The big hall was full as Ed Milliband stood up to make his first speech as the youngest ever leader of the Labour Party: the drama which surrounded his narrow victory had left delegates drained: the fact that the victory was over his older brother David made the tension almost unbearable. By late afternoon the dust had settled and both brothers were bathed in the warmth and love of an emotional conference where delegates were once again taking on a messianic tone: this is of course de rigueur for the election of party leaders yet: there was something fascinating about the spectacle. This guy really did come from nowhere and he looked like the coolest person in the hall.
I had the pleasure of meeting him at the hustings arranged by local MP Jim. Sheridan here in Paisley where I told him he was second vote on my ballott paper and he said “I’ll settle for that: second preference votes are important and there is always time to change your mind” he was relaxed and confident: exactly ‘the kind of guy you would want with you if you went to rob a bank’ as my Da. used to say. On cue we have the siren voices of the right sniping away: my old Glenburn neighbour Andrew Neil did his loyal grovelling best to undermine the moment as usual by sniping in his voice over as Milliband left the hall like Danton leaving the assembly. Do predictable right wing political dinosaur TV journalists like Neil not have a sell by date? Then he was being called a prisoner of the unions and red Ed. Don’t you long for proper debate? we are turning into America listening to these has beens: time for some new blood Rupert! “he owes his election to union votes” who do you think said this? Norman Tebbit? David Cameron? Alex (the spiv) Salmond? Actually it was said by Tory Life Peer Baroness Warsi who despite never having won an election in her life sits in the Lords and helps to rule over us. She is also unusual in that she is a Muslim of Pakistani descent but she could be any old harumphing Tory hereditary oaf, she ran for election handing out blatant homophobic poison but: she has the arrogance which only comes from being a Tory, and that’s what counts.
Ed. Milliband spoke of a living wage of £7 an hour and getting rid of payment systems that see bankers being paid more in a day than the bank cleaner gets in a year. He stated the rather obvious when he said there will be no peace in the Middle East as long as Israeli settlers continue to build on land which they have stolen and the World Court regards as a crime, he said “it is just wrong” why do so many other politicians find that so hard to say? He has shown already that he is a tough customer and he will already know that he is going to have to be real tough and then some. The Rupert Murdochs: Andrew Neils: Adam Boultons and the rest of the reactionary news clan are waiting and these people believe in nothing except who is paying them. It will be like a blood sport and do you know what? I’m sticking my neck out: no doubt some will say it’s wishful thinking but: I think he’s got the right stuff.