Simon Carr:

The Sketch: What cowboy builders will Ed use to hard-wire fairness in society?

He looked like a keen young researcher who comes in to brief the boss, fists clenched

Share

The press conference to relaunch Ed Miliband's leadership started so late it felt like a delaunch. Then it started and became a prelaunch. "Is he testing the mic?" someone said. Then it was pre-lunch and everyone had to go.

Ed – dear, sweet, kind Ed; we must treasure him while we can.

He looked like the keen young kid who comes in to brief the boss about the research, before the big speech is written. He's the one who presents the problem to the grizzled old pros – and they come up with the answer. He's quite zingy for a researcher. He has interesting ideas too. And what a manner – you can't take your eyes off him. When he says "Bring it on!" he looks like he's got his little thumbs bunched inside his fists.

So, what are his recommendations? "We need to be credible. We need to sound different without saying we were wrong before. We need to be new. At least we need to sound new. What about a new reality? We could 'get' the new reality. We could have some tough choices about giving more money to people, we can get it from bankers.

"And then obviously we need a new era of long-term wealth creation. But we must only promise what we can deliver. High-paying jobs for poorly educated people – let's promise that. And responsibility in capitalism, we should have some of that too. But above all, what we really can't do without is someone who can sell all this to the British people."

He's going to deliver fairness, he says. He's going to deliver it three ways. But we all know that if he ever becomes Prime Minister we'll all get a little orange card in our letterbox saying, "Tried to deliver fairness but you were out. Ring this premium-rate number and be kept on hold for three days to arrange a new delivery time."

Maybe he'll deliver it electronically, which is why he's promising to "hard-wire fairness" into the economy. Ooh, you wince. "He'll never get that certificated. It's not in building regs. That old fusebox will never hold out. Who were the cowboys who were in here doing this, and what did they charge you! We'll do you a lovely tidy job of delivering fairness through the hard-wiring for under a trillion. The cash price? That is the cash price, otherwise add 20 per cent."

Even his followers are starting to think they really need another quote.

Labour has had five years of these clenched-fist fightbacks and relaunches, ever since Gordon went wrong. Since then it's been... If the spring elections don't go well... If he doesn't make the speech of his life at conference... If things don't improve by Christmas.

It's a well-trodden road for Labour and it is not certain they'll travel the length of it again. Because they do know what's at the end.

React Now

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

IT Portfolio Analyst/ PMO

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I was a Woman Against Feminism too

Siobhan Norton
A screengrab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, showing the leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau  

Boko Haram is a vicious sideshow - Nigeria's self-serving elite is the real culprit

Kevin Watkins
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn