Labour’s Man in the Fens attacks Miliband’s ‘doughnut advisers’ and tells him: leave jokes in their Christmas crackers

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has been told by two Cambridgeshire activists –one a city councillor and the other a former Parliamentary candidate- that he has been “weakened by a doughnut of advisers”.

They believe his “dreary jokes should be left in their Christmas crackers and not rolled out for Prime Minister’s Question Time.”

Criticism of Mr Miliband comes in a 2,300 ‘blog’ written by Peter Roberts, former Parliamentary candidate for NE Cambs, and Cambridge city councillor George Owers.

“Whereas a leader should be improved by those who have his ear, Ed Miliband seems to be weakened by a doughnut of advisers within the party,” they write on the Cambridge Labour Club’s website.

Many of those advisers were retained “due to personal loyalty during the leadership election, a loyalty sadly not proportionate to their political nous where the electorate at large is concerned.


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“Whoever is writing his speeches needs to learn that lukewarm recitations of meaningless shopping-lists of abstract nouns do not constitute a policy.

“Can you remember a single punchy message or key passage from any of his speeches since becoming leader? We thought not.

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“Likewise, the dreary jokes should be left in their Christmas crackers and not rolled out for PMQs. There are 2.6 million unemployed people out there, and the fact they have to fend for themselves is the only joke, albeit a sick one, you need to recite.”

The pair believe that Prime Minister David Cameron “a man kept afloat on a river of charisma, should have been exposed by now.”

Miliband is urged to “snap him like a piece of seaside rock and it would read charlatan throughout. What really worries us is that Ed Miliband, a man who was sold to us as the politician who can ‘speak human’, seems more aloof and distant than David Cameron.

“Our criticisms may seem harsh, but telling someone what they want to hear only compounds the delusion. A true friend points out faults. We believe there is still time for Ed Miliband, but something important needs to change before a narrative of failure and mockery sets in, in the press and in the country, like it did for Neil Kinnock, say, or Michael Foot.”

Cllr Owers and Mr Roberts say their background is one of 20 years of shared loyalty to the party.

“The problem emerging for Ed Miliband is that questions surrounding his leadership are starting to transcend the usual realms of idle gossip or conjecture, and if he wants the backdrop of white noise to avoid crescendo, radical change is in order,” they write.

They add that “in politics few get to write their own second act. We have one shot at governing every five years and if we get the leadership and policy of our party wrong it is not only us who will suffer but the swathes of the population relying on a change of government at the next General Election.

“The consequences of weak leadership are too serious to overlook and blind adherence only makes the situation worse, especially when the Emperor is stripped bare.”

•Peter Roberts is a SPS postgraduate at St Edmund’s College and stood for Parliament in 2010 for North East Cambridgeshire.

•George Owers is a history postgraduate at Jesus College, a former CULC chair and a Cambridge City Councillor.

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