Ed Miliband’s crippling awkwardness is just what Britain needs
Ed is cute and hopeless, but our egos are stopping us voting for him
ISOBEL COCKERELL, Week 2: Pop Politics
Last week, my little sister announced she was voting, wait for it, Conservative. My twenty-year-old sister. A tory! The roses still fresh in her cheeks, the sparkle of youth alive in her eyes! It was a tragic moment. ‘But we can’t possibly have Ed Miliband as our Prime Minister!’ she retorted when I spluttered in horror. ‘I mean look at him! He can barely string a sentence together!’ She’s not wrong, and, I fear, she’s not alone.
Yesterday in the UL (all my experiences in this column emanate from the UL West Room, such is the dull monotony of my life), a friend refused to say what he was voting. ‘That’s private,’ he whispered shiftily. It is indeed shameful to vote Tory at this ripe young age – but its happening.
In defence of these young traitors, there is indeed something horribly awkward about watching young people try and get it up for Ed Miliband. The #Milifandom thing is a hilarious, genius invention that Mandelson couldn’t have dreamed up in his wildest fantasies, but nonetheless its uncomfortable to really get that excited about bumbling, adenoidal Ed. He just is a bit of a plonker, and there’s no way around it. No matter how many times he begs us to believe him, no-one can quite buy the idea that he’s ‘tough enuss’.
But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we don’t need a tough leader, but instead, this blithering, Wallace-like creature who can take us down a peg or two. Britain is still by and large a country with a massive image problem. We can’t get over the fact that we’re no longer a world superpower, and we need – desperately – to shed our post-colonial ego trip. We don’t need a smooth PR monster like Cameron smarming up to the world powers.
A government under Ed just won’t be the dick-measuring competition that Cameron or Blair’s cabinet has been. Imagine how much fun it will be – think of the gaffes, just think of the memes. Instead of worrying about whether our Prime Minister will look good in stony-faced arm-in-arm creepy marches of solidarity (Ed is sure to muck that kind of thing right up, he’ll step in dog poo FOR SURE, and we’ll thank him for it), we can just sit back and watch one hilarious vine after another of him ballsing it up with every world leader.
Britain will become what it has always destined to be – a charming, pottering little country led by a socially inept loser. Its time to get over this ideological Daily Mail driven ideal of Imperial Britain. It remains an aesthetic at the back of the nostalgic British mindset, but its not a harmless nostalgia. Our age of supremacy is dead and gone – thank God. We’ve pillaged and plundered for long enough. But it’s time to finally accept our insignificance.
Ed is just what the doctor ordered. On first impression he might be typecast as your typical Oxbridge-educated PPE-er, but a Bullingdon boy he is not. He can barely maintain eye contact, he mucks up even the most normal of things like eating a bacon sandwich.
He was above contempt in the expenses scandal – while Cameron was claiming for his Wisteria for his lovely Cotswolds constituency house, Ed barely even managed to claim a fraction of is total expenses allowance. Cute.
In this age of uncertainty, we don’t need a big-dick Blairite or a smooth-talking, evil-eyed tory. We need a nice, comfy, old school socialist who we can take the piss out of not because he’s bent on bombing the Middle East to bits (Miliband has always condemned his brother and Blair’s involvement in Iraq, and was against the bombing of Assad), but because he doesn’t know what YOLO means.
Cameron has been primped, preened and polished by his press officer into a robotic figurine of the kind of Britain we used to be: elite, powerful, seemingly all-knowing. He represents all things ‘society’ and his relationship with ‘the people’ comes in the form of specially prepared soundbites and careful curation. A vote for Cameron with the justification that he is supposedly more ‘statesman-like’ keeps up with the absurd notion of the Britain of a byegone era, a Britain we desperately need to leave behind.
A vote for Miliband is a vote for the kind of Britain we could do with being: a little less arrogant, a little more humble.We need to shed the weight we have been dragging with us since the end of Empire, and sit the fuck down, with Ed at our side.