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Jerry Hayes

In less than a generation Labour has regenerated from, Camelot to Gormghast & now the Inbetweeners. Tommorrow expect less Red Ed & more Adrian Mole.

September 27th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

In less than a generation, labour  have regenerated from Blair’s Camelot to Brown’s Gormanghast and now to Ed Miliband’s Inbetweeners. It’s all very strange, as every single Labour MP  was elected on a New Labour manifesto which has now been cast onto the bonfire of the inanities.

So goodbye New Labour and hello to….well none of us have got a clue. I don’t buy all this Red Ed guff, but it’s a Redtop’s dream which will stick stick like shit to a blanket. And I don’t really think he is quite so daft as to be in the pockets of the trade unions. But politics is more about interpretation than truth. So what does Ed stand for? Again, I’m not entirely sure and neither are the poor political meercats sniffing the air, nor the silent curtain twitchers desperate to impress their new boss to get their grubby little hands on a red box. All we know is, he won’t be Blair or Brown and he rather likes the squeezed middles classes. Whether that means he wants to press them to death or hold their little hands at an Ed Balls Dignitas clinic remains to be seen.  We might get a bit of a clue tomorrow, but I won’t hold my breath.

Now there’s a conundrum, what to do with Balls? Well, plugging his seat into the mains would be a helpful start, but that’s not going to happen. He is so desperate for the Shadow Chancellorship you can almost see it whizzing round the room like a medium’s ectoplasm. But, if David retreats to the back benches, Balls would be a gift to the Tories. Not just because he’s a nasty bully, but because there must never be a tissue paper between a leader and his Treasury man on policy. And between those two there is a chasm. Also, they can’t stand each other. Did you see the body language at the announcement? Ever leadership candidate got a hug, Ed just got a nod. If pure hatred could have been bottled you just had to look into his eyes. I hear that he has been briefing against David’s wife Louise. Very unwise, for blood is even thicker than Diane Abbott. I suspect that the Home Office beckons.

And what about the missus? Some are saying that she’s not quite up to it, others moan that she dresses like a nun on holiday. Anyhow, it would be an insult too far to a very dangerous man. The most sensible solution came to day from Lord Desai, a former Treasury spokesman and the finest economist of his generation: Hattie. She’s an old bruiser, ran some big spending departments and deserves a  proper job. What’s more, she’s no political fool.

Ironically, poor old Ed has to do what his been urging the banks to. Try and make an assessment of his toxic assets and decide where to dump them. This will not be easy. He will enter a hall tomorrow where the majority wanted his brother to win. He will have to win over the associations and the PLP. There is only one way to to this and that is to show that this is not an academic thesis or a social experiment. He must prove that he is hungry for power. That he is a winner. Tricky, when you’ve just ditched a formula that has been the most successful election winner that Labour has ever launched.

Choosing a Shadow Cabinet will not be so difficult as he thinks, but what will be a nightmare is who will occupy the Chief Whip’s Chair. For reasons beyond modern psychiatry, the job is directly elected by backbenchers and is not within the gift of the Leader. In office yes, in Opposition no.It’s a bit like the Iranians electing the head of their secret police.  Mili E has wisely decided not to interfere. But I will suspect that there will be a backlash against old Brown plotter and Balls intriguist, Nick Brown. Watch out for a respected neutral like Gerry Sutcliffe.

So what do we expect tomorrow? No policy, lots of mood music and a lot of reaching out. Not so much Red Ed as Adrian Mole.

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