I cannot stand Ed Miliband. There, I've said it. I cannot find anything personally or politically "likeable" about this (yet). I cannot even stand to watch him on TV; he is so useless as Leader of the Opposition it is actually quite worrying for democracy. I don't know quite why; certainly I dislike his re-writing of history, his blanket opposition to all cuts without saying what Labour would have done and the way in which we was elected by the Unions. But its more; there's something about him. He simply isn't Prime Minister material. And to that end I say "carry on, Ed".
No surprise, you might say, because I am a Conservative and I am sure that the Labour Leader doesn't want my kind thoughts or warm words. True enough. But tonight I began to wonder if this is how people saw William Hague, or even IDS and Howard. I liked Mr Hague enormously; but door after door in the 2001 campaign people expressed concern about him, asking if he was Prime Ministerial material. I couldn't see what the voters saw.
Tonight (yes, in the dark) I was out delivering leaflets in a pretty solid Labour voting area of the City and met a man, sat on his steps having a cigarette - impressively without a coat on. When I introduced myself and gave him the leaflet we chatted for a few minutes. He said to me "I can't see Ed Miliband ever being Prime Minister." Those exact words. And suddenly this blog post was born.
The last few days have seen Labour supporters waving and cheering getting very excited about Ed; his poll rating have edged up too. But maybe they don't see what the electorate does, in the same way I couldn't see it about William Hague.
And to round it off, the Oldham by-election made me think of the Uxbridge by-election. Both contests happened shortly after the general election, in seats where the former governing party had a three figures majority turned into a 3,000+ majority. The Tories went from 724 to 3766 in Uxbridge whilst Labour went from 103 to 3558 in Oldham East. The Tories hailed this result as their comback; so did Labour. The Tories went on to another election drubbing next time ... I'll let you fill in the rest.