Sketch: Meet Miliband Mark II – beware, ladies, he's a bit of a flirt

 

Share
Related Topics

It's hard to keep up with Ed Miliband's dizzying transformation: from robotic geek to visionary leader to shirtsleeved heart-throb in a mere couple of days.

When, back on the rostrum for the second time in 24 hours yesterday, he picked out Christina from Bridgend from the forest of raised hands at his Question and Answer session, she told him that it was her friend Barbara Jones, clutching the other end of a large Welsh flag the better to attract his attention, whom he had kissed earlier in the week. "And I'm so jealous," she added. "Yes, I'm the lucky one, and I've had so many text messages since, you wouldn't believe it," gushed Barbara.

A bit of a flirt with it, it turns out, and across the generations. "I'm a great-grandmother", Southampton delegate Eileen Wareham told him. "You definitely don't look old enough to be a great-grandmother." (She didn't). "You gave me a kiss at the South Eastern conference, you've obviously forgotten." "I remember, I remember."

By this point, even an evidently serial kisser like Miliband was worried it could all get a bit out of hand. As various delegates waved brightly-coloured items of thankfully outer clothing to catch the eye of the man they evidently thought had a lot more chance of becoming the next Prime Minister than they had before Tuesday's Big Speech, he told them: "Don't let it go too far with this waving of garments. We want to keep it decent."

He was certainly lucky to be handed on a plate the great West Coast Mainline franchise "fiasco". Nevertheless this was the relaxed, confident and astonishingly enough, decidedly human Miliband Mark II.

Now that the newly impressive Ed Miliband has taken on the mantle of Disraeli, the race is clearly on among up and coming shadow ministers to identify other 19th-century Tory Prime Ministers as role models. Hence Yvette Cooper's heartfelt encomium yesterday to Sir Robert Peel and his mantra that "the police are the public and the public are the police". Who can be next on Labour's new cross-party pantheon of the greats? Lord Salisbury? The Duke of Wellington?

But then it's hardly surprising that the party is reaching back beyond its own prime ministers. Ramsay MacDonald is out of the question of course. Blair and Brown themselves more or less abolished references to Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan because of the traumas of the 1970s Labour government. With poetic justice, they too have been similarly all but airbrushed from the party's history this week. Miliband repeated that the way forward was not old Old Labour or New Labour but "One Nation" Labour – the old/new two buzzwords looming out from the giant screen behind him. And health spokesman Andy Burnham was understandably applauded yesterday when he criticised the previous government for neglecting care for the elderly.

So we're left with Clement Attlee. Who might never have foreseen that he would be the one Labour Prime Minister to be mentionable at a party conference 60 years later.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station  

General Election 2015: Despite all the seeming cynicism, our political system works

Ian Birrell
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living