Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Passive aggressive Miliband

IT was mentioned at PMQs that Claire Rayner had said before she died that she’d haunt David Cameron if he messed up the NHS, leading a Labour MP to make elongated ghostie noises in the Chamber.

Once it was amusing. After that it became embarrassing, like the boy at the back of the class who won’t stop making fart noises by squeezing his hand into his armpit.

Putting silliness aside it was the most interesting Prime Minister’s Questions I’ve been to for a long time.

In large part that was because of Ed Miliband’s style. His delivery was calm and clear, and so contrasted the howling benches of Labour MPs sitting behind him.

Yet in its incision and tone, which was almost patronising towards Cameron, it carried all of his party’s hostility. His passive aggressive approach turned out to be a handy antidote against the PM’s preferred barefaced hostility.

So today the Leader of the Opposition came out on top, but Labour MPs shouldn’t get carried away. What their party has lacked for so long is someone who can score in an open goal at PMQs. That’s what Miliband did today with his attack over child benefits.

The policy has been dissected for days already – its weakest points put on show for all to see. All Miliband had to do was highlight them again in a witty way.

The real test will come in how he opposes the spending review. In the mean time Cameron will want to adjust his sights as he works out how to handle this new kind of enemy.

Miliband requires a far defter touch than anything the PM has faced in years – the battle between them will be deeply interesting to watch.

1 comment:

Cat said...

"Yet in its incision and tone, which was almost patronising towards Cameron, it carried all of his party’s hostility. His passive aggressive approach turned out to be a handy antidote against the PM’s preferred barefaced hostility."

Ed Miliband is Kryten, in a wig, in Smug Mode.

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