Why did he come out with a spasm of facile rhetoric?

Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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What on earth possessed Ed Miliband to come out with that spasm of facile rhetoric in Hyde Park?

Did he really think it was destined to be a pivotal point in his career as he addressed the vast crowds who had marched through London in protest at government cuts?

Did he truly believe this was his ‘ich bin ein Berliner’ moment, as he tried desperately to identify himself with the thousands fearing for their jobs and financial futures?

This is what made his snuffly proclamations so cringingly ill-judged and so eye-wateringly naff. His ill-conceived appearance at the march was a triumph of hypocrisy and hubris over sound political judgment.

Miliband may have some things going for him, but they do not include the oratory skills of a Martin Luther King, a JFK or even a Neil Kinnock.

As a result, he took his audience on a stumbling, half-hearted journey down the familiar path of history much loved by nascent liberals of the past century.

He mumbled about the civil rights movement in America, the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the fight for female suffrage in this country.

He then had the effrontery to compare these life-changing, life-enhancing human accomplishments with the grouses of people who are getting the shoddy end of a downturn in national fortunes.

Black people were lynched in the Deep South; women died to get something which should have been theirs by right in this country; Nelson Mandela spent the best years of his life on a South African prison island in the struggle against a venal regime.

And the leader of the Labour Party reckons the prospect of a pay freeze, job losses and a difficult mortgage is a realistic comparison?

To make his snivelling contribution even worse, he knows only too well he would have had to inflict the same tribulations upon this country if he had won the last election?

‘We stand on the shoulders of those who have marched and struggled in the past,’ trumpeted (or should I say bugled?) Miliband. Nonsense man. You have merely trampled on their memory.