The final two stamps are there for MAC. This isn't a reference to the makeup brand, although I wouldn't put it past the political wives to go all-out for the Femail journalists.
Miliband and Cameron. The big two. The MC cheeses. One of these men will be leading our Great Britain come May 7th, or 8th, or 9th… it could depend how quickly Dave does a Gordon, waltzing out of Downing Street, with no elected government.
These letters draw in part from the ITV debate, but also look at the campaign kick-offs and manifesto launches. With 21 days to go, it's still all to play for.
Dear Ed Miliband
Firstly, I want to apologise. I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I do. In the past, I have judged you. I bought into the character onslaught by the media. I've called you Wallace. I've called you many things. Milipede, Mili-banned, Milibean - I think I might even have photoshopped your face onto Mr Bean... I wanted your brother as leader. In short, I've not been a fan of Ed. In my defence, you didn't always help the situation.
|source: the independent.co.uk|
You are a case in point of this. You have grown into the role. Your oratory skills are stronger, and last night you certainly appeared more statesmanlike than I have ever seen you. Without Dave there to be Mr PM, you stepped into the role more convincingly than I would ever have anticipated. Your final call to Cameron was a little like one of those "let's take this outside" moments; this isn't a wrestling match, as much as you may have felt alone in the centre ring, with the three woman coming from the left. I think Nick would join you there though - on another debate, he agrees with you, Ed!
Across these three debates, you have come across as more passionate then Cameron. You have also stood robust against the - at times - quite damning personal attacks. The Paxman onslaught actually worked in your favour. While Kay Burley positively fawned over Cameron, you were pressed far harder and held your own. You didn't fluster, and what emerged was a determination far stronger than the current PM.
I do, however, have a few bugbears that can't be overlooked:
- The Language Rhetoric: "I get it, I get it, I get it" "If I am Prime Minister" "If I am Prime Minister"… .They don't quite have the ring of Churchill's "we will fight them on the beaches", if that is what you were going for. There's emphatic repetition, and then there's a broken record. If I were you, I would invest in an iPod, although I understand that might compromise your "man of the people" image.
- The Policy Rhetoric - again, repetition is good. Textbook for speech-writing. On the other hand, sometimes a song can be overplayed - this only works for a select few, Disney being one of them. One week it was tuition fees, the next it was zero hours contracts… what will you be saying come Monday? One thing is certain, it will be hard for us to miss.
- The Hand: You have this speaking habit where your hand basically looks like you are permanently giving someone a lecture. Prodding and jabbing doesn't send the best message.
|Ed Balls, as portrayed by Nicholas Burns in Coalition, and Ed Balls… You can decide who is who.|
source: (left and right) channel 4, (middle) bbc.co.uk
|source: (left) channel 4, (right) independent.co.uk|
To conclude, I don't think you're useless. In fact, I have more respect for you each time I see you. Many people rank you well below your party, but I would actually place you slightly above. Get rid of Balls, Harman, and all the other sons of Blair… perhaps I could be swung by Labour.