Tuesday, September 23, 2014

#Lab14: Ed-boy and the human pills.



On BBC1, Nick Knowles was challenging contestants to achieve perfection; on BBC2, Ed Miliband was challenging the nation to do the same.

In the contest between winning a grand on a game show or winning a General Election, BBC planners have their fingers on the pulse.

Not that Nick had it all his own way, as Ed warmed up the faithful, Escape to the Country provided another alternative to Labour’s six point plan. But that wasn’t an option open to those meeting in an ex-engine shed in Manchester.

Ed’s team had let it be known he would be speaking for 80 minutes - but not until the gates were locked.

This is the one time a year the leader of the Labour Party reminds everybody why he got the job in the first place.

Out go the wrong trousers,  in comes the right suit and Justine the wife turns up with  human pills. Ed then transmogrifies himself into an interesting person and everyone looks on in amazement.

And so they did today when electable-Ed turned up in place of the other bloke.
Some things never change, however, and the team that draws up tedious terms for political conferences had popped in earlier.

“Labour’s plan for Britain’s future”, was the gripper today thereby giving the leader’s message away in advance.

Being party leader does give you several advantages, the main one being shifting the blame for bad news somewhere else. Thus Bully Boy Balls, already in the popular press for elbowing in an alleged friendly football match, had already been sacrificed.

It was left to the alter-Ed to take the blame for all Labour’s mistakes into past and any hard times that might come in the future.
That cleared the ground for the Ed-boy (sorry!) to take the credit for anything nice on its way.

With 80 minutes to make his mark, it was clear that Ed M would have to bore a bit which he duly did. Candy Crush income increased exponentially as the Labour leader led us through the foothills of the last 12 months.

He had met lots of people - though not many in Scotland - and one of them, Elizabeth, was applauded for standing up, and then again for sitting down.

Speaking without notes is now de rigeur for any would-be PM and Ed did not disappoint with an almost word-perfect performance.
There was no autocue to be seen, no notes on the floor, so perhaps he was lip reading Justine.

Behind him central casting had selected one of every group necessary for a Labour victory - most of them were women. 

As for content, the buzz word was “together” of the Pet Shop boys variety and uttered - according to BBC fact checkers - 51 times.

Via togetherness, there will be 30,000 more jobs in the NHS, votes for 16 and 17 year olds, more homes, apprenticeships and smiles.
By now the audience had remembered why they were here and Ed had them on their feet, somewhat surprised, but definitely happy.

On BBC 1, it was Janet Street-Porter’s turn to pontificate.

Ed knew the score, smiled like a human, grabbed Justine and fled.