This tweet from yours truly a few minutes ago has got me thinking more broadly:
It *is* a bit weird how acutely populist Ed Miliband can be – and yet, at the same time, unpopular …
In so many instances over the past twelve months or so, Miliband (E) has led the field. Whilst each new initiative has been initially ignored or more widely discounted by the media, time then goes on to prove his instincts were right. From News International phone-hacking to bankers’ bonuses, from that predatory capitalism to a capitalism we might be able to live with, he has identified and sustained a public mood – as well as an almost private reality we can surely no longer deny: things cannot carry on as they have been doing so for the past decade and a half.
He seems, therefore, the perfect person to have somewhere in your political grouping: essentially, performing the role of that medium- and long-term strategist of typical political lore … that is to say, the man or woman who sits permanently at the right hand of those at the top tables of political power.
The indispensable soothsayer who can see with much greater clarity than the rest of us.
The ascetic adviser with real power to influence the ship of state: a man or woman who desires to court little popularity for him- or herself but wishes, instead and only, to be properly heard and duly paid attention to – for no more than their accuracy and rectitude, mind; for no more than their ability to see the future first.
Is Ed Miliband’s problem, then, that he’s far more a strategist of perspicacious brilliance than a communicator of connecting awe?
Is his – and therefore our – current dilemma that he’s precisely the right man but in precisely the wrong role?
And if his role were to become back-office strategic, as cleverly as he has shown himself to be, who’d be best placed to provide – instead – the very public job of pyramidally political leader?