Friday 27 April 2018

Steve Richards: Miliband will have few excuses if he fails to silence Cameron jibes

Steve Richards

Take one look at the latest frenzy of doubt about Ed Miliband's leadership and the spark is tiny, a mere flicker. David Cameron made a good joke about brothers falling out. On the same day, a poll showed the Conservatives moving into a lead. Everyone expected Mr Cameron to get a short-term bounce for his posturing in Europe and a joke is neither here nor there as the British economy totters on the edge of a cliff.

Take a closer look and in that apparently trivial moment there are two small clues as to why Mr Miliband is not making more of a mark. The origins of his leadership are still an issue. Mr Miliband stood against his elder brother partly because he wanted to take Labour in a different direction from David, or at least he thought he did.

Because of the subsequent personal tensions, the early 'Red Ed' label and the wider divisions in his party, the younger brother cannot specify any longer what those differences are or might have been. Instead, he seeks to woo his brother's supporters and declares that he and David think as one.

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