Harsh criticism for Miliband’s advisors – and about time too

The right man for the job? Despite what follows, Ed Miliband must take much of the responsibility for the Sun photoshoot cock-up. If he's going to slavishly do whatever his political advisors say then he is a follower, not a leader. He should be thinking very carefully about the right thing to do - not only for his future, but for the future of the nation.

The right man for the job? Despite what follows, Ed Miliband must take much of the responsibility for the Sun photoshoot cock-up. If he’s going to slavishly do whatever his political advisors say then he is a follower, not a leader. He should be thinking very carefully about the right thing to do – not only for his future, but for the future of the nation.

Ed Miliband has lost far too much political ground by making silly schoolboy mistakes, but it is right that he should not take all of the blame.

The Labour leader is surrounded by advisors who should be warning him away from having his photograph taken with a football-promoting copy of The Sun in the week that the Hillsborough inquests were taking place. Instead it seems they egged him on to do it.

That’s completely wrong-headed and suggests that there are people close to Miliband who are working against him. Blairites who want to discredit ‘Red Ed’, perhaps? It would explain why Labour is still coming out – and getting bogged down – with ‘Red Tory’ ideas when it should be pushing a new anti-austerity, anti-privatisation, pro-equality and pro-fairness position.

The party’s former deputy chairman, Tom Watson, wants to see better results or resignations – but he’s being far too charitable to people who are idiots at best, fifth columnists at worst.

“The people around Ed… they’re very powerful political people; they carry a lot of power in the Labour party,” Watson told Radio 5 Live (as reported in The Guardian). If that’s true, then they probably gained that power as part of neoliberal New Labour. Their ideas will be as out-of-date as those of the current Conservative-led Coalition.

Look what Watson said shortly after: “We had a leader of the Labour party who was publicly embarrassed on Thursday because whoever was in charge of press let him go through a process where we had councillors in Merseyside resigning. It was a schoolboy error from someone who doesn’t understand the Labour party.” And yet, by his own admission, these are some of the most powerful people in it!

But you didn’t have to be a powerful political advisor to know what the right decision should have been; a commenter on Facebook pointed it out. Miliband should have declined The Sun‘s invitation and arranged a photo shoot of his own, preferably with a local football team; “Labour supports British football from the grass roots upward.” That would have highlighted, also, the commercialisation (and corruption?) of the game at higher levels.

It’s what I would have suggested.

So here’s a thought: Let’s tell Ed to fire whoever told him a Sun photoshoot would be a good idea and hire me instead. Not only do I know what the score is (more than his current yes-men, for sure), I won’t cost as much, and it’s a job I can do from home – so my activities as a carer won’t be affected.

You think that’s a mistake? Surely not.

How much time do you think it takes to tell a man the difference between a good idea and a duff one?

All you need is the sense to know the difference…

… and the proper political motives.

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  1. Methusalada June 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Mike, Maybe if you had been straight with me from day one your blog I could have gone along with you as a being a political adviser to Ed Miliband today. However he has shot his own leg off or maybe one of his new US advisers pulled the trigger , we shall never know. Is their any chance of Miliband becoming the next PM, sadly I think not. Is their any chance of you yourself having a larger role to play in people politics , then my view is definitely YES !

    • Ed Miliband is not Red Ed. Nothing about Labour policies is socialist. But he is all we have for 2015. Because Labour will win in 2015 even though a minority government due to the lowest voter turnout in UK history.

      If the trade unions gave some of the money they donate to Labour to TUSC – http://www.tusc.org.uk – then Labour would have a party to form a coalition with in 2015, because the Lib Dems are rightly heading for oblivion.

      Bringing Left Unity Party and Mebyon Kernow of Cornwall inside TUSC, would aid the 13 million struggling to make ends meet today and millions needing food banks or borderline hungry. I watched an old pensioner with 4 very small basics own brand food in a supermarket trolley the other day.

  2. Nick June 17, 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

    i agree ed although a nice enough person he hasn’t got what it takes to lead the uk
    it was a stupid error with the sun and you should need no political advisers on how to run the country that should come naturally to the right person

  3. Joanna June 17, 2014 at 12:55 am - Reply

    When are we all going to be held responsible for our Own Choices? What example are we setting for children? “it’s ok do what you want, just make sure you blame someone else”!

    If Milliband cannot use his own common sense (assuming he has some) to make his own choices, then he has No right being in any position of responsibility!

  4. paulmabbo June 17, 2014 at 1:12 am - Reply

    The problem doesn’t lie with Ed Miliband’s nous or even the diktat of his advisers. It lies with the whole ethos of this modern Labour party, indeed the Labour movement as a whole.
    Last week I was talking, online, to a 23 year old who was having a problem with his employer. “Have you spoken to your trade union?” I asked him. His answer staggered me – “What’s a trade union?” …. even more staggering, in a way, is that the young man in question is from Sheffield, from a Yorkshire heartland and he doesn’t know what a trade union is. This is the level of Labour education to which we have sunk and it is reflected in the policies of, the running of, and the personnel of New Labour, the TUC, and many individual trade unions.
    This current government is so anti-working class and so disdainful of the poorer and more vulnerable elements of our society that it offers a chance for a genuine left wing shift. We should be talking about reversing or repealing many Tory laws and diktats. We should be talking about renationalisation of almost all of the privatised industries – to be run by high quality management (to avoid the mistakes of the past). We should be talking about nuclear disarmament – and using the money saved to invest in our public services and infrastructure. We should be talking about full employment and the rebirth of the dignity of the working man/woman.
    There are so many things we should be talking about but, because of Smith, Kinnock, Blair, Mandelson etc we’ve arrived at Ed Miliband, who may see that New Labour is going in the wrong direction but has no idea whatsoever what the right direction is. And if that wasn’t the case he STILL wouldn’t have the cogs of a truly socialist machine behind him.
    You can join me on the front benches Mike …..

  5. samspruce June 17, 2014 at 2:08 am - Reply

    And I’ll be the Green Party Advisor. :)

  6. Bill Kruse June 17, 2014 at 5:03 am - Reply

    As I’ve suggested before, there’s a fifth column in Labour. The fact they survive there though says little for the party overall, and as you say, Miliband’s a follower, not a leader. Beige in tooth and claw.

  7. James June 17, 2014 at 6:46 am - Reply

    If Miliband is so easily led and so little his own man he deserves all he gets.

    • Chris Mckenzie June 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Trouble is “we” get it in the neck not him! We get the potential of five additional years of rampant Tory rule, and thats not funny at all! It also makes change more difficult because the balance of forces will shift further to the right and the reversal of social achievements since 1945 will demoralise some people into submission. All of this will mean developing a real socialist party to the left of Labour will be even harder.

      • Nick June 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm - Reply

        asking ed anything is like asking the cat he wont know anything then gets back to me and says it’s a pity your ill and to that i say why ‘he then says (sounds like you wont to run the place) well i must say i would run the place a darn sight better on my own if the truth be told

        for god sake running a country is simple because in reality you aren’t others are and all you are effectively doing is overseeing their work and those like ed and David Cameron cant even do that without cocking things up

        ed with the sun newspaper and Cameron on everything as until he gets his way on everything everyone is doing it wrong hence every days a hassle as there’s no way the country will just follow Cameron and co

  8. Linda Powell June 17, 2014 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Its so unbelievable stupid of Milliband and insensitive, that i am concerned about his compassion for the people who if elected would govern.Has he any human instincts that tells himself what is right.This stunt tells me he has not.

  9. Jacqueline Hughes June 17, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Is there no code of conduct for elected representative about advertising products? The Sun, after all, is nothing but a product.

  10. Ian Duncan June 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    All politicians must kneel before Murdoch… (I’d rather Miliband said, ‘piss off, Roop, or I’ll regulate the shit out of you when elected’ but that would take balls and they are sadly lacking in the modern Labour party.)

  11. Tegwyn Hill June 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    It would seem that everyone is making a mountain out of a molehill. So what if he did pose with the Sun in his hands, surly the more intelligent of us realise it was a gimmic and besides he/the party probably got a donation for it, perhaps it was a sizeable donation that couldn’t be turned down. The main reason Ed is losing votes is because he is burying his head in the sand over a referendum on the EU. It doesn’t matter whether one wants an in or out, what matters is that Ed is dictating to us, telling us what we want even now after the English local elections, EU elections and above all the greatest decider the Newark by election, Labour lost more than 40% of their supporters to come third behind a party that is offering no more than a referendum, the Tories lost less than 28%. LibDems already in the gutter were washed down the drain. Turnout cannot be blamed the turnout was roughly the same as 2010. Just think what is going to happen in the general election with the marginal seats. Yet still Ed goes on ignoring UKIP and burying his head in the sand. Surly these advisers that he has can see this, are they deliberately steering in the wrong direction. If a refererdum was promised Ed would have every opportunity to persuade the don’t knows to voting for in and turning some of the outs to ins that is if there is are good reasons for staying in?. I am not clear which way I would vote in a referendum but I do want to hear the other side of the story instead of just Nigel Farage’s reasons why we should be out. Come on Ed you can do better than just a bad for trade and jobs. That doesn’t tell me anything.

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