Features

Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success

On Murdoch, big business, Syria and Palestine, the Labour leader has changed the game. Some will never forgive him

14 February 2015

9:00 AM

14 February 2015

9:00 AM

Most political commentators consider Ed Miliband a useless leader. In a narrow sense they are right. He is not very good at getting a positive press or eliciting the support of important outside voices in the media and the business community. Even small stories of no consequence have the potential to turn into minor nightmares for Mr Miliband. The latest of these is his education spokesman Tristram Hunt’s innocuous remark about nuns, transformed by a voracious press into a minor scandal.

Mr Miliband’s bacon sandwich is a far more damaging example of the same phenomenon. But let us take a step backwards and avert our eyes from day to day headlines and political manoeuvres.

Suddenly, Mr Miliband becomes a far more interesting, significant and distinctive figure. Most politicians allow themselves to be shaped by the landscape in which they operate. Only in appearance are they independent figures. In practice they abide by the pieties of the age in which they live. There are certain exceptions to this rule. Enoch Powell — but he never got anywhere. Margaret Thatcher — indisputably.

Like them, Ed Miliband has been his own person, forged his own course and actually been consistent. It is easy to identify four defining phases of his leadership in which he has challenged the underlying structures which govern Westminster conduct.

The first of these came nine months into his leadership, when he confronted the power of the Rupert Murdoch and challenged his bid for the remaining shares in BSkyB. Up to that point every single political leader from Margaret Thatcher on had wooed Murdoch and considered that his support was an essential route to political power.

There is no question that he was effective in changing the terms of trade. We do not need to resort to conjecture to demonstrate this, as we know that the Prime Minister sent a message to Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International, in which he apologised for not being as loyal to her as she had been to him because ‘Ed Miliband had me on the run’.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Miliband made a well-judged speech on the abuse of corporate power. Once again he was defying the conventional wisdom, once again prevalent since the days of Margaret Thatcher, that the path to Downing Street involved flattering the business community.

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Then came the vital parliamentary vote on Syria in 2013. According to the political textbook, oppositions always support government proposals on foreign policy, as Iain Duncan Smith did over Iraq. Mr Miliband’s action stopped Britain from making an armed intervention against the Assad regime, thus ending a very long period when British party leaders saw it as their duty to support American foreign policy objectives.

We now come to last year’s Commons vote on the recognition of the Palestinian state. It would have been easy and conventional for Ed Miliband to have allowed his MPs a free vote on such a controversial subject. Instead, he bravely led them into the ‘aye’ lobby. As over Syria, he won the decision in Parliament. He has not been given nearly enough credit for this. It is extremely unusual for opposition leaders to win votes in the House of Commons and Ed Miliband has made a habit of doing so.

Four brave interventions, each one taking on powerful establishment interests: the Murdoch newspaper empire, the corporate elite, the foreign policy establishment and pro-Israel lobby.

Most people will not agree with all these positions. But there is no doubting Mr Miliband’s integrity or his courage. And he needs these qualities because when you attack powerful interests they use all their influence to fight back.

The Murdoch press is now persecuting Mr Miliband. It is hyping up the attacks on him by big business, while mocking him in a personal way. Recently in a Westminster restaurant I saw a top News International henchman having lunch with David Cameron’s culture minister (and unofficial ambassador to the Murdoch press) Ed Vaizey. The alliance between the Murdoch press and the Tory party, knocked temporarily off course during the phone-hacking scandal, is back in business. Mr Murdoch has powerful allies in other newspaper groups who are desperate to avoid another brave commitment from Ed Miliband — his call for full implementation of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations on press regulation.

Meanwhile, corporate Britain is exacting its revenge on Mr Miliband because of his refusal to share the world view of big business. Donations to the Labour party have dried up, so much so that he will have difficulty financing his election campaign.

However, Tory coffers are full to bursting and much of this money is being used to vilify the Labour leader through questionable techniques of vile advertising imported from the United States.

Ed Miliband is paying his biggest price of all, however, for his bold stands on Syria and Palestine. Neoconservative opinion (still dominant in the Conservative party and the Blairite wing of Labour) dictates that Miliband should axiomatically have taken the side of Israel over Palestine and of armed intervention in the Syrian conflict.

The backlash hit him particularly hard because it split the Labour party. The allies of Tony Blair have struck back, with Blair himself having accidentally blurted out his doubts about Miliband to numerous journalists. It is notable that all the leading Blairite commentators in the media appear to support David Cameron over Ed Miliband.

During his four-year stint as Labour leader, Ed Miliband has shown courage and principle. His reward is to be trashed and ridiculed and he may yet be destroyed.

Opposition is an essential part of British public life. Oppositions have a duty to challenge government and to give the electorate a clear choice. Ed Miliband has done precisely this and yet he has been written off. Does this mean that no opposition dare offend the big vested interests that govern Britain? Is this really the politics we want?

But consider this: if Ed Miliband does become prime minister, he will have done so without owing anything to anybody.

Peter Oborne is an associate editor at The Spectator.

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Show comments
  • isthisreallife2

    This article hits the mark. He will face an almighty onslaught from the mainstream press in the run up to the election but if he manages to win the election he will no doubt be able to form a coalition with the SNP and as Oborne notes he will not be “owing anything to anybody.” This means that in theory he will have quite a free reign to get things done. Interesting times.

    • GUBU

      If Mr Miliband forms a government with the support of the SNP, he will almost certainly ‘owe something to somebody.’

      • paulus

        Yea God, because only with divine intervention can he win.

      • dalai guevara

        I note y’all are preparing for the much anticipated
        .
        grand coalition à la mode Deutsch.

      • wobble

        Salmond will utterly rinse Ed to the detriment of the UK if that happens….It would be labours swan song

        • GUBU

          Indeed.

          What strikes me is that a deal of any description will involve Mr Miliband stepping over the electoral wreckage of his own party in Scotland to shake hands with the SNP.

          In doing so, he will effectively consign the idea of Labour as the dominant force in Scottish politics to the dustbin of history.

          Interesting times.

          • Wessex Man

            Can we consign the Scottish Nation there as well?

          • GUBU

            How unkind of you.

            As a UKIP supporter (indeed, are you not a member?) do you not ‘believe in Britain’ – to borrow a phrase from your own election campaign?

          • Des Demona

            Perhaps as UKIP are as scarce as hens teeth in Scotland they only ”believe in Britain” up to and including Hadrian’s Wall?
            Certainly their deputy leader Nutty Nuttall would not have endeared himself or his party to those north of the border after his appearance on QT.

          • scotchthistle

            How come then that Scotland elected a UKIP MEP last May, even when Alex Salmond had given instructions that there was to be no UKIP representative from Scotland?

        • Kit Conway

          Unless I imagined it, Alex Salmond resigned as leader of the SNP.

          • wobble

            Back in Westminster after the next elections

            Then onto labours cabinet as the price of a coalition and a walk in SNP leader in Westminster for hors d’oeuvre.

            That fish needs a bigger pond for his ego to swim in .

          • GUBU

            I doubt it.

            Mr Salmond will undoubtedly be the leader of the SNP grouping in Westminster – he is, after all, a Commons man.

            But I suspect that any deal with Miliband would only be on the basis of a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement, allowing the SNP to keep sufficient distance from Labour, whilst giving Mr Salmond a free hand to make mischief from the back benches.

          • Dr. Heath

            And the voters, every one of whom is deaf, dumb and blind, will fail to notice what’s going on? I beg to differ.

            I think that if Ed looks like a quisling, waddles like a quisling, quacks like a quisling….

          • GUBU

            Indeed.

            My point was that the SNP would see greater advantage in such an arrangement – not that there would be any advantage to the rest of us.

            You’re of course right to suggest that voters will see such an arrangement very differently.

          • Domac

            Should the Tories win the election then they have more to fear from SNP MPs. They, along with Plaid Cymru, The Greens and Labour will vote down much of legislation they propose.

          • GUBU

            Indeed.

            Perhaps you could explain how the Tories will have ‘won’ the election if, as you suggest, they are unable to muster a majority in the House of Commons?

            Or just slap yourself on the forehead.

            Either will work for me…

          • ElRoberto

            Miliband will not allow either coalition or deals with the SNP. My reading of Miliband is like that of Peter Oborne. He is a strong conviction politician.

            When he says he believes in the Union more than in his career, I believe him. Cameron and Clegg could go down as the pair that stayed in office for a decade and lost Britain both Scotland and EU membership.

            Anything for power. They are not fit to lace Miliband’s boots.

          • Ruth

            Rubbish.

          • ElRoberto

            Cameron weakened the Union one day after the referendum by saying the promises he made to Scotland were now dependent on EVEL.

            Then in this election to gain votes to win a five-year govt he puts th eUnion at further risk. By calling SNP supporters illegitimate and that they threatened the country, he has played into nationalists hands – perhaps deliberately to weaken Labour. To weaken the very existence of our country for the gain of 5 yrs in power is not only disgraceful, but fatally unpatriotic.

            In medieval times he should have been exiled. Many now consider him for our PM. He’s a disgrace. Miliband has stood up to bullies before: the press, energy companies, banks, New Labour. He’d do it again with the SNP. I expect he’d call an election within two years if he becomes PM> But first rid Britain of Health and Soc Care Bill, and reform land and tax (non dom, landbanking, mansion hs tax) polcices.

          • paul

            Spot on !!

          • GUBU

            Indeed.

            That’s the same Peter Oborne who views Ayatollah Khomeini as having been one of the great theologians of our age. A fine judge of character.

            Mr Miliband can hardly abandon his own party’s candidates in Scotland by making positive noises about any possible arrangement with the SNP. That would be indecent of him…

            …before 10.01pm on Thursday evening, that is.

          • Mynydd

            You are right Salmond was forced to resign as leader of the SNP because under his leadership the referendum was not only lost, but killed off any possible independence for a generation, that is, for thirty years.

          • GUBU

            You are more easily ‘rinsed’ than any party leader, I would suggest.

            Try reading the parts of your newspaper which don’t cover the rugby for a change.

            Mr Salmond reappearance at Westminster will not mark a retreat, but the opening of an entirely new front for the SNP.

            The SNP are set to reap the electoral benefits of their association with the ‘Yes’ campaign at the general election, and will seek to revive the momentum to independence through the added political leverage they might gain in the event of a hung parliament.

            How will your Welsh Labour chums react to all the preferential treatment Mr Salmond secures for Scotland in those circumstances?

          • wobble

            Salmond didn’t lose the long game……labours about to get near eliminated as a political force north of the border.

            With 40 MP’s behind him at Westminster the neverendum will be back on the table at every election , particularly as we are now heading into a protracted period of rainbow politics and all the back door fudging that entails.

          • Dive

            Eliminated? I doubt that, my son. But as always … we shall shortly see.

          • con

            rectumus evacuationus.

          • terry sulivan

            i am not sure–some of the crap coming from snp will put many off–and salmond wont win

          • ElRoberto

            Of course, that’s not what the SNP thinks. And it is playing the Scottish people for dupes in claiming they are merely gonna be a more radical Scottish Labour party at Westminster.

            The actual Labour party won’t stand for it. Unfortunately, the leader of the Conservative and so-called Unionist party is content to weaken the Union to scare English voters into putting him back in power.

          • ManOfKent

            If you think that the SNP now they have the upper hand in Scotland are going to wait 30 years for another referendum then you are even more delusional than your run of the mill Labour supporter.

            The SNP’s first priority in this Parliament will be to ensure they domiinate the Scottish election is 2016. So Labour better be prepared to face all sort of undermining stunts in the first year should they gain power. After that for the rest of the Parliament it will be the SNP’s goal to prove that under Westminster Scotland gets a very bad deal so expect Salmond to be front and centre in demonstrating that.

          • Domac

            Wrong. Salmond resigned as Leader so that he could have a seat in Westminster.

          • con

            he will be standing as a westminster mp and if everything goes according to ‘plan’, i’m sure it would be argued the the lovely nicola is too busy to be deputy pm.

          • terry sulivan

            lovely??? specsavers for you

          • Domac

            True. Sturgeon became leader. Salmond if he wins his seat will have a seat in parliament. So much scaremongering by the rightwing press. SNP MPs will take their seats in parliament along with all other MPs representing their constituents. SNP MPs have never been present on matters relating to England only. This will continue.

        • Mynydd

          Cameron as utterly failed to rinse Ed so how do you think Salmond can do it. especially when the no vote won it and Slamond’s Yes lost it.

        • terry sulivan

          i do so hope so

          obornes a funny bugger–his opinions change all the time

        • ElRoberto

          This reads Ed as weak. I have made many similar arguments as Mr Oborne on Miliband. He is not only not weak, but the most courageous leading politician this 40-year old can remember. Early Thatcher’s challenge to ruling orthodoxies is before my time.

        • Gary Edgar

          Not exactly up to date are you !

      • con

        not forgetting unite.

      • Jayson Carmichael

        SNP/LABOUR combined could veto all policy maybe even referendum

    • http://yalefty.blogspot.com/ Ads20000

      The SNP/Plaid/Green troika have said that they won’t form a coalition with either major party and they much prefer a confidence and supply arrangement conditional on the removal of Trident, which won’t happen because it was Attlee who brought WMDs to the UK in the first place. I don’t think they will be desperate enough to get power to break this pledge – the SNP has control of the Scottish Parliament and they have seen how unpopular the Lib Dems have become as a result of their coalition. The SNP will want their Westminster representation to ensure that the cross-party conensus on Scotland devo-max is passed but they will not want or need an official coalition or even a proper confidence and supply agreement – they can afford to make the impossible demand of the dismantling of Trident.

      electionforecast.co.uk takes into account polls on a weekly basis and the tendency for the governing parties to do better closer to the election and it suggests that for a majority coalition to be a possibility, it would have to be one of Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats (taking the median seat probabilities).

      • isthisreallife2

        If the SNP were able to get Milliband to abandon austerity plans and implement a proper stimulus plan then they will be willing to form a coalition and very likely the majority of the Scottish people would be happy with that compromise.

        Perhaps the Scots would need another referendum on whether the SNP should be allowed to form a coalition!! 😉

        • Wessex Man

          Perhaps England will be allowed it’s very first to see if we want independence!

        • http://yalefty.blogspot.com/ Ads20000

          If what you mean by ‘abandon austerity plans’ is either ‘raise taxes significantly’ or ‘abandon commitment to reduce deficit then Labour will have none of it. Their mandate would be to cut the deficit by less cuts to public services than the Tories and more tax increases than the Tories and overall taking longer complete so the severity is reduced.

          I would call it ‘austerity with a human face’. Labour would do kinder austerity, I can’t see them getting rid of it altogether.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Your starter for 10, spell the name of the leader of the Labour party.

          • http://www.ukip.org/ Too Old To Join UKIP

            You are a Japanese idiot with Aspergers!

    • Wessex Man

      This is true, he will have a free reign to bankrupt the UK to keep the loonies of the SNP happy amnd give them everything they want.

    • Michael990

      Free Hand?!!! He’s owned by the unions….

      • Mary Jackson

        I would rather a PM that is owned by the Unions, Then a PM who is owned by the bankers, Like one David Cameron,

    • con

      “not be ‘owing anything to anybody'”. that would be quite funny if it wasn’t so ironic.
      there is just the little question of his paymasters the unions who put him into the job, have basically been running his agenda ever since and provide several £ millions in funds.
      miliband is bought hook line and sinker by the unions, particularly unite.
      labour, snp and unite. what could possibly go wrong?
      oborne is simply being contrarian and with his track record, hopefully, wrong.

      • Dive

        hook, line and stinker if we include you in the equation, lol

        • con

          dickius maximus

    • Vera

      He would owe it to unfair constituency boundaries, fraudulent voting, support of immigrants brought into the UK specifically for that purpose and the idiots who would vote for a turnip with a red rosette.

    • ManOfKent

      This is someone who will have the freedom of knowing that he arrived in Downing Street with likely a smaller mandate and perhaps fewer seats than any previous Prime Minister since Universal suffrage began with the whole of England judging him on whether he sells them out to the Scots and to add to that he will have a £1.5 trillion debt to service and around a £80 billion deficit per annum to address. If you seriously think that gives him a free rein then I’d hate to think what you would consider being constrained might involve?In comparison to the freedom that Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher had with their landslide majorities for example, Miliband will be in chains and locked in the ‘Bloody Tower’.from day one.

  • wycombewanderer

    Miliband is the epitome of gesture politics.

    He is an empty vessel who will say anything populist in order to get attention because he has nothing of substance to give.

    and as for not owing anything laughable when you considerr he’s a bought and paid for puppet of Len McLuskey and the rest of the unions!

    • crackenthorp

      Oh what a poor loser you are going to be. If i were you i would get ready to emigrate and i would come and wave you off.
      This nation is better off without the likes of you

    • Tynam

      I *wish* he was a union puppet… but sadly the power of the unions is nearly gone.

  • Bert

    Surely he owes a big debt to len McClusky?
    What about the Lib-Dems and the boundary commission?
    Unlikely to form majority without the Scots. What will they demand?
    What about the imported voters, what will they demand? More white girrls?

    • Blindsideflanker

      Indeed there isn’t room for Miliband to have any obligations to others as he has been bought and paid for by the Unions.

      Oborne has attempted to put forward an argument by ignoring the bleeding obvious.

      • KerryK

        As a middle income, ordinary working person I can’t help thinking ‘being bought and paid for by the unions’ is better than being bought and paid for by a band of tax-dodging millionaires who prosper at the expense of the rest of us. All power to you Ed. You are a rarity – a politician of integrity who stands up for the right things.

        • Blindsideflanker

          Barring paying for his share of inheritance tax.

          • Mynydd

            If you want to have a dig at Mr Miliband inheritance, then it is only right to balance this with a comment about Mr Cameron’s inheritance. It as been reported Mr Cameron father made his money from advising investors about the advantages of banking overseas, and arranged his tax affairs so that Mr Cameron received a tax free lump sum, if I remember rightly of £600,000.

          • GUBU

            I think both families should be commended for clearly arranging their financial affairs in a sensible manner.

            Neither appears to have done anything illegal.

            This only becomes problematic when you lambast others as ‘dodgy’ for doing something whilst seeing no problem with having done, or benefited from, the very same thing yourself.

            It’s a surprisingly short step from righteous indignation to rank hypocrisy, don’t you think?

          • Blindsideflanker

            No, it is Miliband who is attempting to politicise and criminalise the legal act of tax avoidance , as such it is relevant to point out Miliband’s hypocrisy.

    • Dive

      Vile remarks.

  • BigAl

    If he had any policies rather than just media soundbites he might be taken seriously…

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      I’m surprised he can handle soundbites, given the difficulty he had with a bacon sarnie…

    • isthisreallife2

      A few of his policies:

      Limit the use of zero-hr contracts
      Abolish the bedroom tax
      Regulate big energy companies
      Clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion
      Open the railways up for nationalisation
      Increase housebuilding
      Open up big banks to more competition

      You might not like his policies but it’s a bit odd to accuse him of not having any.

      • BigAl

        A few soundbites which will have little positive benefit on the overall economy. I rest my case….

        • Mynydd

          In 2010 Mr Cameron/Osborne said they would balance the books by 2015. By the best use of words they have failed by 50%, using other words, which most understand, the failure is 66.6%. Now we have ‘Long term economic plan’ Long term is meaningless it could be ten, twenty, or even a hundred year, what it doesn’t mean it will be more successful than the initial five year plan. There again all Mr Stalin’s five year plans failed.

    • Mynydd

      Well lets have some more soundbytes, then more Coulson’s would be behind bars.

  • jmjm208

    Milipede has betrayed his own race by supporting the Palestinian cause; he is a disgrace.

  • Richard Young

    Is this the same guy who gave Red Len a gerrymandering free hand in Falkirks candidate selection.Running the proverbial mile when he was caught out?Indulging in wink and nod politics with Cameron in not pushing for the removal of a violent alcohol soddenthug because the SNP would cake walk the ensuing election.

  • Jamie McMillan

    I wonder if any Labour insiders could confirm what was circulating in the press about the Syria bombing vote the week before: that Labour was initially minded to support the government? It was only when Green MP Caroline Lucas and a few Labour left-wingers proposed their motion/amendment against bombing that Labour changed its mind. I agree that Ed Miliband was indeed brave to do so against much Blairite obstruction.

    • Brimstone52

      I recall Miliband/Labour agreeing with the government until it came to the vote when they played political games and voted against invading Syria.

      Labour failed to take account of Tory dissenters hence the vote was lost by the government.

  • Peter Stroud

    Firstly let us not forget that Miliband won the vote against bombing Syrian troops, because a good number of Tories, quite rightly, joined him. Let us also not forget his energy price freeze fiasco, and the ‘one nation Labour’ mantra. Add to this his part in the dangerous campaign against press freedom post Leveson. The man is his father’s son: a Marxist, or at best an Old Labour type of Marxist. Furthermore, the unions own him: especially since he lost Labour its big business donations.

    • Mynydd

      Please tell me how you can bomb Syrian troops and not civilians at the same time?

  • ohforheavensake

    Have you shown this to Dan Hodges?

    • foto2021

      It’s all a bit too complicated for ‘tribal loyalist’ Dan.

  • paul clarke

    Let’s focus on the Cameron comb over.

  • alabenn

    He owes the old and the poor an apology for driving them into the fuel poverty with his ode to idiocy, the 2008 Climate Change Act.
    Oborne is taking his hatred of Cameron to extreme lengths to come out with unadulterated garbage like this.

    • Kennybhoy

      This is Oborne we are talking about here. It’s no about Cameron.It’s about the International Jewish Conspiracy! 🙂

  • anyfool

    As over Syria, he won the decision in Parliament.
    No, Mr Oborne, try telling the truth for once, Miliband scuttled back and forth promising his backing, while Cameron took his eye of the ball as 20 plus Conservative backbenchers scuttled the Syria attacks.
    Miliband did nothing that anyone with a shred of decency could call honourable in that matter.
    Your ludicrous assertion he stopped being a US poodle is totally opposite of what he was trying to achieve, he went scuttling back to his MPs getting more and more concessions so he could actually vote for the Syria intervention to please Obama, for someone so dialled into politics, Oborne knows very little of what is really happening.

    • realfish

      Milband, the opportunist, quite simply saw the opportunity to pose, to make a name for himself. The result? Thousands of innocent people died at the hands of Assad, for the want of a no-fly zone…or the threat of one.

      Miliband has blood on his hands

      • Mynydd

        You may not like it, Mr Miliband along with others, including Conservative back benchers and Lib Dems stopped Mr Cameron committing an act of war by bombing Syria, Don’t kid yourself it was about a no-fly zone it was about bombing Syria. When you are at war your own armed forces and innocent people get killed.
        Yes thousands of people have died in the Syrian civil war, at the hands of both Assad and anti-Assad forces who are nor whiter than white,. Bombing Syria would not have changed this, but on the other hand, it could have drawn Assad’s principle supporter Russia into it. Result maybe WWlll.

  • gerronwithit

    Well Peter, Adolphe Miliband was very much a conviction politician who deeply imbued his Marxist views in his sons, David and Ed, but particularly Ed. Having been succoured from Nazi Germany Miliband senior dedicated the rest of his life to making his adopted country a Marxist paradise. Now, in everything he did and passed on to his son Ed, he was a conviction politician with completely deluded and proven to be hopeless theories. How Oborne can look at Ed Miliband’s 1970s Marxist venal views and see them fit for purpose in a 21st century society is way beyond me. I have no need of another ‘successful’ academic theoretician with no practical values whatsoever.

    • trotters1957

      Get a grip, Ed Miliband is a social democrat, he believes in capitalism and private property.
      In case you didn’t know Marxists don’t believe in capitalism or private property.

      • starfish

        He certainly believes in his own private property

      • gerronwithit

        Yes, and apparently Ed will start with the mansions.

    • Mynydd

      My father was a coal miner, I am not, what does that say.

      • Ridcully

        Ok, I give up; what does it say?

        • Mynydd

          It says like father like son is meaningless.

      • gerronwithit

        Well, my father and I worked in the filthy jute mills in Dundee, so what?

  • whs1954

    I don’t really see the point of this article. My own view is that Miliband is an extremely dangerous, childish, student-union hack socialist who if he is elected in May will seriously bugger up the country.

    Now, he may very well be sincere in his socialism – my own view is that he isn’t, that he is just a child of the 80s inculcated with a puerile ‘Tories are evil’ mindset – but Mr Oborne seems to imply he should be lauded for being sincere and not attacked.

    Well, nonsense. He is dangerous. He needs to be pulled down off his sanctimonious high horse and the danger exposed to the British people. Mr Oborne calls this ‘vile’. What does he suggest the Tories do, then? Ignore him? Especially when his polling numbers and public reputation are low but Labour’s are higher – the Tory campaign should actually be, if it wants to be effective, to turn the election in the public’s mind into a presidential one of Cameron v. Miliband, rather than Labour v. Tory.

    • Kennybhoy

      “I don’t really see the point of this article.”

      The two references to Israel.

    • northwing

      That’s going to be a bit difficult when the “presidential one” keeps running away from any debate where he has to publicly defend his record, won’t be able to dodge awkward questions with impunity, is not guaranteed the last word and won’t have a baying mob behind him attempting to drown out dissenting voices!

      By all means, give it a shot though!

    • Mynydd

      There’s none so blind as those who don’t want to see.

    • Des Demona

      Copernicus has just been on the phone. Apparently the universe doesn’t revolve around you.

  • Robertus Maximus

    ‘If Miliband becomes PM, he will not owe anybody.’

    Maybe not, but after five wretched years of his rule Britain will certainly owe the IMF, right down to the shirt off its back.

  • Kennybhoy

    Have you no’ reverted yet Oborne?

  • Carol

    We are suffering from low tax returns which is a major stumbling block for the countries debt and funding the nhs etc.

    Milliband seems to be the only political person willing and able to stand up and speak out about the cozy acceptance of tax avoidance.

    Seems to me he’s definitely left Blair and brown policy far far behind .

    He’s got my vote for this stand

    • starfish

      “We are suffering from low tax returns”

      No we are not

      We are suffering from excessive public spending and debt

      Most of which was run up on his watch while he was busy minimising his tax liability

      • Carol

        Hahaha oh of course I forgot the labour party caused the world wide crash.

        Hmm nothing to do with the housing bubble and stock market and banking money manipulation schemes across the world?

        • Jonathan Miller

          perhaps not, but Gordon Brown did end boom and bust.

          • Carol

            Hahaha and he saved the world economy according to the G8 leaders at the time

          • Wessex Man

            Rubbish, he claimed he saved the world in the House of Commons, superman with his Y-fronts outside his superman kit!

          • Carol

            Hahaha don’t all political leaders have inflated sense of their own powers and believe their superhuman?

            Putin is a prime example

            Obama works as being Mr cool

            Cameron believes he can sway European union with the power of his veto

            Osborne believes that the UK is the business powerhouse

          • tjamesjones

            What are you doing here Carol with these strange red colour rantings? Taking a stand against tax avoidance? But what does that mean? It’s weasel words: politicians make the (tax) laws, and if you break those laws, that is tax evasion. And it’s a big deal, and you get caught. But posturing about tax avoidance, meaning to seek out opportunities to reduce your tax bill (e.g. by backing the film scheme brought in by the um labour government), that’s just dog whistle politics. From the nasty party.

          • Carol

            Well I’ve certainly rattled you haven’t I.

            Men see everything in black and white and most times refuse to look beyond their own boundaries.

            Everything is about getting ahead of the game winning at any cost being top dog.

            As a mature woman I prefer to have a more considered view of the overall picture. I didn’t like my children to be grasping and not considerate of all the family.

            Apparently the women will decide this election and I’d trust their opinions especially as we’re living with the reality of the Cameron reign.

          • tjamesjones

            got me in one carol – I’m raising my kids to be grasping. Great to have someone here who’s looking beyond their own boundaries.

          • Carol

            Somehow I didn’t think I’d see you at the local soup kitchen.

            Or volunteering to litter pick in the community?

            Or even mowing the elderly neighbours lawns for free?

          • tjamesjones

            how do you do it! You could add: abusing strangers on the internet! Making up criticisms of people I don’t know! Sneering at nuns! Mocking working class people!

          • Carol

            Yep assumption and stereotypes abound the political party supporters.

            Class divide working class middle class upper class.

            Each think one is more worthy than the other who is?

            One person’s idea of fair is another’s persecution.

            All political parties do devide and rule and everyone will push the boundaries.

            But when it comes to money and property just how much is enough?

          • tjamesjones

            I could give a smart reply – a multi-million mansion in Islington say, but first, remind me why that question matters? Remember that in this country the 1% top income earners, who have chosen to build business rather than say pontificate on the bbc, but despite this who seem to be despised by the left, pay 30% of the income tax in this country (not that you’d know it from the sneers, innuendo, misdirection and lies from labour). And they also, for the most part, do not need to live in the UK. Exactly how much pleasure could it give you to try to pluck the golden goose?

          • Carol

            I prefer to take note of the red cross reports who again prior to davros have shown that the world’s richest 10 percent could pay off the world’s deficits.

            As well as taking everyone out of poverty.

            My children and my grandsons have been brought up that they will always have a roof over their heads and a meal on the table as long as I live. The rest is upto them.

            It’s sad to see the world torn apart because people want power over others.

          • tjamesjones

            but you don’t seem to see that you are one of the people you describe in your last paragraph. you don’t deny that it is business and business people that create the jobs, products, services and wealth that pays the taxes for public services. we have a very large state in the UK, it isn’t Russia 1913. but still you denigrate the wealth makers. and then you sit back and ask that someone else pay more tax (not you right), because that is what shows that you are compassionate. maybe it’s more compassionate to build a business, to contribute to growth. Ed and his team don’t see that and if they win they don’t govern in my name.

          • Carol

            What wealth creators? People who use tax avoidance schemes usually use these schemes to maximise their incomes.

            I don’t see them paying exceptional wages or building homes for their workers? Port sunlight style or Cadbury village type homes.

            They are in the main always looking to cut costs hence the use of zero hours out sourcing and minimum wage growth.

          • tjamesjones

            Fundamentally I don’t think the left has the moral right to constantly attack business, as it does, because as a movement it does not understand or accept that it is enterprise that has built the riches of all western countries including Britain. You can throw around catchphrases – tax avoidance, zero hours out sourcing and minimum wage growth, but what in the end is your point? It’s just point scoring and negative. Yet you enjoy the fruits both directly (through products and services) and indirectly (through taxes that pay for infrastructure and massive transfer payments under the british welfare state). Whenever I hear from a modern labour party politician or fan, I hear the sneer of hatred, it is a movement that can’t quite work out why socialism isn’t the answer to every problem, and so lacking the guts to promote socialism, makes do with sneer and innuendo about business in general. That’s what you’ve done in your last comment.

            My answer to my own question is that the labour party is not the party of the worker, it is instead the party of the public sector unions and the welfare recipient (look at how uninterested his party is in nhs failings or welfare abuse – Ed doesn’t get votes for improving either system). So Labour has no coherent position about the place of business in the economy, it just runs a low level smear (and sneer) campaign against business, which attracts the 33% or so voters that Ed needs.

            He represents valid interest groups, but Ed Miliband is seeking to govern solely in their name, despite some lie about ‘one nation labour’ and I consider him quite hateful.

          • Dive

            Labour, its leader and the Unions do not ‘hate’ business, and we/they do understand the fundamental need for the private business sector to perform if the UK is to have a secure and prosperous future. Yes, business should receive state incentives We don’t deny it.
            Where we differ from the Conservatives is about how.
            We believe in a development policy that fairly and proportionately rewards all the stakeholders. Profits for the companies, decent pay for the employees and enough left over to help those unable to find or do work.
            Not the current system of piling surpluses onto the two top shelves (profits for shareholders: gigantic salaries and bonuses for the managers). These do not ‘filter down the social hierarchy’ because there is no channel for them to travel down.

          • tjamesjones

            well this is a step in the right direction.

            But of course, I hardly agree. The basic tenor of your comment, like the attitude of the labour government, is that business is the problem, and government is the solution. Well forgive me if I don’t buy that for one second. Government gives us HS2, hugely expensive and failed IT projects (remember that NHS computer system). Yet look at the companies that the left loves to hate: starbucks single handedly raised the standard of coffee in this country to ‘drinkable’. Amazon has revolutionised shopping (UK actually biggest per head users of online shopping), and their service is sensational. Google, for heaven’s sake, google have changed the world – it’s the quality of services like Google search that has put the wind up the tired old bureaucracy of government.

            By directly intervening Ed will make things worse – he will drive away business, investment, entrepreneurs. His gaffe on freezing energy is exactly what we can expect 5 years of if he wins, unless the reality of power does force Ed to get some respect for the ‘private sector’, and recognise that his job is to not mess things up, not to stick his oar in every time one of his advisors thinks of some other way to intervene. It’s called the “private sector” because that is where most of us spend most of our lives. This country will be a better place when the average voter stops looking to government to solve every little problem.

          • John-Paul Bove

            Uh, all of those government failures you talk about were provided by private companies… There was a time when a large number of these things were provided internally, where the prime consideration was the benefit to society not the cheapest contractor to do the worst work… Not true in all cases, ideological blindness in either direction is bad but there are certain services where the service itself should be the prime concern.

          • tjamesjones

            yes that will close the argument down the labour club. But the point is, government is very poor at spending money, because it’s “someone else’s money for someone else’s benefit”. Use the following little schema and you’ll understand why government fails:

            1. the best decisions are made when you are spending your own money for your own benefit
            2. the second best decisions are made when you’re spending someone else’s money for your own benefit (you might not worry so much about getting value for money…)
            3. the worst decisions are made when you’re spending someone else’s money for someone else’s benefit. That’s pretty much what government does.

            All good reasons to keep the government sector as small as possible. Not the agreed position for the average labourite, who wants it as big as possible.

            Which is why labour is the party for state employees and net welfare recipients. Not for the productive sector.

          • Vera

            Socialists always moaning that not enough is coming their way. Someone else always has to pay. But not them.
            Like children always expecting daddy to step in and foot the bill, clear up the mess. It’s private enterprise which funds this country, not the public sector, not benefit claimants, not jobless immigrants, they are just drains on the economy.

          • tjamesjones

            amen

          • Gilbert White

            The truth is of no consequence in today’s UK.

          • terry sulivan

            putin delivers

            obarmy does not

      • Michael Simpson

        That line and the unicorn promise to overturn rational economics and reduce the deficit through slash and burn bacchanalia may have won the Tories the election, but it certainly has no bearing on reality. Just look at how Obama has sorted their mess out and weep.

        • Mc

          If Obama is responsible for righting the U.S.’s economy, then I’m a unicorn.

          • Michael Simpson

            I don’t think so either but it’s funny how Republicans but the blame at his feet before it began picking up. Osborne has got off very lightly for reversing the gains he inherited and failing to bring down the deficit in the time frame he promised.

        • Dive

          Unhh?

      • James Reynolds

        This isn’t a matter of opinions, there are numbers

      • redteddy

        Another desiccated calculating machine Tory. A bankers man, of little use to anyone.

      • northwing

        From the FT: The Treasury is losing more than £40bn of tax a year because of evasion and the hidden economy, nearly four times official estimates, according to a tax campaigner.

        • Jonathan Miller

          …please don’t tell me you are taking Richard Murphy’s Tax Justice Network seriously?

          • northwing

            Well, the FT clearly does!!

          • tjamesjones

            Yes so a large amount of tax is avoided by people paying cash in hand to tradespeople. And that proves what exactly?

      • Mynydd

        So why did Mr Osborne admit that the tax returns were lower than he budgeted for.
        If there still is excessive public spending, it’s down to this Conservative led government, what have they been playing at for the last five years.
        With respect to debt, during their watch, Mr Cameron/Osborne have doubled the National Debt, and in fact have borrowed more in five years than Mr Blair/Brown borrowed in thirteen years.
        If you have facts about any illegalities of Mr Miliband’s tax affairs it is your civic duty to report to HMRC. Their website will tell you how to do it.

      • Brimstone52

        Yes we are, the cause being the depression of wages in turn caused by an unlimited supply of cheap labour in turn caused by the EU’s open borders.

        Leave the EU, thus cutting expenditure, close the borders, decreasing the labour supply and wages will rise leading to an increase in direct taxes and indirect taxes as people have more to spend.

      • terry sulivan

        sorry i have effectively said the same

    • con

      well he’s a bit of an expert on tax avoidance having practiced it.
      he was in the treasury for several years and never did anything about it.

      • Carol

        Well anybody who is standing up for the people stuck with paying paye with no recourse to avoidance is ok with me.

        Never to late for people to see the errors they may have made in the past

        • con

          but he’s not admitting the error of his ways is he. he is simply attacking others for doing something perfectly legal which he did himself but which he is denying, despite the evidence. see keir hardy’s article on the subject in today’s telegraph.
          milibean is a cynical chancer who knows that the public generally conflates tax avoidance which is legal with tax evasion which is not.
          i don’t like or trust sanctimonious hypocrites.

          • Carol

            I don’t like or trust sanctimonious hypocrisy either which after Cameron and Co s term in government means I will never ever vote conservative again

          • con

            you should join your soulmates at the grauniad.

          • Carol

            Hahaha I’m not stupid it’s as biased as the daily mail

    • Dive

      Too true, and well put, Carol.

      • con

        oo-er missus.

    • terry sulivan

      low tax receipts are not the problem–too much spending–the tax credits that are sucking millions of unskilled families here

      • Carol

        Tax credits brown’s attempt to give companies benefits and subsedize the employer wage bills.

        As ever the ordinary man in the street loses out to the profits over people mantra

    • Gilbert White

      The most immoral thing about our society is people with and iPhone and tattoos who pay no tax pointing to people who do and whinging we need a Chinese cultural revolution in the UK led by major John major.

  • failquail

    If only he would do what is right and eject the Blairites from the party so they can join the Tory party they belong in…

    I agree with the 4 points this article brings up about miliband doing the right thing, but sadly it’s only those 4 points he’s done. He’s faced with a Tory open goal several miles wide with their economic and social disasters plus the most vulnerable in this country suffering the biggest kicking i’ve seen in my lifetime, yet he mostly stays silent.

    Not nearly good enough…

  • Terry Field

    Oborne seems to wish to suck up to the little turd.

  • kleinek

    Spot on Peter.

  • Nick

    I am generally regarded by friends,family and colleagues as being a hardline right winger.

    However,those four points raised in the article regarding MIlliband….I agree with Milliband.

  • Mow_the_Grass

    He’s a snivelling little adenoidal classroom monitor – and will be a laughing stock on the world stage.
    you brits better pray he dont make it to No10.
    If you think you have muslim immigrant problems now – wait till this enabler takes over.
    Goodbye lil britland

  • Mow_the_Grass

    Peter Oborne – is a jewhating POS who will support anyone who is against Israel and sides with the ‘palestinians’
    Miliband serves this purpose

    • disqus_ff1FUv3fXj

      Why don’t you go and troll another article or perhaps come back when you actually have some background knowledge to base your opinions on. First of all, I didn’t realise us ‘Brits’ have a muslim immigration problem. Secondly, you might not actually know that Ed Miliband has Jewish parentage. I’m guessing that he probably wouldn’t serve to support a jewhater as you propose. My guess is you are a Yank who’s opinions are fed on a diet of Fox News propaganda. Am I right?

      • Des Demona

        It would appear you are in fact right!

    • northwing

      Ahem. Why would a “jewhater” write an article supporting a Labour leader, the son of Jews who fled the Nazis, and whose father volunteered to serve with the Royal Navy and participated in D-Day?

      I think you’re a little confused old son.

      • Gareth

        You didn’t realise that we have a muslim immigration problem? Have tou been in hibernation for 15 years?

        • northwing

          “A Muslim immigration problem”???

          Careful, your bigotry is showing.

      • Kennybhoy

        Oborne is a notorious Islamophile and, antisemitic conspiracist. I daily expect the loon to revert. 😉

  • http://t.co/rXjomKpfUv JP Janson De Couet

    If people didn’t loathe the Blairites before, they ought to do now.

  • redteddy

    A very fair and balanced view of ED Miliband. It is to his credit that Labour could be in a position to lead a Labour led government from May 7th. Ed Miliband is his own man. He may, in so some ways, appears awkward, but this is driven home by a Tory press bereft of any fair minded judgement. I hope Ed Miliband wins, and I hope he will be true to his word and clears up, the awful amount of tax avoidance and evasion, that at present time, makes Britain such an unfair society.

    • Gareth

      A fair and balanced view of Ed would have to mention that he put in place an insane energy policy back in the days of the Blair regime. We are now becoming dependent on fleets of emergency diesel generators to keep the lights on when the wind is not blowing.

  • northwing

    It is indeed rare for a Leader of the Opposition to actually make the political weather. Miliband has put his head above the parapet on Murdoch, Leveson, Syria, energy companies, the Living Wage, corporate behaviour and now tax-dodging.

    Each time, he has been ridiculed and vilified by the Tories and their press and business cronies, only to have Cameron then trying to imitate him after a short while (note his plea for pay rises last week).

    If Miliband is as useless as they claim, they wouldn’t bother attacking him constantly. The attacks, and from whence they come, demonstrate beyond doubt how frightened the vested interests are of him. People need to think and decide whose side they are on in May; are they with the 1% or the 99%?

    • Dirkster the Fox

      All nice points. Maybe interesting to debate over a glass or two. However, what really matters to people is not Murdoch, not Leveson, not Syria, not corporate behaviour / tax dodging, less so energy companies or the living wage.
      More, in no particular order….the economy over all (debt/deficit), jobs, schools, immigration, the EU (cost/relationship) local authorities, council tax payments, NHS, doctors surgery, the roads/trains etc.
      Not suggesting the current lot are running a wonderful show, but Millipede needs to actually convince people on these points. All well and good liking him for all your above, but when he really widens the immigration/emigration gap, does nothing on the EU, hugely increases the public sector again and bloats the next generation with much greater debt, maybe your points will be truly lost in the long grass…..
      Your 99% will be sinking…..

      • andytheonlyhammer

        Actually the 99% will not be sinking if tax evasion/avoidance is cleared up.

      • Domac

        Milliband has certainly convinced me that Education and the NHS will fare better on his watch. Worked in education for years. Never saw a time when Education fared well under a Tory government. As for debt. The Tory government increased the National Debt to £1.5 trillion. Borrowed far more in 5 years than Labour did in 13. In 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP. By 2008 it had fallen to 2.1%. A reduction of almost half. In 2010 the economy was beginning to pick up from the global banking crash. By 2012 it had began to dip again.

    • terry sulivan

      and wrong on every point–milliband is a liability so please keep him as labor leader

      • warriet

        are you American? #spelling

    • ManOfKent

      Except of course Miliband is only against those who oppose him. He took on Murdoch but failed abysmally to take on the equally corrupt and guilty labour supporting Mirror Group. He was also notably silent in his criticism of the Labour sponsoring Co-Op Bank’s mismanagement having been at the forefront of criticism of other banks.

      In reality Miliband is nothing more than just another self-serving partisan hypocrite who protects his 1% over the 99% just like the Tories do. So screw him and screw the Labour Party because they like the Tories do not have the best interest of the nation at heart. At heart he and his party still only care about themselves just like they did under Blair and under Brown!

      • Domac

        Milliband proposes to ensure that Levison’s proposals will be implemented. Something the Tories have failed to do. In fact Cameron was in the pocket of Murdoch and was instrumental in attempting to give Murdoch more power in the UK media. Until, that is the phone hacking scandal hit. Cameron took on Coulson. A Murdoch man.

  • English_Independence_Movement

    ” Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success ” so says his mom.

  • Mc

    “Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success”

    If that is success, please tell me what failure looks like.

    • Dive

      Osborne (not Oborne). That is what failure looks like.

      • Michael Schachter

        Presumably that is why the UK economy is doing so much worse than the rest of the EU.

  • David Prentice

    During his four-year stint as Labour leader, Ed Miliband has shown courage and principle. His reward is to be trashed and ridiculed and he may yet be destroyed.…? As they sing on the terraces, Are you Telemachus in disguise?

  • Loli Lols

    Courage, principle, intellect and a lot of charm.
    A man does not have to be an Adonis to have charm.
    I will vote for him.

  • Juggzy Malone

    Thank you.

  • Mc

    “The Murdoch press is now persecuting Mr Miliband.” I always get the impression that The Times is very soft on Miliband and generally Leftist.

    “But consider this: if Ed Miliband does become prime minister, he will have done so without owing anything to anybody.” Um, the unions?

  • MichaelBirdBlackSea

    Brilliant, Peter, perhaps one of the best things you have ever written. Also, like Miliband, you are taking on vested interests by lending him your sympathy

  • Tynam

    I’d be much more impressed by his “brave stand” against the business community if Balls wasn’t the shadow chancellor. As long as that’s true, Labour is still committed to a Thatcherite program of corporate deregulation and public-private “partnership”.

    Summary: If Labour continues to aim to be conservatives-in-red instead of the party of the left, there’s no point being surprised that they lose to the conservatives at it.

  • akrasia

    LOL. Very enjoyable.

    I love the way the Peter Oborne props up Millidroid, like a corrupt corner at a Boxing Match, to hold up their man long enough to get the sh*t beaten out of him when it counts!
    Also the neat way to ‘lose’ the bad PR of bacon sandwichgate in the second paragraph. Like no one remembers.

    “Oppositions have a duty to challenge government and to give the electorate a clear choice”.

    What the fu*k is it?
    Fiat money?
    More uncosted immigration?
    Utopian squishy cuddly left wing something or other?

    Fuck*r doesn’t know himself. And neither do you Peter.
    Hey my votes up for grabs.

  • Assiduosity

    The comparison with Thatcher – not in policy terms of course – but with regards to having arrived at the Premiership ‘without owing anything to anybody’ is most apposite.
    She too was not the choice of the ‘old guard of her party’, nor the representative of the current political consensus. Likewise as a woman, she was an outsider, something Miliband born of a secular Jewish background must understand in a political class still dominated by more-or-less Christian company men.
    The consequence of attaining power without debts of gratitude is, perhaps, the ability, or necessity to steer an independent course, forge new alliances and build a power base of one’s own: Thatcher’s aspirant lower middle classes, Clinton’s ‘soccer moms’.
    Most while cry that Miliband wholly lacks the leadership credentials of Mrs T, maybe so, but then she was thought to compare poorly to James Callaghan at the time!
    One thing for certain is that Miliband shares no political platform in common with the first female Prime Minister, so if he does win a mandate, particularly one reliant on Scottish Nationalist support, his programme could be every bit as divisive as that pushed through in the reformist years of the 1980s.
    As one commentator posts below. Interesting times.

  • WFB56

    How can Ed Milliband be depicted as “brave” for wanting to implement Leveson in full?

    Brave would be opposing the PC world that Ed supports and putting an end to the restrictions on free speech brought in by the Labour Government in which he was a prominent figure.

    Brave would be admitting that he was hopelessly wrong about climate change and acknowledging that his Climate Change Act was the worst piece of legislation in Britain since WWII.

    Brave would be standing up to the trade unions, particularly the public sector ones, and pointing out that the cupboard is bare.

    Brave people go to fight wars like the ones that Ed voted for in Iraq and Afghanistan but “brave” Ed didn’t actually go off to fight, did he?

    Back to the drawing board Mr. Oborne, must try harder.

    • Assiduosity

      Admirable deployment of rhetoric this late at night, but…
      Ed Miliband wasn’t an MP when the UK joined the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so didn’t vote for them in in Parliament.
      Verbal flourishes are all very well, but facts assist when making arguments.

      • Mynydd

        Extreme right wingers do not do facts.

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ fun-time freddie

          Name me ONE ‘extreme right winger’, in power or out of it, in Britain today. The fact is, you can’t. Leftists, meanwhile, are crawling all over the place….

    • northwing

      “Restrictions on free speech”?

      What, like the Lobbying Act which does nothing to curb corrupt lobbying but makes it possible for the government to shut down dissent from civil society?

      Or perhaps the attempts by Grayling to close down Judicial Review so the government are effectively above the law?

      “Climate change wrong”? After the warmest year on record?

      And my favourite: “the cupboard is bare”- not if you run a Hedge Fund, earn over 100k or indulge in tax dodging it isn’t!

      Do you actually believe what you post?

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Miliband

      • http://www.ukip.org/ Too Old To Join UKIP

        Did anyone order some stupid pedantry?!

  • wobble

    No ….
    Some people just hate him for being a back stabbing twat !
    No deep reason needs to be found …simple as..!

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ fun-time freddie

    No, we don’t ‘hate him for his success’. We oppose him for his watered-down Communism. Next!

  • Gary Barker

    Thank you for this honest and sadly surprising article. You have done what none of the other right wing press have done – told the truth about the man instead of playing him. Who wins the election should be based on which party has the policies the electorate choose and not on who the media vilify the least. Peter Oborne, you have my respect, for what it’s worth.

  • Hamburger

    I would agree with you about his showing courage. As someone once said, it is easy to be courageous when you do not have any imagination. I think that this applies to him too.
    Regarding his principles, you only have to se his behaviour about his Jewishness. It is anything but principled or thought through. His political attitudes and analysis are based on his communist upbringing and like most communists it is not the analysis, which is often quite revealing, but the solutions which are the problems.

  • Chris Kimberley

    It is remarkable how hard the Murdoch press (and Sky) are monstering him at the moment (well its not, theyve been trying to fix elections for decades), whats more remarkable is that they are having little effect, Labour still lead in the opinion poles.
    And of course the daily mail are still smarting over their attempts to attack his father backfired and are trying even harder to attack him.
    The only real looser here… Nigel Farige, they are putting so much effort into attacking Milliband that Farige is getting no publicity at all at the moment and its going to hurt ukip come election day.

    • wotevah

      Who exactly is it that Nigel is looser than?

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Gimme an M
      Gimme an I
      Don`t be a loser, Chris.

      • http://www.ukip.org/ Too Old To Join UKIP

        You call that an “apostrophe”, you Japanese idiot?!

  • davidofkent

    It was not Ed Miliband who prevented David Cameron from sending more of our young men and women to Syria. It was PUBLIC OPINION. David Cameron was told that he would not get away with it.

  • Diggery Whiggery

    “But let us take a step backwards and avert our eyes from day to day headlines and political manoeuvres.Suddenly, Mr Miliband becomes a far more interesting, significant and distinctive figure.”

    Oh for God’s sake Oborne, take off the beer goggles.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ fun-time freddie

      Next he’ll be offering to give The Wrong Trousers Ed a kiss.

  • scotchthistle

    Regarding the 4 points Peter Oborne raises:
    (1) Ed Milliband probably realised he was never going to get Murdoch’s backing, and had nothing to lose by going for the jugular
    (2) Ed Milliband seems incapable of understanding that it is business (and often unpleasant big businesses) that generate wealth for the country for politicians to spend. Even if they paid no taxes (which I would strongly deplore) they would still be essential for the economy
    (3) To what extent has the success of ISIS been due to the failure of the West to intervene in Syria? If your inaction leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths can you claim moral superiority to those whose action led to hundreds of thousands of deaths? Should not both sides in that comparison be eating humble pie?
    (4) It is fashionable to take an anti-Israeli stance in UK these days – I am not convinced it shows up Ed Milliband in a courageous light – more like playing to the gallery of those he hopes will vote Labour

    I usually have a very regard for what Peter Oborne writes, but in this case I am less than convinced

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Miliband. Another day, another $ickhead.

      • http://www.ukip.org/ George Smiley

        More autistic verbal diarrhea from you!

  • sacicr

    Superb truthful article – yes Ed has become one of those rare things these days – a true statesman. Hopefully not owned by anyone, but owned by everyone.

  • Frank

    Oh dear, we have the other Oborne writing this today. OK, I agree that it is hard to judge any leader on the success or otherwise of his party, given that all leaders have idiots (eg Tristram Hunt, Harman) all around to undermine them. Nevertheless, Miliband is pretty much the author of his party’s lack of appeal.
    -He had a prime role in landing Britain with the utterly disastrous Climate Change Act;
    -He could have educated his party about the disastrous state of Britain’s finances, but he insists on pretending that there is scope for reduced cuts in government spending;
    -You say that he played a big role in ensuring that Britain didn’t take action in Syria. My recollection is slightly different, it is of a dithering imbecile who ended up opposing action for the wrong reasons;
    -You call him brave for attacking Murdoch. How could he not attack Murdoch given the mood of Britain?
    -You call him brave for attacking the corporate elite and yet he has done nothing to actually enable the prosecution of white collar crime (by altering the test for corporate liability). Rather, Miliband prefers to attack vague nefarious forces (for some reason this reminds me of Germany and their old obsession that “unseen forces” were undermining Germany).
    -You deplore the fact that big business is attacking Miliband and yet why shouldn’t big business defend itself when it is under attack from some-one who has zero understanding of either economics, or business.
    -You are right that Britain needs a strong opposition party, but if Miliband is what represents a strong opposition party, then we really are in deep doo-doo.
    -Miliband gives no sign of understanding Britain. Yes, he gets metro-urban North London, but that is not the same thing. The fact that the Labour Party thought him suitable is yet another sign of their own alienation from the British public – mind you the mere fact that the Labour Party is not moving heaven and earth to prosecute all those who allowed / facilitated the scandal at Rotherham is a pretty cast iron sign that they are not fit for office.
    -In short, you are utterly deluded in thinking that Miliband is anything other than the Mr Bean of British politics

  • Ed

    Incredibly impressive article.

    • The_greyhound

      incredible, certainly.

  • tjamesjones

    what strange musings are these? Miliband is campaigning from a standard left wing playbook. The oddities of the British electoral system mean that this may work. But let me tell you whoever you are, the reason most of us dislike Miliband is precisely what he stands for, regardless of how successful he is.
    That is, someone who hates business and business people, and lies without shame because it just doesn’t matter, he is only attempting to appeal to his core haters (sorry, voters). If you missed the sneer in Hunt’s voice, no wonder you missed all this….

  • Julie Carpenter

    A politician with principles and morals, a rare beast indeed! Well done Peter Obourne for such an honest and illuminating article, it should be syndicated to every newspaper for an, at last, balanced and fair article on an honourable man. I agree with what he stands for, he has my vote.

  • bugshead

    Sure, but he is still a complete damned jerk, and do we want another one for a Prime Minister ?

  • S&A

    Miliband is ‘successful’?

    Are you on drugs, Peter?

  • greencoat

    Palestine? Where is that?
    Oh, you meant to use its real name, Judea – or Israel as we know it today.

  • Michael Schachter

    Anyone who hates Israel get’s Oborne’s vote.

  • Sean L

    But the attack on Murdoch was at the height of the Millie Dowler hacking scandal. More opportunistic than principled. And if it were a matter of principle alone then you’d expect a comparable criticism of the Daily Mirror, whose journalists have been found culpable of the very same practices. But not a word from Miliband. He also won the leadership on the basis of the Union block vote. So the idea that he owes nothing to anyone is ridiculous. Now if he’d attacked some of the totally unprincipled abuses of Union power, NHS malpractice, recanted on ‘climate change’ or PC lunacy, then you might have had a point. But on every count he’s a slave to leftist orthodoxy.

  • The_greyhound

    Oborne clearly sees himself playing Gromit to Milband’s Wallace.

    Pitch perfect casting, at any rate.

  • Jayson Carmichael

    Hes gotta face down these people head on, and , and mucgh BETTER than Salmond done in Scots referendum

  • RationalMind

    . . . except the unions that helped him legover his brother.

  • evad666

    Mr Miliband needs to gift more young white girls than those in Rotherham to secure the Muslim Vote.

  • anthony_moore123

    We hate him not for his successes or failures. We just hate him for being a socialist: part of the mind-set that believes in innate superiority of his own values and innate ‘right’ to take from those who earn and give to those who don’t.

  • Patricia Doyle

    Hooray – at last! Patricia Doyle

  • Guest

    Remember him saying that England would put up guards at the Scotland-England border if Scotland voted for independence. Where is his ‘courage’ and ‘standing up to big business’ when it came to the referendum?

  • Coleridge1

    is Oborne a complete idiot or cannot he just contain his fanatical anti-israeli anti-US hatred. Miliband is a stooge of Labour Friends of Palestine a fanatical Organisation that refuses to condemn terror attacks against Jewish civilians. Most labour supporters have reservations about voting for him, he has no personality and is a vote loser.
    Osborne thinks this cretin would make a great PM simply because of his own hatred of that beleaguered liberal-democracy called Israel.
    Spectator please sack Oborne.

  • scampy

    Yes but the Mr Bean face and sounds?

  • angelneptunestar

    He owes everything to the unions surely?

  • MountainousIpswich

    Hmmm.

    1. Miliband may have been brave attacking Murdoch. He then completely capitulated to Murdoch by posing with the Sun.
    2. Attacking the abuse of Corporate Power. Fair enough. Except it’s not attacking the abuse of Corporate Power, it’s attacking all businesses. Big and small. He has indeed been influential, despite being in opposition, he’s managed to put my energy bills up.
    3. Syria. Sure. Ethics. apart from two things. Firstly he didn’t do it for ethical reasons. He did it to embarrass David Cameron. He lied to Cameron’s face several times, told him he would back the vote time after time after time, then made a volte face at the last second. Why has no Government ever lost a vote like that before? Because they make sure they have the support of the whole house before calling the vote. Miliband gave his support to bombing Syria in private, refuted it in public. Further, failing to contain the Syrian crisis at that point led directly to the rise of ISIS, which is now in Libya, threatening Europe.
    4. Palestine. Ethical? Yes. But Ed had been in Israel not 3 months previously claiming that he wanted to reconnect with his Jewish heritage. He didn’t say a word about Palestine while actually in the country. To me that looks more like hypocritical cowardice. Throwing principles to the wind and choosing whatever stance will win him the votes of the people he’s talking to that day.

    Ed may have resisted vested interests. But he hasn’t done so on the basis of bravery or ethics. He’s done so on the basis of arrogance (he believes himself to be right about everything), moral turpitude (it hasn’t been about ethics, it’s been about grabbing headlines), hypocrisy (after a headline has been grabbed, he’s often turned round and faced the completely opposite way) and sheer cowardice (Just because a vested interest is a vested interest, doesn’t mean it’s views are automatically wrong, in fact a vested interest means that a policy has been incredibly successful in creating wealth or security for a large amount of people).

    In short F*ck Ed Miliband. He’s an arrogant, cowardly no mark wonk, with no understanding of the real world who is blatantly disingenuous and a perennial liar. A lazy man who will change his views depending on who he is speaking to and clearly hasn’t done any work in the past five years to come up with a coherent manifesto.

    In short, a man who will set fire to your house and then offer you a muslim prayer mat to cover the damage.

  • http://www.workinprogress.com Nicetime

    I think the truth is that Ed stands a better chance of winning the election by default than is generally accepted. Part of the reason is the ongoing scandal of the constituency boundary imbalance & the highly suspect number of postal votes in Labour’s favour in certain areas. Part of it is undoubtedly Cameron’s complete failure to win mass appeal. Cameron was an even worse choice for leader than Milliband. He was the resort of a desperate Tory party for an answer to Blair, just when Blair had stopped being the question. Any consideration of Labour’s astonishing ability to avoid complete electoral collapse has to factor in Cameron as part of the answer, rather than any attributes on the part of Milliband. Both parties are not far off their bedrock vote. It’s impossible to prove a counter factual, but I strongly believe that had David Davis been elected Tory leader in 2005, he would have won an overall majority in 2010, cleaned up the electoral system, blunted UKIP, and be on course for a comfortable majority in his 2nd term
    In terms of Milliband’s ‘successes’, the Syria vote was hardly principled. It was a response to the internal politics of the democratic left in the UK, not the situation on the ground in Syria. Labour conducted a parliamentary ambush to garner publicity for the anti-war credentials it wished to accrue. The vote was not even definitive anyway. A further vote would have been needed before British forces were sent into action and was allowed to cross Obama’s ‘red lines’ by repeatedly using chemical weapons, as was reported by Mr Oborne’s former employer. With regard to Israel/Palestine, since when did support for Israel’s position attract the juvenile soubriquet ‘neo-con’ from anyone outside the Spartist left? Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza while trying to protect it’s citizens from randomly rocket launches and acts of terror. Milliband’s’ domestic ‘energy price freeze’ was patronising nonsense and a PR fiasco which, as it turned out, would have locked us into higher prices than was necessary. I doubt he’d even be the PM that Major was. At least he managed the economy effectively after White Wednesday
    It’s all very well being a contrarian

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      If you could spell “Miliband” correctly I might take you seriously. Misspelling the name of the leader of the opposition does so dent your credibility.

      • http://www.workinprogress.com Nicetime

        Thanks for contributing. It’s great that you felt able to comment

      • http://www.ukip.org/ George Smiley

        Are you autistic, or what?!

  • Hamburger

    The success of a politician is whether he wins elections or not. The jury us still out despite his enormous electoral advantage.

  • Ipsmick

    As so often, this is a good piece. Oborne’s virtue is that he capable of being non-partisan, and, in so doing, hinting at the possibility of world where politics is more than vituperation hurled back and forth from interests so vested they have nothing to do with any world in which most people find themselves living. What would be the reaction where Nigel Farage subjected to the kinds of ad hominem attacks constantly launched against Ed Miliband.

  • Kennie

    Mr Oborne,
    I have often disagreed with you and even criticised and perhaps been rude to you. However, because of the manner & reason for your resignation from the DT, I offer you my respect as a man of courage, conviction and principles.

  • sjoyce100 .

    He doesn’t owe anything to anyone. Apart the Unions who got him the job of Leader, not to mention the die hard Labour supporters who’d back a trained chimp if you stuck a red rosette on it, what about the publications like the Spectator, Mirror etc. who offer blind support or maybe A. Campbell and others who are running his campaign now, Old schoolers like Kinnock who know from personal experience where this brand of politics leads and has saved his bacon, or the Labour machine who’s given Miliband 17 relaunches and therefore 17 separate chances. You know If a Mexican drug mule pulled this much stuff from their backside i’d be surprised.

  • http://radicalpoemsofpeter.blogspot.com/ Peter Wicks

    Complete bollocks,greatest labour PM since Attlee I was born in 1937 and remember the 1945 government..Ed has not mentioned NOTHING about taking back all that Thatcher STOLE, no mention of re-nationalization and he is no working class hero

  • http://radicalpoemsofpeter.blogspot.com/ Peter Wicks

    The Hardest of times

    A short history
    lesson

    Of times past and
    present

    After the Second
    World War

    The men of Britain
    were adamant

    That they would not
    go back

    To the status of
    slave and master

    Attitude of the pre
    war days,

    They had just fought
    a war

    With blood and sweat
    not

    To have the chains of
    servitude

    Manacled to their
    bodies

    When they returned
    home…

    The war left Britain
    destitute

    Without any help from
    the Marshal Plan

    That created the new
    Europe

    For we in Britain
    were absolutely broke

    And the Yanks offered
    no help what so ever…

    So after the war,
    this country

    Kicked Churchill out
    of power

    And it elected the
    Labour Party

    With the biggest land
    side victory of all times

    And we had the one
    and only real socialist

    Government this
    country had ever seen…

    What happened then
    MUST happen again

    The Labour Party set
    about rebuilding

    Our country by a
    wonderful means

    Called
    NATIONALISATION….

    Every industry that was in private hands

    Was taken by the
    state, for the good of

    The many and not the
    few

    This included coal,
    electric, gas,

    Water, shipping,
    trains, oil,

    Post office
    telephones, buses, trams

    Airports, airlines, and great swages

    Of private lands, if
    it could benefit the people

    it was nationalised….

    Labour took from the
    rich and gave to the poor

    A Robin Hood of the
    1940s

    We had our first
    National Health Service

    And a free dental
    service

    Plus free
    prescriptions for all…

    But then the “Maggot”
    came along

    From the Tory Party
    who’s first vile job

    Was to stop the free
    school milk kids

    Were getting and this
    earned her

    The rightful name of
    “Thatcher the Snatcher” ….

    But Labour was
    getting soft

    And to lost its
    balls, it elected a

    Welsh windbag called
    Kinnock as its leader

    Who set about to
    destroy

    Labours socialist
    ideology

    In later years he
    received a seat

    In the House of Lords

    For this bit of
    treachery

    So the Tory party
    gained power

    With a land slide
    election

    With the “Maggot” as
    its leader

    She was more right
    wing

    Than Hannibal the Hun

    But far deadlier

    She wanted to
    decimate

    All that our brave
    men had

    Fought and died for

    In the second world
    war

    ”A country fit for
    heroes”

    And by all the unholy
    deeds

    In this world, she
    did….

    She set about to
    thief and sell

    The “Family Silver”
    as Ted Heath

    Once called it, bit
    by bit she sold

    It to her filthy rich
    friends in the City

    And her own party
    until all that was left

    Was our NHS, but that
    was a sell-off to far…

    Her own party chucked
    her out of office

    When she caused mass
    riots

    Over her hated Poll
    Tax bill

    But all was not lost
    for the Tory Party

    A new face appeared
    on the cat walk

    Of politics as Tory
    Blair

    This chap pretended
    to be a socialist

    And a friend of the
    workers

    and with the help of
    Ginger Kinnock

    Became the new leader
    of the Labour Party….

    Tory Blair was the
    biggest disaster

    To come the workers
    way

    He spun his lies so
    much that he nearly

    Went into orbit with
    his blatant untruths

    About weapons of mass
    destruction crap

    But it caused the
    death of countless people

    In the conflict on
    desert sands…

    Tory Blair continued to flog off Britain

    But dressed in the
    sick little name of PFI

    This gave giant
    building firms like French Kier

    The go ahead to build
    hospitals for the NHS

    Then charge the
    British public BILLIONS

    In rent for the next
    thirty years

    Sick is not the word
    I use….

    So Labour is a sham,
    it ditched its roots

    Long ago to the gods
    of greed and corruption

    And it will be
    obliterated at the next

    Election and allow
    the hordes of

    National Front, or Ukip
    candidates

    To gain seats in the
    Halls of Westminster

    Well done you greedy
    selfish gits, well done

    For now the true
    sprite of the old left wing

    Of the labour
    movement will rise from the ashes

    Of the shell of the
    party that once represented

    All the under dogs of
    this divided land…

    Radical Pete

  • Rob Walker

    eds got a question http://youtu.be/0JrMyvMBSnU

  • PeteGabler

    &I just hate Ed for his Marxist pedigree.

  • AileenCheetham

    Excellent. Facts I did not know. I have sent this to all my contacts.

  • Mode4

    Apart from 14 million pounds from Unite, which receives massive payoffs from the EU.
    The Tories have hedge fund owners to pander to. Miliband does everything the unions ask for including not entertaining leaving the EU. No wonder we have such serious issues when LabCon are being bought and paid for by their Masters. They do not serve us.

  • Paddy Quinn

    Brilliant article-contrast with West Ham supporting Cameron who is a ‘Man of smoke’.

  • Hamburger

    “But consider this: if Ed Miliband does become prime minister, he will have done so without owing anything to anybody.”
    That, Mr Oborne, is the biggest load of hogwash that I have read for a long time. Even before starting to think I can mention two names: Mr G. Brown and UNITE. Frankly that is enough.

  • DomesticExtremist

    “But consider this: if Ed Miliband does become prime minister, he will have done so without owing anything to anybody.”

    Spot on, and something we should all want to happen.
    A PM with no debts to pay would be something transformational.

  • Mary Mather

    Nice to see a more positive view of him….

  • Jacques Strap

    I am sure they said the same about Michael Foot lol

  • John M

    I resent the inference that Miliband’s unpopularity is linked to the Tory press and Oborne’s recent resignation from the Telegraph.

    Miliband has appeared in speeches, debates and interviews many times on TV now and I am perfectly capable of forming my own opinion about this hapless, socialist clown thank you very much.

  • ManOfKent

    Lets put this ‘success’ into context. Miliband is likely to win considerably less seats than Blair did in 2005 and probably won’t poll as many votes. In all likelihood if he manages to get into Downing Street he will have done so with the lowest vote total of any winning party leader and a total that will possibly be lower than John Major’s losing vote total in 1997.

    That is the measure of how far the establishment parties (Tory as well as Labour) have fallen. From that perspective it is not vested interests who Miliband has failed with but the electorate because many of his successes are just far too Westminster Bubblehead in their nature and just do not reach out to the people..

    Add to that the rank partisan hypocrisy of his many of his acts (e.g. going after Murdoch but not the Mirror Group, going after the banks but not the Co-Op Bank.) and it makes him look no better than your typical scheming, manipulating Westminster operator and no better than his predecessors Blair and Brown…..

  • Paul Flavin

    David Cameron will be very happy to join the rest of our ex prime ministers, Tony Blair,Gorden Brown. and the other circus clown who alledgedly shagged Edwina Curry, because he could not find page 3 in the sun newspaper,to have a wank to. They get a very nice goodbye present from the rest of us,while selling their souls to I don’t know to get even more cash.Anyway I think Ed Milliband and Ed Balls and the other lad Andy Burnum deserve a chance to see what they can do. And if they cant lets all prey to Allah. But whatever you do don’t draw a cartoon of him,or your dead. Looks like its all starting again.GODBLESS.

  • Clive

    Ed Miliband strikes me as weak and the votes referred to as opportunist. I believe the distance he makes between himself and large vested business interests has more to do with fear of Len McCLuskey than bravery in the face of Rupert and friends.

    It will be interesting to see what Labour’s union rights agenda is. It has hardly been mentioned in this election. Yet UNITE supports the SNP as well as Labour – the two parties most likely to form a governing group.

    UNITE will want something

  • Politic

    I’d argue the point on him making it a habit of winning in the commons in opposition – when was the last time there was a minority opposition propped up by a centrist coalition partner? Not much to compare his record to.

  • Caractacus

    Balls!

  • Jayson Carmichael

    Even if Cameron becomes PM and in worst case scenario there should be enuf LABOUR /SNP ta VETO any further WELFARE CUTS and abolish current BEDROOM TAX

  • swatnan

    IN fact they dislike him because he hasn’t really done anything to deserve that ‘success’ It so happens that Murdoch was going to be brought down a peg or two anyway, and with Syria, it was Di Abbott that forced EdM to change his stance because he was an interventionist all along, and with Business he still doesn’t understand business, never having had a proper job in his life before. And with Palestine he’s done b****er all and not suggested breaking off relations with Israel and sanctions.

  • Gilbert White

    BBC question time the student views show we have trash voters to match our trash politicians. We need a complete collapse to achieve the necessary reality to compete internationally and level the playing field. The SNP was nearly a yes vote.

  • Oggy Stoop

    If what i have just read is accurate – then he truly is a moral man

  • Callipygian

    Everything is a fight, outside of love, outside of friendship.

    Here we fight for country and for freedom.

    To vote for Labour is to die in the trench, no country to inhabit, no freedom to bequeath.

    Whoever you vote for, don’t vote for Labour!

  • Clive

    Miliband as a person comes across as a bit spiteful. I cannot seem to see him as having gravitas.

    I agree that the right wing press have had it in for him with trivial and superficial reporting at every turn.

    As for the rest, Syria, Palestine, Murdoch – it seems a combination of fear of unions (Murdoch) and opportunism (Syria etc.)

    All of the above would have more credibility if it looked as though there was any real thought behind them. A foreign policy philosophy or a new way of dealing with the press.

    There’s no sign of that.

  • @partyofengland

    Miliband was regarded as a busted flush.

    To do as well as he has is nothing short of a miracle.

    A miracle only made possible because Cameron was asleep on the job and only got himself pumped up too late in the day.

    Tomorrow morning Cameron must resign as Conservative Leader and only stay on in Downing Street to do his constitutional duty.

  • Liberanos

    Mr Miliband owes everything to the unions.

    • wildcolonialboy

      Is Miliband supposed to be embarrassed by his link to 6 million ordinary working people?

      I’d prefer to be linked to 6 million ordinary working people than to a small clique of city hedge fund managers.

      Besides, why would we re-elect an incompetent Tory government that lost our AAA credit rating and borrowed more in 5 years than all previous Labour governments combined?

      • realfish

        That’ll be the city hedge fund manager that bankrolled Miliband’s campaign and the Labour Party to the tune of nearly £1/4m?

      • Liberanos

        Judging by the election results the six million don’t seem to find the link particularly relevant in their lives.

        • Jen The Blue

          Indeed. Most of the 6 million probably voted Tory.

    • Mukkinese

      What your newspapers do not want to tell you is that he fought the Unions, in a very tough battle, to bring real “one member one vote” status to the union sector of the party. No more “block votes”, no more automatic contribution to the party for union members.

      This is a brave move for a Labour leader and he did it against the odds…

      • wildcolonialboy

        @mukkinese I agree he reformed the link, but block votes haven’t existed for over 20 years

        • Mukkinese

          Okay…

      • Jen The Blue

        Well it is not so bad for him once he had used the old system to get elected.

  • Mukkinese

    Excellent article. Good to see an unbiased appraisal of Miliband free of the knee-jerk, childish spin and tribal blindness of politics.

    He is not seen as courageous and independent or effective, because those who own the press do not want him to be seen as such. They are afraid of him, for whatever reasons, and that means he is far from ineffective…

  • http://www.readmypoems.co.uk/ Ali

    It isn’t putting your head above the parapet and saying something different that matters, it’s being right. He is wrong. Not only wrong but he is contemptuous and arrogant in refusing to allow a referendum on the EU. He was wrong about Leveson, he is wrong about what a country can afford to do when it has a huge budget deficit and has to repay debt interest of £1.56 trillion. He has no interest in engaging with a proper discussion on the economy, he just wants to spend other people’s money and hand over more and more power to Europe.

    Today we are being urged to go out and vote, the right to do so was won by people campaigning for universal suffrage and women’s suffrage, people gave their lives for democracy. From the earliest times we have tried to hold power to account. Our democracy and liberty were shaped by the great British thinkers of the enlightenment, and later, within our nation state. A politician who despises that history and wishes it to be disregarded in favour of a system in which 28 unelected councillors get to decide the fate of 500 million people, a politician who despises the demos, does not deserve an article written in his praise in the oldest publication in the country. Shame on you for writing it.

  • http://www.thelaymansterms.com/ The layman’s voice

    Good article, in fact I would go further. Miliband has set the political weather the whole way through this electoral cycle. He raised “the squeezed middle” and was right. “producers vs predators” although vague and impractical has a ring of truth about it. “Cost of living crisis” was, and is, correct in its analysis. Phone hacking & Syria have been mentioned.

    However, one does not succeed in a job interview by correctly analysing the job. He has failed to come up with solutions to the problems his accurate analysis has thrown up. In fact his solutions are dangerous. Price controls, market intervention, rent controls, land taxes have all been tried and have failed.

    Therefore, with a heavy heart, I cannot support him as a leader.

  • Ancient Brit

    How much does he owe the Trade Unions and the BBC?

  • Linda Smith

    What worries me is that when interviewed by Nick Ferrari on LBC the other day, Ed Milliband revealed his devotion to his father and thought his father would be saying he’s too moderate. ….

  • Bubblejet

    I hate Miliband because he’s always using vile Tory rhetoric about claimants & immigrants & pandering to the basest elements. He wouldn’t even accept a petition to save the Independent Living Fund from a group of disabled people & has now come out & said he’d go ahead with the closure of ILF. Ffs! If Labour won’t even protect the frailest, most vulnerable disabled people, what’s the point of them?!

  • Alltaxationistheft

    There are so many more sensible reasons for hugely disliking Miliband than his supposed success.
    I don’t hate him, I leave hate to the liberal left who do it with such venom

  • David Prentice

    What success is that then, Peter?

    • FOARP

      The “Success” of increasing Labour’s vote-share by a whooping . . . 1%

      Ed Milliband didn’t even have the support of the majority of Labour party members, who instead voted for his brother, how was he supposed to lead the UK?

  • Terry101

    Ultra Islamist Oborne of course cheers on any steps towards the creation of yet another Islamist terror state i.e “””””Palestine”””””.

  • A Nonymouse

    “Most political commentators consider Ed Miliband a useless leader. In a narrow sense they are right. ”

    Er, no. In a comprehensive sense, they were right. Period.

  • Barracoder

    I’m afraid, Mr Oborne, that this was not your finest moment.

  • Caractacus

    So what success is that then?

  • JabbaTheCat

    Lolz…Oborne validated as a complete clueless plonker, again…

  • taylor

    I totally agree Mr Osborne and how sad that the acolytes of this right wing party are now abusing people on social media.

  • madasafish

    “But consider this: if Ed Miliband does become prime minister, he will have done so without owing anything to anybody”

    Well he did not. Failed abjectly..

  • matt

    Well I hope that Peter Oborne and many of the commentators below are now eating the words on this page, after all it turns out that they couldn’t have been more wrong. Yet again in Peter Oborne’s case.

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