3 Oct 2012

Ed M, Blairites and sofa hopping

There’s a triumphant mood around supporters of Ed M this morning. One Labour frontbencher said Ed Miliband’s successful “look no notes” speech yesterday should be a wake-up call to the “f****** Blairites” who the shadow minister described as “like the Japanese fighting in the jungle … they don’t realise the war is over.” (The language might suggest the war is anything but over.) The shadow minister specifically attacked David Miliband: “He should get out!”

But as Ed Miliband did a tour of the breakfast shows this morning a bit of the overnight stardust was coming off. He was asked what in practical terms his promise to heal the north-south divide actually meant. He didn’t really know.

He seemed to be asking for wealth disclosure from David Cameron but unwilling to disclose his own worth. He was asked what he would do in practical terms to stop the rising fuel prices he protested against in his speech – his answer wasn’t entirely convincing.

Ed Miliband used this morning’s interview to launch the name “One Nation Labour.” It’s the answer, aides say, to the Peter Mandelson question – you’ve done away with New Labour, what are you replacing it with? Ed M didn’t use the name in his speech, worried that it would be tagged a “re-branding” exercise, but that’s exactly how the Tories will dismiss it whether it’s in the speech or not.

Seat wallah

Spotted in the Midland Hotel: one lobbyist is employing a young female assistant to sit on a sofa in the foyer, effectively reserving it for him. He swans around the hotel foyer looking for unsuspecting victims he can lure for a chat. When he hooks one he guides them over to the sofa at which point the young assistant gathers up her belongings, jumps up and says something like “have this one, I was just leaving.” Could this be the way to turn round employment?

What’s the right job title for such a role? What would an apprenticeship involve?

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