Coffee House

PMQs sketch: Ed Miliband poses as the king of the jungle

31 October 2012

Ed Miliband had fun with his dressing-up box today. At PMQs he tried on all kinds of disguises in the hope of scaring the government.

First Europe and the EU budget negotiations. Miliband’s approach here is full of cunning and dishonesty. He called for ‘real terms reduction’ even though he knows full well that a freeze is the best the government can hope for. But by suggesting an impossible tactic he can claim that David Cameron has missed a trick.

‘Rank opportunism,’ declared the PM, ‘and the country will see through it.’ He reminded us of Labour’s record at the negotiating table seven years ago. Back then Ed Milband and his colleagues were happy to pitchfork great flapping bales of cash onto the EU money-pyre. Worse still, they threw away half the UK’s rebate like a gin-soaked duke giving his chauffeur the Rolls-Royce as a birthday present.

Yet there was a certain magnificence to Miliband’s buccaneering hypocrisy today. You almost had to admire it in the way you admire Stalin for signing the 1940 pact with Hitler. It’s rare for history to produce such a seething confluence of cowardice, fraud and short-term calculation.

Claim your gift

Next Miliband tried to pose as a wise eco-investor. The problem the government faces here is simple. It’s wind. Everyone in the UK knows that it gets pretty blowy outdoors but devising a means of using stiff breezes as a power source is proving rather tricky. And the Coalition is shifting in different directions. Energy secretary, Ed Davey, says he’s ‘gung-ho’ about wind-farms. But junior energy minister, John Hayes, has declared that ‘enough is enough’.

Both views have merit. Most of us are in favour of wind power. It’s the turbines we don’t like. Huge tracts of rural Britain are now despoiled with these weird three-pronged CND badges, clinging to hillsides and moorland ridges, spinning their arms in useless circles, like platoons of stranded aliens trying to attract the attention of the mother-ship. Yet it’s easy see why the twirling eco-monsters are so popular with inmates at Westminster. They’re exactly like politicians. They look impressive, they do practically nothing, they cost billions and they’re virtually impossible to get rid of.

Ed Miliband made the most of the government’s difficulties. He claimed that the energy market had been thrown into turmoil by the rift between gung-ho Ed Davey and enough-is-enough John Hayes.

‘Who speaks for the government?’

Cameron ignored this. Instead he flipped into celebratory mood. Today, he said, was a terrific day to talk about energy because excellent tidings have just arrived from the Land of the Rising Sun.  Hitachi is about to lavish twenty billion smackers on brand new nuclear infra-structure which – let’s hope – won’t be built on the edge of a tremor-prone tectonic plate.

Finally, Ed Miliband tried on his Tarzan costume. The mop-headed Tory dinosaur, known as Lord Heseltine, had earlier published a report criticising the Coalition for lacking a growth strategy. Michael Heseltine is one of those optimistic grandees who believe that every government should have a casino arm which can ‘intervene in’, (ie, ‘gamble other people’s money on’), businesses that appear bankable to bureaucrats. Miliband took up this barmy cause.

‘The prime minister’s answer is deregulation,’ he said, ‘but it isn’t enough.’

Cameron grew impatient. ‘Frankly,’ he said menacingly, ‘we can sit here all afternoon trading quotes,’ (and at this point hungry Tories began glancing nervously at their watches), ‘but this is an excellent report.’

He declared himself in complete accord with Lord Heseltine. Strategy was over-centralised. Manufacturing had fallen behind. The regions were losing out. He added that Hezza had praised the Coalition for its progress on education and unemployment. As for Ed Miliband’s attempt to champion the King of the Jungle, he offered this.

‘You’re no Michael Heseltine.’

And he said it with his voice turned to its frostiest setting. He is of course quite wrong. Miliband is well up to Hezza-standard when it comes to knifing rivals in the back.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • Holly

    So all those who think Miliband is a ‘guru’ make him PM.
    How will Miliband, and those who worship the idiot fare once they realise Miliband can’t get anything sorted in Europe either?

  • Linda Le Roux

    What a plonker Ed Miliband is. At least his stupidity is becoming more apparent. The Labour front bench is rather unsavoury. Balls, with his maniacal hand gestures and grimaces, and Harriet Harman looking smug with her Labour women in attendance – a frightening sight to be sure. Miliband is just pathetic, in my opinion, and I expect the rest of the country will be thinking the same as they start to ponder on the next election. Hopefully it will be anyone but Miliband.

  • sunnydayrider

    I’m no Doctor. Right? But there has to be something wrong with Millie. Does he have a death wish when it comes to the publics perseption of him? Even when he has an open goal he hits the corner flag because he makes it personal. Eyes popping and giggling like a child joyfully pulling the wings off a Butterfly and spraying saliva all over the dispatch box in his paranoia. What a weirdo!

  • Gerry Boy

    Whatever happened to a good education?

    Mr Evans will find that there is no such thing as a Hitler-Stalin pact of 1940; the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was 1939 signed on August 23rd 1939. Any basic student of British history should know this since it led to the Nazi invasion of Poland and the start of World War Two.

  • Jimil

    I thought the molotov/ribbentrop treaty was 1939, not 1940. But being educated in britain that could be my problem

  • George_Arseborne

    If the government is cutting back at home why not Europe? Milliband has the right to change his position. This is nit seven years ago. Stop this lazy blame game Cameron and show leadership.

    • sarge

      He does, rear end. But the question is -‘is he actually changing his position?’ probably not now but likely to revert to type if elected to power,just like any other politician.

      Do keep up

  • Chris lancashire

    Oh I do hope Milliband keeps this up. Cameron is absolutely right, the Great British Public (or at least the 3% that take any notice of PMQs) sees right through this one. Milliband can never persuade us that he is really in favour of cutting budgets and saving money. And his fatuous chum would never dream of reducing state spending.

    • telemachus

      Difficult for you now that Ed is winning the arguments

      • Holly

        He isn’t ‘winning’ anything!
        Some Tory bloke reckoned Miliband had ‘sensed the public mood’ on this..
        What he had sensed was an opportunity to embarrass the British Prime Minister just before an EU summit.
        Nothing too praiseworthy in that , a bit like shafting your brother yeah?
        Miliband has not changed one iota. He has got a nasty little flaw.

        If he shows no loyalty to others around him, in his greed for personal gain, why on earth would we trust him to govern any other way than Blair?

        He is the son of Brown, while lusting after the same riches as Blair.
        The stark absence of anyone Labour yesterday,’bigging up’ their great leader Miliband, and his underhand actions, is proof that the MSM have taken the usual ploy of ‘not mentioning anything that makes Labour look bad’, in the vain hope we out here will forget the ugly backstabbing disloyalty Miliband’s character constantly displays….On a regular basis!

        Miliband will never be elected by the Brits…We are a country that prefers fair play, and we do not like underhand tricks, liars & cheats.
        But hey, if you think he’s really winning any arguments, in the country as a whole, then who am I to put your bonfire out?
        Will it be you or me who is going to be life shatteringly disappointed in May 2015.
        Tee Hee!!

  • Malcolm Redfellow

    Paragraphs 2, 7 & 8 finally get the point: it is the Opposition’s duty to oppose. What else do you expect, do you want?

    For all of the partisan sniping, Miliband is got round to reading his job-description (including the bit about keeping his mob together) and — a bit overdue — is fulfilling the requirements thereof.

    Not so sure the same is true for across the gangway.

    • Whyshouldihavetoregister

      Opposing in a principled manner is a good thing. What Millipede does is not. ‘is got round’? You obviously benefitted from’ educashun, educashun, educashun.’

  • HooksLaw

    Admire hypocrisy? Get lost. We can I am sure appreciate the comparison with Stalin however.
    Miliband was part of a government that signed a treaty committing to increases in the budget. Miliband wrote his party’s manifesto which said about Europe, “sullen resistance and disengagement achieve nothing” .

    I fear you attempt at sketch writing is a failure, farcical comment about fault lines in the UK is pathetic and no substitute for fair comment and analysis.

    • Alefrith

      There are two things Labour did that are indelibly imprinted on my brain when it comes to Europe the first was handing back a multi biliion rebate premised on reform of the CAP which never happened and The Lisbon Treaty that his brother and Brown signed without any authority or democratic appraisal by the electorate but was railroaded through on a barefaced lie that Lisbon was not a constitutional Treaty when in fact it was.
      In former times they would have both been arrested for treason against the State.
      Ed confirms by his actions that hypocrisy is alive and well and is a core strategy of the current labour leadership.

      • Fergus Pickering

        It is interesting that Rachel Rees on The World at One claimed that the CAP was reformed. This flat lie was unchallenged of course. Chris Grayling would have challenged it but he didn’t get the chance. Auntie Beeb, the paedophiles’ friend, was well up to scratch..

        • Holly

          Do you think you are the only person who knows this is a flat out lie?
          If so we are in trouble.
          If not, we are not.
          Did she push the ‘we demand a cut in the EU budget’, or did she just want to get this headline out?
          Another thing that was attempted by Labour this week was to blatantly try and change the news agenda, when the good economic figures were released….The ‘Tory PM child abuse’ thing….
          I have not heard A PEEP about either since!

      • Holly

        Ah, but Alefrith,
        telemachus reckons Miliband is ‘winning the argument’.
        What telemachus doesn’t understand is, the ‘argument’ out here is whether Miliband is an opportunistic, underhand, sleazy, backstabber or not.
        Going by Milibands past & present behaviour/character, those who reckon Miliband is a sleaze-ball are correct…End of argument.
        You have to laugh at their loyalty, for someone so disloyal.

        On another emerging trend..
        Balls is either aiming for ‘saint’ status compared to Miliband’s political point scoring/underhand actions, or he is the instigator. So he can paint himself as the ‘saint’ where character/loyalty are concerned.
        Either way Coop WILL become Labour leader, & Balls WILL be Labour’s chancellor. Harpy is in the Coop/Balls camp,and can never be gotten rid of.
        You just see.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Come, come. Mr Evans was being ironic. I fear irony is dying along with literacy. But it’s not like you. Hookie. Does Mr Evans piss you off. He is no more than a horsefly buzzing around in the dung. I thought this piece was quite good really. It surprised me.

    • dalai guevara

      You may think of Millipede what you want, but sullen resistance and disengagement w i l l achieve nothing .

      • Sarge

        Er, what does any view of Milliband we may hold, have to do with his ability to state a truism? He may well say the sky is blue but he still an idiot. No connection between the statement and his abilities.. What on earth is your point exactly?

        • dalai guevara

          thingy was making that connection – direct your response to him.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here