It’s time to stop trying to fix Ed Miliband. Ever since he was elected, supporters, colleagues, commentators and even some enemies have attempted to knock the Labour leader into shape: he should be radical; he should be pragmatic; he should be like Blair; he should be true to himself.
At the heart of this process was a belief that, sooner or later, Miliband would come good. It would take time, but eventually this ugly duckling would transform into a swan. “Give it a year,” we were told. Then two, then three. “Wait till people get to know him,” his allies said. People got to know him – and the more they saw of him, the less they liked.
Exactly like Shearer. Labour need to do something about having a dud leader before he burns off all the good people working for Labour outside of caucus.
The similarities continue, Farage could be replaced by Norman.
There were promises that Miliband would seize the agenda, catch the public mood, drag the political centre to the Left. Instead, he squandered the gift that was the Tory annus horribilis of 2012, handed the mantle of opposition leader to Nigel Farage, and watched impotently as the public mood shifted decisively to the Right. It is time to face facts: Miliband is not coming good. There will be no Clause Four moment.
The same thing is happening here.
But it’s time to drop the pretence. Labour may scrape home in 2015, but it will be despite its leader, not because of him. There is no “new” Ed Miliband waiting to emerge from the shadows. It is not a question of more time, or more repositioning, or more flesh on the bones of Labour’s skeletal political prospectus. The real Labour leader is already standing up, and he has been for the past three years. Ed Miliband is broken. Nothing can fix him now.
Why is Grant Robertson waiting?