Ed Miliband’s Life on Mars
You may remember an old BBC series called Life on Mars in which the principal character, a police officer, wakes one morning to find he’s been transported back to 1973.
It was an era of deeply embedded socialism. The country was still battered from the war and most people poor as church mice. Apart from three years of hopeless Edward Heath who crashed the economy, Labour ruled for most of the time.
Listening to Ed Miliband’s Labour Party Conference speech yesterday felt a bit like a Life on Mars experience. The audience was somewhat alien too, many with Coronation Street hairdos, and sprinkled with trade union leaders. His text was so redolent of another period, it could almost have been 1973.
As for policy there was the suggested freeze on gas and electricity prices — pure Harold Wilson. The weird Wilsonian references to “our people” jarred up against his constant refrain of “One Nation Britain!”
His criticism of “the market,” which “isn’t working,” required a familiar solution: more government control. Ed had shapeshifted into his Marxist father who had escaped from Nazi Europe in 1940. It was all very disorientating.
That “his people” cheered him to the rafters gave the impression that these folk were waking from a long sleep into the possibility of a new socialist imperium long absent from these shores, driven out by the demonic “Thatcher!”
It was deeply unsettling. Surely voters are not going to fall for the ancient illusion of rule from Westminster again? The audience most certainly had.
We can thank our fortunate stars that Ed Miliband is such a gawky geek with an adenoidal voice who looks and sounds more like Donald Duck than Winston Churchill.
David Cameron, all is most sincerely forgiven!
Coming soon: Mystology: A different way of looking at the world. Also a website, mystology.com.
Author of The Eternal Quest for Immortality: Is it staring you in the face? Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.