Posts Tagged ‘Wallace & Gromit’

VAL 2015 | Ed Miliband kan bli Storbritanniens nästa premiärminister. Detta trots att han knappast har imponerat under sin tid som partiledare för Labour.

The Spectator 11 april 2015

Skämten har varit många på hans bekostnad. Det har handlat om allt ifrån hur han äter en baconsmörgås till att han glömde viktiga delar i sitt eget tal.

Ett av de roligare skämten är Miliband och Ed Balls, trolig finansminister vid en valseger, som politikens Wallace & Gromit.

Trots detta ligger Labour och Conservative Party nästa lika i opinionsundersökningarna. Och, vilket är minst lika viktigt, har han inte gjort några större misstag under pågående valkampanj.

Dan Hodges, som tidigare jobbat både för både partiet och inom fackföreningsrörelsen, tecknar bilden av Miliband och vad som händer om det blir han som får träda innanför dörren till 10 Downing Street efter valet den 7 maj.

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.


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.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator den 11 april 2015.

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IMAGE | Det cirkulerar många skämt om partiledaren för Labour i Storbritannien. Men det är kanske något Ed Miliband kan bjuda på.

The Spectator 26 april 2014

“A new cruel joke is doing the rounds about Ed Miliband: that the Labour leader is like a plastic bag stuck in a tree. No one is sure how he got up there, but no one can be bothered to take him down”, skrev t.ex. Fraser Nelson i The Spectator.

Ett annat skämt är att utmåla honom som en av figurerna i ”Wallace & Gromit”. Både New Statesman och The Spectator har haft tidskriftsomslag på temat.

Ovanstående bygger vidare på temat och kombinerar det med en valaffisch från Conservative Party; ”New Labour. New Danger.” från 1979

New Labour New Danger Conservative Party 1979

Texten på affischen från reklambyrån Saatchi & Saatchi, som egentligen lanserades månader innan själva valrörelsen, lyder:

One of Labour’s leaders, Clare Short, says dark forces behind Tony Blair manipulate policy in a sinister way. ”I sometimes call them the people who live in the dark.” She says about New Labour: ”It’s a lie. And it’s dangerous.”

Även om de konservativa förlorade valet kom Tony Blair snart att uppfattas som just manipulativ.

Hur mycket affischen bidrog till detta kan naturligtvis diskuteras. Valaffischer spelar trots allt mindre roll än vad en regering verkligen gör när man väl fått makten.

Poängen här är att tidskriftsomslaget knappast skulle fungera om läsarna inte minns originalet. Om affischen varnade för en ”ondskefull” Blair så varnar omslaget snarare för vad som kan hända om en ”inkompetent” Miliband tar över.

En kampanjaffisch från 90-talet hjälper därmed Tories – via media – att definiera hur väljarna skall uppfatta Ed Miliband inför valet 2015.

Men Miliband och Labour behöver kanske inte bry sig alltför mycket. Det är trots allt valresultatet som gäller. Och alla opinionsundersökningar pekar mot ett regeringsskifte efter nästa val.

Läs mer: “Miliband spinner embraces Wallace and Gromit resemblance” 

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MEDIA | Det bådar illa för Labour att deras partiledare karikeras på nästan identiskt sätt av två konkurrerande nyhetsmagasin.

The Spectator 21 sep 2013

New Statesman 20-26 sep 2013

Både den konservativa tidskriften The Spectator och den till Labour närstående New Statesman har använt figurerna Wallace & Gromit för att ifrågasätta Ed Milibands ledarskap.

Detta är lite märkligt med tanke på att Labour, precis som Socialdemokraterna i Sverige, alltid har en hyfsad ledning i opinionsundersökningarna.

Men till skillnad från Stefan Löfven är Ed Miliband inte lika respekterad, vare sig bland opinionsbildare eller bland politiska motståndare.

Och även inom det egna partiet är det mer än en som tvekar om han är rätt person att leverera en valseger över David Camerons regeringskoalitionen.

Men James Forsyth, politisk redaktör på The Spectator, påpekar att även om Miliband är mer hånad än fruktad gör motståndare ett misstag om man undervärderar Miliband.

A Tory MP bobbed up at Prime Minister’s Questions recently to ask David Cameron whether he was ‘aware that 4 per cent of people believe that Elvis is still alive? That is double the number, we hear today, who think that Edward Miliband is a natural leader?’ The Tory benches tittered, Labour MPs slumped into their seats as if this was a depressingly fair point,  and the Labour leader himself tried not to look too hurt.


For decades now the Westminster voting system has been unfair to the Tories. Boundary changes lag population movements, corralling Tories into larger constituencies. As a result, Labour can win on a far smaller share of the vote than the Tories. Tony Blair secured a comfortable majority in 2005 with 35 per cent of the vote, while David Cameron fell short of one with 36 per cent in 2010. Cameron tried to address this imbalance by reducing the number of MPs and equalising constituency sizes, but the Liberal Democrats — aware of the electoral harm this would do to them — killed the idea off.

Compounding this Tory problem is the rise of Ukip. In effect British elections are decided not by a mass popular vote, but by a handful of swing voters in swing seats. Lord Ashcroft last weekend released a poll of these marginal constituencies which said that Labour’s lead has widened to an almighty 17 points. This was not because Labour has become more popular, but because so many Tory supporters have defected to Ukip. Miliband is also buoyed by the fact that the British left, which split in the 1980s with the creation of the SDP, has reunited. When Clegg jumped into bed with Cameron, just under half of his erstwhile supporters leapt into Labour’s arms.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator (där skuggfinansministern Ed Balls i rollen som Gromit på omslaget), 21 september 2013. New Statesman den 20-26 september 2013. Lägg märke till ordet ”predistribution” – det nya modeordet inom Labour – på sidovagnen.

rå sidovagnen –

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