The commentators 24-09-14
...on the Labour conference
Ed Miliband's speech was just a normal boring 60-minute leader’s party conference speech, not a very boring one. He thought it was lamentable, weak, clichéd, embarrassing, uninspiring, stylistically inept, vacuous, unambitious, grandiose, cringeworthy, patronising, foolish, an unappetising blend of impossiblism and incrementalism, and a complete and final disaster for the Labour Party.
- John Rentoul, The Independent
In Manchester, at the Labour party conference, it is an understatement to say that English votes for English laws isn’t very popular. So far as English votes for English laws is an election issue, Ed Miliband and the Labour party are on the wrong side of it. It poses too much of a political danger for Labour to see it clearly.
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
When he hit his stride, he was like a star Harvard lecturer. As he introduced Elizabeth, the apprentice, you might have been watching an infomercial presented by Michael Sandel. As an analyst, Miliband is persuasive. But this is the trouble. The job he is applying for is not to describe the country’s problems but to fix them. And it’s in that latter regard that he does not quite convince. Miliband doesn’t want to be Britain’s senior tutor but its prime minister. With just eight months to go, he doesn’t yet look the part.
- Jonathan Friedland, The Guardian
It is now for the voters to decide whether Ed Miliband’s promises have also touched their hearts. If so, Labour can dare to hope for its ten years in power. If not, then isolation may beckon for the master of togetherness.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
Ed Miliband was desperate to prove he, too, has an affinity with the English — and with good reason. They make up 85 per cent of the electorate, and are increasingly angry about the special treatment given to the Scots. It is all the more surprising, then, that the Labour leader’s attempt was so cack-handed.
- Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
The lesson of the Scottish referendum was that in the modern age of social media and mass communications the best political techniques are the oldest. Gordon Brown, Jim Murphy and George Galloway showed the way. Now it’s time for Mr Miliband to go back to the future.
- John McTernan, Financial Times
Even in the comfort zone of its annual conference, where mansion-owners and hedge funds are made to pay for the NHS, Labour doesn’t look comfortable any more. Miliband’s plan is to show that he can offer both radical change and a steady hand on the tiller. The case was sturdy, the performance accomplished. Yet even the safest pair of hands shakes when the political ground underfoot is moving.
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
Apart from the twelve referendum splashes of the past two days, the subject has made a front-page lead on only five occasions this year:Yes, it's been busy with Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, the rise of Ukip, sex scandals, the hacking trial, Mr Cameron's holidays, floods and heatwaves. But one would still expect the potential break-up of the UK - or the liberation of Scotland, depending on your point of view - to be able to put up a better fight against the 30 house price splashes, the 25 on migrants and the 26 on Madeleine McCann. I stopped counting when I got to 60 soap opera and "reality TV" offerings.
- Wake us up before they go-go
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