This "human" thing Ed Miliband's supporters have identified – now we can start to see what they mean as the spotlight lingers on him. Never mind the values and aspirations, the positioning and the policies – the first and most important question is: will they warm to him in Wells and Warrington?
The problem Labour has – and we're only just starting to notice – is that they've chosen the weirdest looking leader of a party Britain has ever known. Even though Alec Douglas-Home looked like a caricature, you could discern the inbred original he was based on.
Ed Miliband is sui generis. He's unlike anything we've ever seen. The comedy teeth. The oiled hair. The heavy eyes. The mouth like some long, irregular sea creature that's swallowed its own tail. The man is unprecedented. Disney could use him as a model for a villainous vizier in the Arabian Nights. Do you get him up in the morning by rubbing his lamp?
And what about the dissonance between what he says and what he says he is? He talks about his optimism and as, he does so, his eyes fill with a dark and vengeful intensity. Optimism doesn't look like that. His wrath – when we experience it – will be electrifying.
He loves his brother "very, very much". But he also says far more often than he needs to, "It was a fair contest which I won." When you love someone "very, very much" you don't keep rubbing their face in their humiliating defeat.
He also gave his brother a couple of winding digs on Tuesday. He said Labour would now have "a foreign policy based on values not alliances". So, no more of that complicity in torture David seems to be caught up in. And that reference to "the birth of my son 18 months ago". Why, when his brother has adopted children, would the victor shoehorn this line into a speech? The inner Miliband is being revealed, bit by bit.
Ed Balls made a rollicking application for a job yesterday, devoting half his speech on education to the evils of over-confident deficit reduction.
Some people denounce fox hunting; others campaign against Ed Balls. But brutes and beasts are necessary to a society. I'm in favour of Ed Balls and fox hunting both. Ed Miliband may not agree. No, there was a flavour of Michael Corleone in the leader's brief embrace of the man who would be his Chancellor.
Actually, he has discerned how to scatter his opposition. He has fired his Chief Whip; now he can force-feed wormwood to his old enemy – by giving Mrs Balls the job Mr Balls has coveted for 15 years. And how the cabinet sisterhood would love him. Treble top!Reuse content