Labour: comparing Ed to Wallace isn't damaging our brand...
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 06 February 2012
It is bad enough to be called "Red Ed", "Forrest Gump" and "Wallace" from Wallace and Gromit. But for Ed Miliband, things can only get worse. The makers of Wallace and Gromit are worried the Labour leader is damaging their brand.
Senior figures at Aardman Animations will express concern about the repeated comparisons between Wallace and Mr Miliband at a meeting this week. "You have to protect the brand," a spokesman said. Nick Park, Aardman's co-founder, who based Wallace on his former English teacher, has played down fears among staff about the comparisons, saying he is "flattered" by cartoons portraying Mr Miliband as Wallace – an inventor who has a dog called Gromit. Peter Brookes, a cartoonist for The Times, told The Independent on Sunday: "Miliband is being seen as hapless, and that fits the Wallace character."
Labour is taking the comparison in good heart. A party source said yesterday: "Wallace is a man whose sense of decency and pursuit of fairness even in tough times means that he usually prevails in the end."
In a speech to Labour's 2010 party conference, Mr Miliband said: "Wallace out of Wallace and Gromit – I can see the resemblance. Forrest Gump... not so much. And what about Red Ed? Come off it. Let's start to have a grown-up debate in this country about who we are, what we believe and what kind of country we want to build."
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