Simon Carr:

The Sketch: To get ahead, Ed needs to get his finger in

Share
Related Topics

The polls for the Labour leader must be worrying for party supporters. Ed's approval rating may be as low as 17 per cent. We're all going to have to pull together.

Let it be acknowledged that we're into stage two now (stage one was not doing that girly gesture in public, as of applying lip-gloss). So, he does take advice. Improvement is possible.

Lesson two is... pouring water from a carafe. All potential prime ministers need this skill or they won't be taken seriously. Yesterday, before PMQs, Ed Miliband tried it in front of a packed House of Commons. It didn't go as well as it should.

Ideally, a future prime minister would glance at his glass and an underling – Ed Balls, say – would leap to fill it for him. Failing that – or if Ed wants to project an image of hardy self-reliance – here is what his friends must tell him. When gripping the neck of the carafe, keep the little finger in under the other fingers. If you let the little finger stray, it looks like you are cocking it. It looks genteel. It looks like you are trying to show you've been brought up properly. Prime ministers do not cock their little fingers when pouring from a carafe.

Second, don't hold your elbow into your side as you pour. It makes it look as though you are trying to control a trembling arm. It also gives a crabbed, constricted, huddled look to a person. It lacks grace. This is undesirable.

Third, don't try to pour the carafe along the same plane as your forearm. The bottom of the vessel bumps up against the underside of your arm and this interferes with the flow. Then you have to hunch your shoulder up to get the neck of the carafe to a pouring height and this makes a future prime minister look awkward. It gets noticed, and grabbed off the screen and filed on the website called Awkward Ed Miliband (qv).

No, you need to hold the neck of the bottle with a casual display of finger strength and pour at right angles to your arm in one easy turn of the wrist. Then, lifting the glass, the same rules apply. Not cocking the little finger, keeping the elbow away from the side of the body, not holding the four fingers flat and stiff but letting them curl naturally around the glass to give an impression of ease and confidence.

How about drinking the water? Oh, let's walk before we try running. Then there's all that opposing he'll have to learn how to do, as Leader of the Opposition. He does need to get a move on.



twitter.com/simonsketch

React Now

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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP & MVC Frameworks

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing company in Belvedere ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior PHP Developer

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work in a sm...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A man enjoys the  

If you really want to legalise cannabis, then why on earth would you go and get high in a park?

Peter Reynolds
 

No wonder 1,000 women a year are getting abortions because of extreme morning sickness. When I was suffering, my doctor said it would 'cure' me

Jo Crosby
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders