Ed Miliband. He’s the Ray Romano look-a-like who is leader of the Labour Party. It is their annual conference this week and Ed’s big news is to tell us that…gasp ….he went to a Comprehensive School. Is this supposed to impress? I think it is supposed to tell us that Miliband is not “posh” or at least was not educated at a “posh” school. A little bit of not so subtle class war but will it work? Will this attempt to make him seem one of the common people actually persuade voters that he is a good bet win their support?
To repeat, voters aren’t stupid. They judge politicians on a lot more than their background or other accidents of birth. If they dislike David Cameron, it’s because he’s sneery and arrogant today, not because of where he went to school 30 years go. If going to Eton really was a political handicap, the Tories would have done even worse in northern marginals at the last election. If they think Ed Miliband is feeble and unconvincing today, being told what he was doing three decades ago is unlikely to change their minds. Can Mr Miliband persuade people he’s more than just another member of the guild? I offer no firm answer. But if he is to succeed, he will have to offer a lot more than a cherry-picked version of his CV.