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When did Ed Milliband become cool?

May 4, 2015


From not being able to eat a cucumber sandwich to been as cool as one – how has opinion on the Labour leader changed so dramatically in just a few weeks?

We live in the age of the nerd. Nothing proves this more than the sudden last moment emergence of the ‘cool’ Ed Milliband. In the past few weeks he’s:

  • Been coo’ed at by a hen party
  • Been turned into an unlikely sex symbol
  • Laughed off Boris Johnson’s facade, revealing the barely concealed rotter beneath
  • Been interviewed by Russell Brand

From a plastic leader people had pretty much written off (that even the Labour faithful seemed merely resigned to vote for) Ed has come a long way in the past few weeks via some canny media skills and embracing the insults slung his way by the UK Press. If nothing else, it’s nice to see him looking comfortable in his own skin for once.

Now, as Marina Hyde pointed out, it’s not as if Ed is being any less shrewdly calculating than other party leaders in their own campaigns. But there’s been a unique confluence of events that have created this sudden upsurge in ‘Ed Mania’.

Firstly, until last last week when David Cameron responded to criticisms of his campaign, Ed has been the only major leader being exposed to us on a regular occurrence. We’ve gotten to know him more than we should, as a UK media already bored with Nigel Farage looked for another target.

Thanks to a few bizarre events and the Internet’s appropriation of the uncool ironically, we’ve seen many memes that make him seem like a dork, only to find out that the man is vastly more prepared and capable than we’ve been thinking of him on a mimetic level. Plus, we English love the underdog, even if it is just an illusion of that.

Combine that with a backfiring smear campaign by publications such as the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, seemingly at the behest of Rupert Murdock or members of the Conservative election campaign, and you can see why people have started to feel that all the bile heading his way may be unjustified.

Does it mean his policies are all sound or that the Labour party in general are free of some of the more problematic hangovers of prior era’s? Of course not. But for the time being, the narrative is that we could have a possible last minute ‘Cleggmania’ on our hands for 2015.

But then, we know how Cleggmania turned out, don’t we?

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From → Life, Writing

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  1. The curious case of UK Conservatism | Braindroppings

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