Tag Archives: Ed Miliband

Ed and Jim Messina talk

We have been lucky enough to obtain a transcript of a telephone conversation between the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband and Jim Messina who has been hired by the Conservatives to mastermind their attempt to win the next General Election in May 2015 with (for a change) an overall majority – something that they haven’t achieved for over 20 years! There’s a rumour that although David Cameron has secured Mr Messina’s  talents on behalf of Tory High Command, Messina was also approached by the Labour Party…..possibly even the Leader himself!

Mr Messina masterminded Barack Obama’s second election victory and is therefore regarded as a miracle worker – which is something that the Labour Party is in severe need of. At the time of publication, Ed Miliband is leader of the Labour Party.

Ring Ring

Woman’s voice:  Hello, this is James Messina’s Office.  Marilyn speaking. How may I help you?

Ed Miliband: Hello. This is Ed Miliband speaking. I am calling from England.

Marilyn: Where?

Ed: England. I’d like to speak to Jim please.

Marilyn: England? Is that near London? What was your name again?

Ed: Ed MIliband.

Marilyn: Ted Bilibann?

Ed: No it’s Ed. Ed Miliband. Miliband.

Marilyn: Is Mr Messina expecting your call, Ted?

Ed: No – but I’m the leader of the Labour Party.

Marilyn: The WHAT?

Ed: The Labour Party. Over here, we’re like the Democrats and I’m like Barack Obama..but not…

Marilyn: Not what?

Ed: Er…………….President. I’m not the President of England.

Marilyn: President?……..Who is the President of England if it’s not you, Ted?

(Man’s voice in background : Who is THAT, Mari?)

Marilyn (muffled): Its some guy saying he’s the President of England.

Messina grabs phone

Messina: Hi Dave. Didn’t realise it was you. Mari thought it was that f***ing jerk..er…

Ed: It’s Ed Miliband.

Messina: Yeah! That was the guy! What can we do for you, DC? How’s the gorgeous Sam?

Ed: THIS is Ed Miliband. Is that Jim?

Messina (Muffled) CRAP! er…. Hello Ed. There’s been some misunderstanding……..er Ed. How’s David?

Ed: Which one? They’re both  fine thanks, Jim. I wonder if I can have a word with you

Messina: How did you get this number, Ed?

Ed:  David Cameron had it written on the palm of his hand hand and I remembered it. I saw it when he was practising those funny salutes in the mirror….. in the Stranger’s Bar toilet.

Messina: So, Ed. What do you want?

Ed: We, the Labour Party want to win the next General Election and we wondered whether…..er…..you would consider helping us to achieve our goal.

(Sound of muffled but uncontrollable laughter from Messina. One minute later, he returns to the phone)

Messina: Sorry about that, Ed. I swallowed something  and it went down the wrong way…..

Ed: That’s OK, Jim. I was saying . Would you like to be my election guru and help me to win the next General Election? Please?

Messina : Sorry Ed. I’m very busy at the moment.

Ed: If it’s a question of money…that’s not a problem. I have lots. Well, to be perfectly honest I don’t have the cash but I know some powerful people who do and they say they’ll be able to contribute..er..

Messina: Let me be frank…er….Ed. I have a reputation and don’t normally HAVE to associate with losers.

Ed: So you haven’t signed with the Conservatives then, Jim? (laughs)

Messina: Can I speak frankly, Ed?

Ed: Yes of course, Jim. Fire away…as we say over here!

Messina: Sure you won’t be offended, Ed?

Ed: No Jim. Go ahead. Let me have it! (laughs)

Messina: Ed…you haven’t got a f***ing chance of winning. That is why I’m already working for Dave and the Conservativerers. The Labourite Party is going to get f***ed over if you remain as leader. THAT’s the word on the streets, Ed….Sorry, man….

Ed: Do you REALLY think so, Jim? Heard anything else, Jim?

Messina: Ed……If I talk for any longer than three minutes, it becomes a consultation and Mari is already typing the invoice….

Ed: Will you accept a cheque from UNITE, Jim?

Messina: ANY United Nations cheque is good enough for me, Ed. I have great respect for Kofi Ananan.

Ed: But he’s ….er…..er….never mind..You were saying…?

Messina: They say that you are like a guy called Kinnock….all wind and p**s, Ed…..

Ed: Neil was a great leader…who says that, Jim?

Messina: Everyone, Ed. THAT and the fact that you have no policies.

Ed: I HAVE! A European Referendum is one. Then there’s our intention to cut down on Social Security benefits. Then….

Messina: Those are Dave’s policies, Ed……..You stole them.

Ed: No, Jim. I thought of them first. Ed and I did.

Messina: You’re confusing me Ed….

Ed: Ed Balls.

Messina: So I’ve heard.

Marilyn (in background): Mr Messina, it’s time for your Orthodontist and Pilates.

Messina: Sorry, Ed. Have to go but the best of luck in the election….although I’m going to have to take you apart between now and then!! No hard feelings, eh?!

Ed: F*** you!

Messina: You too Ed…….Bye!

Wars of the Rosettes: UKIP

It used to be said that one of the biggest corporate lies was “I like a man who speaks his mind!” Nobody likes someone who tells it straight – especially if there’s an element of implied criticism.

When a company director says to an underling “Tell me what you really think about our latest initiative” what should the response be? You honestly believe that it is a crock of shit but you also know that it was the directors “baby”. If you’re wise and familiar with office politics, you tell the director exactly what you know that he wants to hear. On the other hand, if you’re a highly principled idiot, you are likely to tell the truth (your truth). That sort of response can come under the heading of “a novel way to resign”!! It is not worth the risk.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is a straight-talking man and tells us what we want to hear – but he is obviously no idiot. He tells it straight and his disciples continue to multiply. He has two things which give him a great advantage over other party leaders. Firstly, he has what Boris Johnson has – Charisma….a carefully-cultivated roguish old-school, charm……. and he smiles a lot. Yes…it’s THAT simple!

Of course, he has the added advantage of an Establishment-led Coalition government which gives the perception of being utterly incompetent. The Labour Opposition has no discernible “bite” and is led by yet another charmless product of Planet Politics. The other bit of the Coalition (the small bit) is already in terminal decline – a full two  years before the next general election. For our mate Nige, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Nigel Farage can do or say whatever he damn-well pleases and there’s no-one around with the balls to censure him. He is the enemy of all the other political parties, and coincidentally they are also the voters’ enemy. But more importantly, he is the sworn enemy of the self-serving bureaucratic edifice that is the European Parliament.

His election campaign started not a few weeks ago but leapt into life months ago in Brussels as Farage demanded of Van Rompuy: “Who [the f***] are you…..?” That was the moment when many of us , whether we agreed with his politics or not, fell in love with Uncle Nigel. [The parentheses above and their content are mine!]

There was none of the political correctness which constrains David Cameron.  If pushed, you can imagine Nigel saying “Barroso! you’re a twat!”- not that he would….but he has imprinted his personality on the national psyche so powerfully….that we now believe that he WOULD say what many of us are thinking.

Farage’s other great plus-point is that although he is  the son of a stockbroker and attended Dulwich College, he went to work(!) (as a City commodities broker) at the age of 18. He has exactly the sort of background that the Conservatives would dearly love their leader to have.

So, as Nigel and his disciples march out of the wilderness into the political sunlight and as UKIP  party contributions and sponsorships accelerate, what’s the future for the other parties?

Make no mistake, the Tory Starchamber’s Illuminati are looking very closely at their own Party leadership, as are the Trade Union leaders who set the drumbeat for the Labour party.

In the first instance, we can expect a clumsy lurch to the Right from David Cameron in a desperate attempt to woo back former Conservative supporters and hopefully, the other Miliband bought a return ticket.

Whatever the mid-term future holds, we are in for a very interesting two years.

May 2015 will be upon us very quickly!

2032

The Labour-Liberal Coalition is just about managing to cope with the constant rioting but at least immigration has been halted. No-one wants to move here anymore.

Head Minister Yvette wishes that she hadn’t defeated David Miliband because her life with the 30-stone Ed Balls ended as soon  as he had been defeated in the Leadership election by the elder Miliband. She had felt honour-bound to avenge her former husband’s humiliation and to everyone’s surprise, she had won!

Within two days had been texted by the Leader and asked to either form a government or go into exile to Melton Mowbray in the Mid-Shires.

No-one knows where the younger Miliband is at the moment. Rumour is that he is teaching English somewhere near Beijing – but these days – who knows.

Anyway, it was no joke having to go everywhere totally surrounded by large sweaty Security Guards in too-tight suits. Yvette hated that nearly as much as the Kevlar jacket which she seemed to take off only at bedtime . Even that wasn’t much fun any more.

She was soon to meet the rather wizened President of France. She briefly thought of President Lagarde in those good old days when she had been Head of the now defunct International Monetary Fund. The whereabouts of the money continues to be a mystery – but there are still lingering suspicions as to how well Germany (which used to be known as Europe) is doing.

As she climbed into the human-drawn bullet-proof rickshaw (the Ministerial Jags had been scrapped soon after the Petrol Wars) , out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of what appeared to be a familiar face. The features were still smooth – even after THAT prison sentence –  but the Buller Boy confidence now looked a little deflated and the sandwich board was not sitting comfortably on the 30 year-old hand-made suit. Sometimes, she thought that the post-incarceration humiliation phase of a prison sentence was a bit unnecessary but it did seem to teach some humility to those who were believed to need it.

The House of Parliament  used to be called Phoenix House and she was once again reminded of the historical episode thirty years ago when someone called Rupert Murdoch had a custard pie thrown in his face within these very walls! The incident had led to the destruction of the entire newspaper industry – Pre-Digi – and was commemorated by a sculpture fixed to the pavement outside.

She looked at the trio of figures. Maxwell, his wife Wendy Deng and pie-thrower Jonathan May-Bowles were depicted in life-sized splendour. Well….that wasn’t strictly true. The “sculpture” was by the Gunther von Hagens studios and rumoured to be no more than the plastinated remains of the three participants. However the bomb-proof glass case in which the sculpture was sealed made analysis impossible – plus there had been rumours that two of the figures depicted had been spotted in various locations – just like Arkle, Lord Lucan and Gordon Brown. Mind you, she mused, without any reliable news….who knows?

When she was awakened by the scream of a knocked-over tourist just outside the main entrance to the Virgin Westminster Palace of Fun, she shouted to the rickshaw pulling-team to stop. She noticed quite a few people wandering about amongst the potholes. They were all wearing those ill-fitting but mandatory jackets with “TOURIST” emblazoned on the back – although many of them were English and from only 30 or 40 miles away.

She decided to take a risk and see whether the person her team had knocked over was OK and stepped rather gingerly onto the pavement.  She reached into her gun-case for a handheld pot-pourri, as the stench of the open street was something to which she was no longer acclimatised.

A few years ago, this would have been what used to be called “an iOpportunity”. A digital image would have been taken of the Head Minister cradling an injured citizen to her Spanx-Kevlar bodice and the image would have been transmitted to everyone who still had an iDevice.

Unfortunately. Electronic signals were a thing of the past and citizens only wore “ the iBox” around their neck or waist for decoration.

However, it was soon apparent that the Tourist had a broken leg. Yvette turned and re-entered the Ministerial Carry-pod. “Deal with it, “ she snapped to one of her guards.

As the door hissed shut and she felt the shudder of the rickshaw slowly gathering speed, she fancied that she heard  a single gunshot….. in fact, as she proceeded, she noticed that there were lots of gunshots……


To be continued/

Two Close Shaves.

Chile Miner Rescue


The 33


This was one of those heart-warming events which made us cheer and cry plus it reaffirmed man’s infinite ingenuity and fierce regard, love and admiration for his fellow man. It also showed that we all still crave that rapidly fading commodity – the hero.

It also demonstrated the power and futility of blind faith. God was mentioned several times but none of the miners or their families saw the irony or  illogical reasoning of God somehow watching over the rescue and therefore meriting their eternal gratitude. God, as usual had nothing to do with the miners’ entombment but he did respond to their prayers and facilitated their rescue. He does like to play silly games, doesn’t he?

Can you imagine such a quick rescue here in the UK?

UK Health & Safety are probably still pursing their thin lips over the many breaches of health and safety which were evident during the rescue process.

Oh yes, there would of course be an inquiry with at least 33 witnesses, more than 33 lawyers and an open-ended budget, not to mention a miner’s strike.

When Chile’s President, Sebastian Pinera visits the United Kingdom next week, perhaps David Cameron can pick up a few practical tips on how to rediscover the secret of being a nation of “doers” and not the hamstrung administrators which we have become.

Ed Miliband

“PMQs

“Fair does” to the boy – he was good. By the time young Ed had got into his stride during PMQs yesterday, it had become a classic Flashman/Tom Brown encounter. One may even  have been forgiven for expecting a stink-bomb planted under one foot of the Dispatch Box – that’s how naughty  and mischievous Miliband Minor looked. A stenchful Chamber would have provided a really welcome  jolly jape which  would have  rendered bossy headmaster Bercow incandescent. With a bit of luck, he may well have self-combusted.

Flashman had entered the Chamber in a very good mood and even allowed his fag, Clegg to sit next to him.

Ed started quietly but showed Flashman his determination as he adopted the Paxman technique of asking the same question more that twice. Flashman was clearly rattled and there would have been a lively meeting of the Tuck Shop Boys yesterday afternoon.

Perhaps young Ed will be summoned to the Senior Common Room for a jolly good  slippering.

Foreplay & the Donkey Voter.

Tory Foreplay?

David Cameron’s conference  speech has definitely confirmed one thing and that is that the art of oratory is well and truly dead and buried. This was no “This lady’s not for turning”, “Rivers of Blood”, “I have a dream”, “We shall fight them on the beaches”, or even an “Ich bin ein berliner”. This was a leader going through the motions. The tone and delivery were spookily similar to Ed Miliband’s.

It wasn’t quite down to the Gordon Brown standard. His speeches were only memorable for the fact that they tended to induce an irrational desire to cut off one’s own ears.

DC was always going to have to strike a difficult balance. He was the first Conservative Prime Minister for 13 years to  address a Conservative Party in power, just 5 months after fighting a General Election.There should have been balloons, cake, drink, merriment and general ribaldry – or the Tory equivalent thereof. Mind you, he didn’t actually WIN the election and perhaps remembered that he is  being propped up by that rag-tag band of opportunist Liberals, led by Clegg the Duplicitous. Perhaps out and out triumphalism was not appropriate – but then again, neither was Marvin Gaye’s “It takes Two”. That was about as subtle as Eric Pickles brandishing a shovel in a pie factory.

He knew what we were all really waiting for and he more-or-less bottled out. Yes. Child Benefits. His inexperience as a policymaker shone through once again.  By now someone should have told him that before introducing new policies, he should prepare the ground – and that does not necessarily mean the “slash and burn”. All that macho nonsense may well produce an odd cheer and the clap that he so richly deserves but it does look as if the headline-grabbing announcements are made too soon. Policies are  published or leaked  in advance of being thought through and without  the electorate being properly prepared and put in the right “mood” through the traditional and well-tested mediums of leak and spin. Not enough political foreplay.

We all like a bit of foreplay before we’re screwed.

Donkey Voting

 Donkey voting is a well known phenomenon in all electoral systems. It is when a voter chooses candidates near the top of the list presented to him. If a voter is presented with an alphabetical list and is asked to select a number of candidates, those candidates near the top of the list are advantaged because as the donkey voter ticks the list, he will select candidates  top-down. He will stop selecting when he has chosen the required number.

This phenomenon has reared its ugly head in the election of Ed Miliband’s  (new) Labour Shadow Cabinet.  Below  is the full list.

Notice that no-one with a surname below the letter “M” was elected!

Perhaps on this occasion, the term “Donkey Voter” is more appropriate that usual and further focuses on the stupid principle of a political leader not being able to hire his own team.

We should also point out that no Welsh MPs were elected.

Douglas Alexander – 160 votes

Ed Balls – 179 votes

Hilary Benn – 128 votes

Andy Burnham – 165 votes

Liam Byrne – 100 votes

Yvette Cooper – 232 votes

Mary Creagh – 119 votes

John Denham – 129 votes

Angela Eagle – 165 votes

Maria Eagle – 107 votes

Caroline Flint – 139 votes

John Healey – 192 votes

Meg Hillier – 106 votes

Alan Johnson – 163 votes

Tessa Jowell – 152 votes

Sadiq Khan – 128 votes

Ivan Lewis – 104 votes

Ann McKechin – 117 votes

Jim Murphy – 160 votes


Oh Brother! Brains or Charisma?

We used to feel just a tiny bit sorry for Ed Miliband.  OK, he was a Cabinet Minister, had a barrister “partner” (Justine is an environmental lawyer), an Oxford education and all the other “bolt-ons” that the majority of 40 year-olds can only dream of. So why did we not envy him ? His career was mapped out for him, he was comparatively well-off and yet there was a “niggle”. That niggle  or career speed-bump has now been removed and is somewhere in North London licking his wounds. Big Brother, David.

Ed certainly does not possess his brother’s intellect, brooding D’Arcyesque presence  or sharp suits. In fact, compared to David, he is more of Wallace (Wallace & Grommit) with a silly haircut and the sort of annoying voice which begs a prompt visit to an ENT man.

Luckily for him, as usual, the Labour Party has managed to allow the potential runner up to shine and then try and convince itself that this was the right decision. Michael Foot defeated Denis Healey, Neil Kinnock defeated Roy Hattersley, Gordon Brown defeated himself and once again the potential silver medalist has won the Gold.

However, on this occasion, it would seem that more by luck than judgement and a combination of disaffected unions and the Party’s irrational addiction to high drama, Labour has elected the right man for the job.

So what was the path that ultimately led to the collision in Manchester? The collision that some commentators have been reporting as cunningly premeditated  fratricide.

The paths that the Miliband brothers took were practically identical. The same influences, the same education and the same career path. That is why the Labour Party’s decision was almost too close to call.

The boys are a reasonably common post-war product.  In 1940, their father, Ralph (nee Adolphe) managed to scramble aboard the last boat from Belgium to England. He and the Milbands’ grandfather Samuel settled in London. Ralph had been born in Belgium although the family was Polish-Jewish.

In 1961, Ralph married  a Polish girl called Marion Kozak. She was one of Ralph’s former students at LSE where he taught Political Science. David was born in 1965 and Ed in 1969.

The two boys were totally immersed in Socialism – their father was not-only one of the most influential socialist thinkers of his day but the house always buzzed to the sound of socialist discourse and debate. For instance, one of the regular visitors to the Miliband household used to be Tony Benn  and it is rumoured that he used to help the boys with their homework. From a very early age, the Miliband  sons were encouraged to discuss and argue politics with the constant stream of left-wing intellectuals  who’d pitch up to their London home on a daily basis.

It is said that in spite of their socialist home influences, what really shaped their views was their time at Haverstock school. The young Milibands saw that this comprehensive school (in which over 60 languages were spoken), created a background-driven disparity in pupil performance. Both brothers perceived the inverse link between social class and educational performance. The recognised that children who were far more intellectually able than they were, did not always perform to their potential. Those children did not have the benefit of their warm, intellectual middle-class existence.

To put it simply, poor children did not perform as well as well-off children. That is now accepted as a self-evident truth.

The experience fused the brothers’ political views. Not for the first time, ideology had shaken hands with harsh reality.

In spite of below-par A-level results, David went up to Oxford where he read PPE at Corpus Christi. Unsurprisingly, Ed followed a couple of years later. Same University, same college, same subject.

Their times at Oxford were similar, except that Ed is remembered as having been the more militant and has said on a number of occasions that politics motivated him more than academia.

There is a simple way to describe the difference between the Miliband brothers using the Merrill-Reid Social Styles model. Ed is more of an “expressive” while David is the  “analytical”. The “doer” versus the “thinker”.

Ed deals in emotions whilst David prefers  facts.

For instance, this week you may have noticed that there has never been any question of Harriet Harman NOT continuing as Deputy Leader. One of the reasons for that is the very strong emotional bond between Harriet and Ed. His first political job was as Harriet’s researcher.

One suspects however, that had David won the leadership election, he would have been more concerned with candidates’ previous form rather than be driven by sentimentalism.

After university, Ed worked as speechwriter and researcher for Harriet Harman and for Gordon Brown, then the Shadow Chancellor. He followed Brown to the Treasury as one of the “two Eds” (the other is Ed Balls) who steered the Chancellor and the Treasury through the ten Blair years. Ed has the very great political advantage of having been very close to the economic shenanigans of the last  fifteen years.

There are those who cannot understand why the Unions gave Ed the ticket to the leadership. David Miliband is still perceived as a Blairite – after all, he used to be Tony Blair’s Head of Policy. The Unions have long memories and they DO hold a grudge.

Both brothers were in the thick of the Blair/Brown feud but it was Ed who became the non-elected nuncio who was the buffer between the two camps. He was dubbed (rather eloquently) as “the ambassador from Planet Fuck” – primarily because he was the only member of the Brown team who did not tell the Blairites to “Fuck off”.

So, the two brothers were gradually being squeezed apart  by the Blair/Brown in-fighting and in spite of the fact that it has become transparently obvious that Brown’s tenure at No 10 was a disaster and that Brown was arguably the worst leader since John Major, Ed Miliband does not appear to have been tainted by his closeness to Brown and he achieved that by his comparative anonymity.

There is little doubt that Ed Miliband is regarded as the warmer of the two brothers and his natural ability to “connect” makes him a very popular speaker. He should not be judged solely on his 2010 conference speech!

His leadership potential is there but still largely untested. He has not had David’s experience of comfortably striding the world stage  as Foreign Secretary but by all accounts, he is a fast learner and what he may lack in natural physical grace, he compensates for in political guile and a profound doggedness.

Had David remained  as part of Ed’s shadow team, there would always have been a real danger of the soap opera that was the Blair/Brown feud having been reprised with a younger (Miliband) cast.  The Tories were looking forward to David being elected as leader because there was little doubt that Ed would have been part of David’s shadow team. That would have created two distinct camps within the party which would have suited the Conservatives very well. There is nothing as agreeable as watching your enemies (once again) publicly digest themselves from the inside.

The election of Ed Miliband has averted a potential disaster for the Labour Party.

Many predicted that the Milibands would work as a team and rebuild the car-crash that is the current  Labour Party but on reflection it seems that the right Miliband is in charge.

In the leadership game, charisma always wins over intellect.

Ed “Seagull” Miliband’s Speech

There will be many analyses of  Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour faithful in Manchester. This is the only analysis which you will need. It is the speech “Worldcloud”.

Macro-message (from Wordcloud): 

” New Generation Must Change Country. “

Now you know what was on his mind.

No surprises. He disagreed with some things that he had previously agreed with and vice versa.

The delivery was more Aldi than Audi and the speech was a triumph of Cut over Paste delivered to an audience which had nothing left but  faith.

Why “Seagull”?

Anyone who flies in, creates  a lot of noise and disturbance, eats the food, shits on his brother and then flies off again, deserves to be called “Seagull”.

(Thanks to SP Bain for the WORDCLOUD)