Labour leader in car crash live on Radio 4

The other day I blogged about Ed Miliband, and in particular the lack of any substance around his policies. I called him an ‘imperceptible icon’, someone in full view that you could hardly see. In looking around the Internet, I see that I was far from being the only person irked by Ed. The obvious trend was that, when writing about Ed, all you could write about was the vacuum where leadership and policy should be. The problem wasn’t the policy elephant in the room; the problem was, there was no elephant.

And today’s live car crash on Radio 4 won’t have done the Labour leader any favours at all. For those of you who missed it, Ed was interviewed by Martha Kearney on World at One. I’d like to say that it was a reasoned political debate where Ed put across sound socialist policies and provided a solid case why, in two years, we’re all going to be wearing red.

But I can’t. Or if I did, I’d be lying.

Here’s why, on iPlayer:

The level of dialectic, at least on Miliband’s side, never really rose above, “I know you are, but what am I?” Time and time again – thirteen times, apparently – Kearney asked him about borrowing, and he refused to give a straight answer. He tried bluster, he tried waffle, he tried spin, he tried shouting, he tried ignoring, and he tried giving the impression that the interview was beneath him.

Don’t take my word for it:



How about…


Or maybe not.

It was difficult to find anyone who could spin it to say it went well. The comments that didn’t speak about how badly it went mostly concentrated on how it could have gone better. If you’re not a Labour supporter, it’s difficult to see how it could have gone better for you. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the local elections on Thursday.

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