Miliband illustrates why politics is broken

Readers may be shocked that Ed Miliband of all people is getting any credit from this blog, but he performed a valuable public service yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions – albeit unwittingly.

In his desperate desire to give the impression of being a strong leader – stop sniggering at the back – and take advantage of supposed Tory in-fighting over renegotiation of powers from the EU, Miliband accused David Cameron of ‘losing control of his party’. That little soundbite said it all.

There, in his own words, Miliband demonstrated he knows nothing about leadership. Among a number of important qualities, good leaders share one in particular, the ability to listen to and take on board the views of people who disagree with them in order to clarify or modify their thinking. Miliband’s perspective on leadership however reflects his dogmatic socialist worldview that leadership is about dictating to people, keeping them under control and only listening to oneself.

But what else can one expect from a man whose life has been one long training programme to become an MP; to the extent that he has never done a proper job in his life yet is worth several million pounds and claims to speak for the less well off in society? In what possible way can he relate to the everyday struggles of we ordinary people outside the establishment?

Setting that aside, Miliband unwittingly showed complete contempt for Labour Party members by trying to portray himself, in contrast to Cameron, as in control of his party and its MPs. The party is owned by its members, not Ed Miliband. Such arrogance is nauseating, yet uniform among the establishment claque of which Miliband is a youth product turned full member.

What all this underlines is that the party political process, which is riven with personality politics, does not and cannot serve the interests of ordinary people. It is said if politics could change anything they would ban it – that is only true of party politics where mindsets such as Miliband’s and Cameron’s are all pervasive.

Politics is far broader than the narrow interests of political parties, stuffed with control freaks who devote their lives to lining their pockets and accumulating positions of power as far removed from accountability as possible, while telling other people what’s best for them. Grassroots politics and campaigning, without stifling structures and dictatorial leaders, has and still can get things changed. That is why the politicians and establishment fear that approach.

We are in a much changed world and living in challenging times. Now, more than ever, grassroots campaigns rather than party politics are the route to achieving ends. Thanks to Miliband more people may wake up to this and see that loose groups with substantial autonomy, that offer a vision for people to support if they wish and gives them space to campaign in their own way, is far more powerful than trying to herd people within a party and forcing them to swallow whole that which an autocrat decrees to be the way things must be.

People want proper listening and receptive leaders. They don’t want to be controlled Miliband fashion.

14 Responses to “Miliband illustrates why politics is broken”

  1. 1 Nick Blitz 17/01/2013 at 11:57 am

    So Mr Cameron, rather surprisingly perhaps, still our Prime Minister, is about to deliver his view about the reforms required by the UK in that most undemocratic, even anti-democratic of establishments, the EU. Hooray!

    At the 1975 referendum called by Harold Wilson, I unhesitatingly voted in favour of the UK remaining in the EEC. Unlike my few Tory friends, I never doubted that it would move towards increasing integration, economically and politically …as well as seeing the organisation expand.

    Equally, unlike my (few …and likely to be fewer still!) remaining LibDem friends I now welcome an ‘in’ or ‘out’ referendum. How I vote, will depend upon how successful Cameron & co are at delivering those much-needed reforms. That said, while remaining prejudiced in favour of remaining in the EU, I harbour few real doubts that the (surviving) UK will prosper if it ceases to be a full EU member.

    (An independent Scotland may, of course, move in the opposite direction!)

    For me, the big question remains that IF this referendum ever happens and IF the vote favours remaining in the EU …will those vociferous Tory right-wingers finally stop whining & whinging, accept the democratic decision …and move on?

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 17/01/2013 at 1:24 pm

    There are around six Tory MPs who genuinely want to leave the EU.

    The rest just call themselves eurosceptic it want to remain part of the EU. They are the ones who talk about renegotiation, conflate access to the single market with EU membership and ignore the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the EU.

    For me the only acceptable outcome is withdrawal, simply because membership goes against every democratic principle. Same with the six I referred to earlier. So there would still be voices but nowhere close to the extent of now, perhaps they would be drummed out of the party altogether.

    It would be nice to think a lot of Tory and Labour MPs will put what is right before their careers, open their ears and take a critical look at the EU and agree withdrawal is the right thing to do. But then it would also be nice to think I would win the lottery on Saturday…

  3. 3 Pogle's Woodsman 17/01/2013 at 2:18 pm


    In 2011 the british public voted overwhelmingly (within the terms of that referendum) against changing the voting system from FPTP.

    You would imagine that the LibDems would find themselves obliged to accept that result and drop their enthusiasm for changing the voting system?
    But no, it’s still in their manifesto.

    …But of course, that was AV, and they want full PR – so it’s a matter of nuance and detail. Just as would be a UK referendum on the EU. I’d be happy to accept the result so long as the referendum was not pre-rigged to ensure the preferred result held (as happened in 1975), but failure to establish the full terms of reference, and the guidelines any referendum will be held within does not instil confidence in this writer with regard to the probity of any theoretical EU referendum.

  4. 4 tempestnut 17/01/2013 at 2:18 pm

    On the BBC (sorry for the blasphemy) on Monday night was a program about why the industrial revolution occurred and why it was Britain. Whilst it told me nothing fundamentally new I thought it worth people taking a look at what happened.

    I see the same thing now in the Western world with our stagnation. The same issues of energy and regulation are stifling progress. Britain broke free of Monarchy and the industrial revolution occurred. Today we are looked into a system of government little different from a Monarchy. An Monarchy is the ultimate expression of the Left.

    I once thought it would be the US that lead the world out of it current malaise, but now I believe it will be Britain, and the Harrogate agenda together with a positive message is the key. The rest will just happen, because that’s what happens when you free people.

  5. 5 Nick Blitz 17/01/2013 at 2:32 pm

    Gott In Himmel

    So what precisely is WRONG with the Fourth Reich my man?

    Lets ensure that Cameron demand thae important things be changed: so the damned fool Euro becomes The ReichMark, nein!

    Britain leading the world – think you’ve clearly lost the plot: THAT was over a hundred years ago – the Empire’s gone! Given away by …the Tories from Churchill & Eden onwards …with Wilson’s Labour Ludddites later merely falling into line.

    Clearly the spirit of William Joyce walks with us.

    Haw-Haw …indeed!

  6. 6 Clarence 17/01/2013 at 2:39 pm

    @temptestnut The Industrial Revolution that started AGW? No wonder the Beeb showed it.

    This is not a spoof but it has several hysterical moments (if you can forget you’re paying her):

  7. 7 Clarence 17/01/2013 at 2:46 pm

    Errata: there should be inverted commas around the words “started” and “AGW” in the above post. Apologies.

  8. 8 Andy Baxter 17/01/2013 at 3:36 pm

    I agree….

  9. 9 PeterMG 18/01/2013 at 12:38 am

    So who watched the program on the BBC? It compared Britain to France. If you were awake during it you could almost imaging they are talking about the EU when talking of why France was such a failure. Little has changed.

    And far from losing the plot, I’m deadly serious. Because after attending Leamington Spa, I’m optimistic that Britain will lead the world to a new place. But it won’t be by conquest, it will be by example.

    They called the period of the industrial revolution the age of reason. For all the reasons we understand we are now in the age of stupid, with no better example of this than the environmental non movement and exemplified by the Met office masquerading as a scientific institution.

    But the one thing that the political class has not caught on to yet is the democratic deficit. This is their undoing as they argue about Norway and Switzerland, and tell us what THEY think. And whist UKIP are not with-it on method, they at least speak for the people when it comes to running our own affairs.

    Once we remove the political class Britain will lead the world once more. Harrogate agenda!! I believe we will turn to nuclear power having finally accepted that low dose radiation, of the type you get from Cornwall or a transatlantic flight, and of which 99% of all so called waste is is not dangerous. We have 1000 years of Plutonium stockpiled, before we count the Uranium, and not to mention all the Thorium. With a range of Base load plutonium and uranium breeders, and thorium molten salt reactors that can be throttled much like a gas plant today we will have cheep and abundant power to lead us into the age of enlightenment. We will have our own shale gas much of which we will use for road transport, rather than wasting it producing electricity.

    Fanciful thinking? No because it is backed by science

    Richard speaks of needing a positive message, and the British people are ready for a positive message, not only about politics, but about our ability to innovate and produce. We could very easily lead the world once more in nuclear energy.

  10. 10 PeterMG 18/01/2013 at 12:40 am

    Sorry about the different names, they are both me. One I use for my aviation discussions and being incognito from work. WordPress seems to play tricks on me from different PC’s

  11. 11 ELF 18/01/2013 at 10:40 am

    “‘losing control of his party’. That little soundbite said it all.

    Great spot. For democracy to be meaningful, it has to be botton-up not top-down.

  12. 12 TomO 18/01/2013 at 1:50 pm

    I didn’t know that the vapid halfwit “Leader of The Opposition” has a government provided limo to swan about in ….

    No doubt taxpayers are funding his taste for expensively understated suits too…

    Nothing is too good for Labour Party royalty…..

  13. 13 Pogle's Woodsman 18/01/2013 at 2:30 pm

    TomO – oddly enough, HM Leader of the Opposition is actually a Cabinet Post. It’s kind of theoretical and a bit arcane, but technically he’s a member of the Government, in a symbolic way.

  14. 14 james higham 18/01/2013 at 5:54 pm

    Afraid I’m still sniggering at the back.

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