|Mil(l)stone around their neck or gravestone of Labour's campaign?|
The stone slab that lists some of the most vacuous 'commitments' in Labour's electoral history was presented to the media last week and already induced laughter and derision (as well as despair) from friend and foe. It is not so much the question 'what he was thinking'. What astonishes me is that neither he nor anybody in his immediate election campaign team raised alarm bells. Did really no one say: 'Hold on, what are we doing here?' The slab ostensibly speaks to a lack of common sense and judgement in Labour's team, a point that did not go unnoticed by commentators.
The contrast between the utter malleability of the pledges and their alleged 'permanence' through the choice of material adds an ironic twist to it, reflecting the gulf between Miliband's motivation and his inability to say anything committal in this campaign. In this sense, Miliband has done the country an enormous service with this gimmick of Gordon Brownian proportions. We now know: the more he insists, the less sure he is of himself.