Coffee House

Miliband’s revealing Scottish gaffe

29 September 2011

Ed Miliband can’t name the candidates for leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Miliband’s discomfort during his excruciating BBC interview is fairly amusing. But, as James Kirkup
notes, the Scottish Labour Party is a serious issue. It
is the only check on Alex Salmond, which makes it essential to the future of the union. And it’s important for Labour’s electoral recovery, not that you’d realise that listening
to the senior party. As I revealed on Sunday, Labour shadow minister Ivan Lewis displayed
extraordinary complacency about Scotland at a fringe event, implying that Labour will return to power in Holyrood as a matter of course, no effort required. Miliband’s ignorance only
compounds that sense. As Alex implies, Labour’s seemingly uninterested Westminster clique have
presented Alex Salmond with an opportunity that he’s much too canny to miss.

Hat tip: Guido

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Show comments
  • Paul

    IS – I think it unlikely Clegg’s not knowing the pension rate was because of contempt for pensioners: it was down to simply not knowing the answer on the spur of the moment. Given the hoo-ha about it, I’m sure he won’t forget it now.

    In light of Miliband not knowing the name of the Labour candidate, he’s in an interview where he could have been asked anything, the interviewer is going to try and catch him out, and he’s feeling the pressure given the criticism of his leadership and his speech… well, I could forgive him for not remembering all the Scottish candidates’ names.

  • David Lindsay

    How many people in Scotland could name all three candidates for Leader of the Scottish Labour Party? How many people in the Scottish Labour Party could name them all? But who leads at Holyrood is immaterial to Labour because Holyrood is immaterial to Labour, just as Westminster is immaterial to the SNP.

    Labour in Scotland now exists to secure for its favoured sons the paid peerages that Scottish seats at Westminster have now become, except that conscientious members of the House of Lords have rather more to do and can no longer automatically hand over their seats to their children.

    Voters in Scotland clearly understand. They elect the SNP to an overall majority at Holyrood while returning, from exactly the same communities even if the constituency boundaries are now different, a battalion of apparently irremovable Labour MPs. Well, of course they do. And both parties are perfectly happy with that. Well, of course they are.

  • I S

    Paul – Quite right. Why should Clegg be expected to know what crumbs the little people are being tossed? Hardly going to be a future concern of his.
    Also, why should Milliband know the name of the leading contender to run his party in North Britain? After all, it’s not as if Scottish seats would be in any way crucial to Labour’s future.

  • Jon Stach

    Is he Alan Partridge in disguise?

    And no, Ed, Alan Partridge is not a candidate.

  • Paul

    As when Clegg got slated over not knowing the state pension weekly amount, I feel (a bit) sorry for Miliband being criticised in this way for not knowing something on the spur of the moment – he could easily have found out later.

  • Moraymint

    Oh God, that guy is such an unmitigated to***r. Long may he reign as leader of the Marxist Party. Unelectable. Totally unelectable.

  • Frank Sutton

    “Wha’ I say” – Why can’t this child speak properly? A faux glo”al stop is not only a vote loser, it also makes him almost unintelligible.

  • michael

    Contemplating his naval again… Should be good at this cos its something to do whilst looking down his nose.

  • FvH

    @Russell – unlike Wales and Northern England – Scotland pays its own way BUT you are right to suggest that independence would mean both Scotland and the remaining UK being automatically removed from the EU (and have to vote to be re-admitted if they so desired)
    So, in fact it may be an appropriate anti EU tactic to campaign for Scottish independence

  • Yam Yam

    Never mind, Ed. Just bung’em a few more million quid of English taxpayers’ money and that should do the trick.

  • Sally Chatterjee

    Poor chap, he is fast entering the public conciousness as a gaffe-prone loser.

  • Russell

    Mr Blackburn. “the Scottish Labour Party is a serious issue. It is the only check on Alex Salmond”

    The majority of English voters including Labour supporters don’t want a check on Alex Salmond, and particularly any more ‘cheques’ to Scotland, they want Scotland to get away from Dependence on England.

    Referendum for the majority (English) of the population on English Independence and the EU should be 2nd on the list of priorities for the government, after the economy, although paying £billions to the EU and Scotland/Wales would significantly reduce labours deficit.

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