Does Ed Miliband feel betrayed by Francois Hollande?

15 January 2014

President Hollande’s private life continues to fascinate the whole world (other than the French press pack, obviously); but it is worth noting that the embattled president signalled a major shift in economic policy yesterday. France is a couple of years late to the austerity party; but it will experience €50 billion worth of cuts in 2015 – 2017, on top of the €15bn scheduled for this year. When Hollande won the Élysée, he promised ‘another way’. But he’s been mugged by reality. Austerity est arrivé.

All of which is a little embarrassing for Ed Miliband, who told ITV in May 2012:

‘I congratulate Francois Hollande. I know from our conversations in London earlier this year and from his victory speech tonight of his determination to help create a Europe of growth and jobs, in a way that is responsible and sustainable. This new leadership is sorely needed as Europe seeks to escape from austerity. And it matters to Britain.’

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It was quite a honeymoon, while it lasted. Hollande broke Élysée Palace protocol in July 2012 by allowing the Labour leader to greet him on the steps of the palace before the new president had even met David Cameron. Labour spinners loved it and briefed the Telegraph with some lovely colour:

‘French officials were insisting there would be no meeting on the steps as protocol said that was usually reserved for leaders of government. But Mr Hollande was keen to come down and show his support.’ 

Ed, of course, was deliriously happy:

‘The points of agreement we have were around the fact that the tide is turning against an austerity approach, that there needs to be a different way forward found. What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward.’

It seems that there was not a different way forward after all. Hollande said yesterday: ‘we have to reduce spending to reduce deficits’.  What will Ed make of this infidelity to the cause?

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  • DougS

    It’s now up to Ed to announce exactly where he would make his £50bn cuts.

    If he’s still serious about following Frank Holland’s lead!

    Why am I not holding my breath?

  • Ostercy


  • SonofBoudica

    Red Ed is, I suspect, too stupid to see the irony of the situation now prevailing in France and will continue to spout his populist nonsense, knowing that it appeals to the tremendously thick electorate which votes Labour.

    • AB

      Ed will say:

      “mmmBwitain iz znot Vrance, Bwitain gan do bedder.”

  • John Smith

    Not half as much as Hollande’s women

  • Reconstruct

    He is, actually, a complete idiot, this Miliband guy, isn’t he?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Perhaps he should find himself an actress of his own.

    • John Devon

      He has. Gwendoline from Wallace and Grommit.

      • Kingstonian

        I thought she was Chris Huhne’s squeeze.

  • madasafish

    Ed’s problem is he jumps onto the latest wheeze with no thought for the consequences.. Not exactly a great outlook if he’s seeking to be PM..

  • Peter Stroud

    It just proves that Miliband minor is as much an idiot as his appearance suggests: and that he can do little, or nothing right.

  • Wessex Man

    You would need a heart of stone not to collapse with a crying fit of laughter!

    • HJ777

      But didn’t you know that Ed has moved on?

      It’s all about the “cost of living crisis” and how he’s going to “help the middle class” now.

      Personally, I cannot imagine under what circumstances I would either need or want Miliband’s help with anything or what good it would do if I did receive it. Can anyone enlighten me?

      • AB

        Ed’s pledge to “help the middle class” just reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s quip about the scariest words being “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Hilarious isn’t it, Miliband is like some kind of uber deluded King Lear: “I promise you all manner of wonderful things if you vote for me, what they are I know not but they will be the envy of the heavens”. Believe him and be disappointed.

      • jeffreymtodd10

        The same middle class that he and Balls, as Brown’s economic advisers, stripped of their pensions, crucified with council tax, ripped off with fuel duty rises, road tax rises, betrayed the privacy of their homes to a myriad of little government nobodies. A cost of living crisis caused by Labour party stealth taxes, Ed, you are the weakest link…

    • Holly

      You would need to be completely moronic, Miliband, Balls, Labour or Hollande, to believe you can escape reality.
      All now probably collapsing with a crying fit of despair.
      Oh dear.
      Never mind.

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