Thursday, 14 February 2013

Words in the cloud

I have been completing appraisals at work this week and as you get older this becomes an increasingly depressing business.  It's painful reviewing younger more talented people who are likely to put ones own achievements in the shade. One individual has had an okay year but has successfully won the PR battle to ensure everyone (except me) thinks he is the chosen one.  When I was completing the process with him I was struck by how brilliantly opportunistic he is - achieving little but make the most of other peoples bad luck. It was a small leap from here to Her Majesties Leader of the Opposition.  I have been trying to work out if we have ever had a more adept politician in our midst.

There are the obvious signs that have been covered widely: his close association with Gordon Brown, His rivalry and subsequent isolation of Ed Balls, his fratricide of David during the leadership contest, delivered through an unholy alliance with Trade Unions, his adoption of  'One Nation' as a slogan, his behaviour during plebgate and his refusal to apologise for ruining a political career.

The 'good year' Ed enjoyed in 2012 was based on 3 principles. 

Firstly, he cleverly heaped the pressure on Dave over the issues of privilege an class.  Keep a string associations going between the cabinet and the undeserving rich - whether inherited or won at the casino in investment banking.

Secondly,  he has kept his front bench firmly in the shadows.  All the major announcements are unwrapped by Ed.  The other Ed (Balls) is strictly on ice and apart from the obsequious Andy Burnham the rest of the 'Muppets' are invisible.

Thirdly, he had been careful to avoid saying any thing that might be construed as policy.  Very occasionally he has strayed off-piste and actually offered an opinion (EU referendum as a rare mistake).  This vacuous  role has suited him well as he is very comfortable in the ethereal world if political and social theory (a function of his very unprivileged background).

It will only get interesting when he has to offer an opinion that matters, he may even have to defend a policy decision and heaven forbid he might one day have to do a job where his ideas become action. It's at this point the wheels may come off.  I had a spare 10 minutes at work today and dropped Dave's conference speech from 2009 (when he was in opposition) and Ed's one this year into a word cloud app, and look at the difference!

Ed's word cloud for last years conference illustrates perfectly what he believes  - which is precisely nothing

Ed's Cloud 2012 - no need for policies and he didn't disappoint

Dave's cloud 2009 when in opposition with no need to come up with policies

Not a lot in it or is there.  More jingoism from Ed - how surreal and more balance an practical stuff from Dave - again its a bit weird.  Further analysis required?

For the dirt on Dave

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