thirty seat majority.

    Failing that, a coalition with the SNP.

    Either way economic disaster is guaranteed.

Close