"David Cameron said the candidate he hoped for was Ed Miliband, and the candidate he most feared was David Miliband."
"On the whole we would prefer if Ed Miliband won. His analysis that Labour has to go for a traditional Labour vote, rather than the middle classes, is absolutely wrong. The Ed Miliband analysis will lead them into big trouble."
In spite of his best efforts, David Miliband is likely to win. But, as I wrote on the occasion of his self-proclaimed epoch defining speech, the elder Miliband does not look or sound like a Prime Minister in waiting – David Cameron certainly did in 2005. Miliband has an obvious communication problem. He is highly spoken of by those who have worked with him: he was well liked and respected at the Foreign Office, viewed as an 'affable and intelligent minister in a government of berks'.
He does not cut the same adept figure in public. He projects aloofness and contrivance, as if hampered by a chronic shyness or worse, an intellectual arrogance. The Tories recognise this and say he lacks Tony Blair's easy manner and lust for Middle England. It is a striking comparison. Tory strategists remain bewitched by Blair, who, as Danny Finkelstein illustrates today (£), was a unique Labour politician in that he was essentially a Conservative. His vision of privatising public services, low taxation and liberal interventionism has no precedent within the Labour movement. It has no future in the Labour party if this leadership election is indicative. The Tories will have to recognise that Blairism is no longer Labour's mantra, they must find an alternative line of attack.