Biography of A Nobody

Jul 11 2011 @ 7:03pm

by Alex Massie

Hats-off to Simon Heffer for his review of a new biography of Labour leader Ed Miliband:

A biography of Ed Miliband has to try hard not to be the sort of thing one buys as a present for someone one avidly dislikes. This effort, the first in what its authors seem (perhaps optimistically) to imagine may be a long series of accounts of their subject’s life, does not try hard enough. It has detail — Messrs Hasan and Macintyre boast of a million words of interview transcripts — but in the end it is, plainly and simply, stultifyingly boring. I am not sure this is entirely the writers’ faults. Before reading their book, I thought Mr Miliband was simply oversold, a man born to disappoint. Now I realise that he, and therefore an account of his life, is boring too.

Lucky David Cameron. First Gordon Brown, now Ed Miliband. Has any Tory leader – even the Lady – ever been so fortunate in his opponents? Even if the electorate were minded to agree with Mr Miliband I cannot imagine circumstances in which they'd be happy to hand him the keys to Downing Street. Whatever "it" is he doesn't have it and not even the government's present Murdoch-related embarrassment can solve that.

It's the same thing that ensures Tim Pawlenty will never be President of the United States. Unfair perhaps, since being boring is hardly the most dangerous thing a politician can be but there you have it. Fairness isn't the issue and the voters aren't necessarily reasonable either. Why is Pawlenty running for President and why is Ed Miliband leader of the Labour party? Daniel Larison's verdict on Pawlenty"His candidacy had no rationale, but he started running anyway" – applies to Miliband too.