Comparison between Ed Miliband’s Go Big and Gordon Brown’s Seven Ways to Change the World
I counted a joke in Brown’s book; Miliband’s is a real gag bank. Ed is self-deprecating and relentlessly optimistic: there is “passion” in cycle lanes, “inspiration” in reducing traffic. “Let me take you to Dunkirk,” one section begins, and if Ed wasn’t so sympathetic, it might sound like a threat.
The Tories called him Red Ed when he was leading Labor and it was unfair at the time, but he has since become the title, demonstrating a boldness and clarity that could have come better in 2015 than social porridge- Democrat he ran on. The downside is that he assumes we all want what he wants, that we would like to live in Dunkirk, and his prescription for community activism (threatening businesses with embarrassment unless they do what you want them to do. want) seems to me to be extortion.
Its most frustrating habit is presenting radical ideas as gratuitous when they are not. Miliband is, for example, a big fan of reducing traffic in the city center with cycle paths, pedestrianization, etc. and slowed down the ambulances. A labor council, Harrow, got rid of it.
They are part of a larger philosophy of dividing cities into autonomous communities so that everything you need is within a 15-minute walk or bike ride, which, again, Ed presents as a no-brainer. – but it’s the antithesis of choice, not just where you shop for groceries or go to the doctor, but where you go to church or send your kids to school. If you’re supposed to be using the local mockup, and this school only, what if it’s a knife trash can? Or does not match your values? Miliband sells eco-communitarianism as common sense, but the individual is expected to happily subscribe to his or her own desires, beliefs or conveniences in the collectivist enterprise. Just as Gordon wants the nation to submit to world opinion, Ed expects you to submit to the collective wisdom of men who wear.
Having said that, Brown is right: we need to cooperate more. Miliband is right: we have devalued our social assets, especially housing – especially social housing, with the cost of the felt underinvestment in housing prices that few can afford with consumers falling below the cost. blow from an expensive private market. There is no reason the Tories, rebranded as a major post-containment government party, could not snatch some of the sane ideas from these two books and make them their own (they encouraged the LTN and Boris signed Goals Gordon and Ed carbon should approve). Given this emerging state consensus, why is there such malice in politics? The attitude of the left holier than you does not help.
On the cover of Seven Ways, David Schneider writes that it is “so good to feel that in Gordon Brown there is a real big-brained adult in the room.” Arabella Weir: “Gordon Brown is one of the last mature politicians and truly committed to public service, putting the needs of those he served before his own. Are we to conclude that all the other politicians are childish charlatans determined to drive the Earth into a wall? Even Gordon Brown’s blurb manages to be passive aggressive.
Ed Miliband’s Go Big is published by Bodley Head at £ 18.99 (Telegraph Offer Price: £ 16.99). Gordon Brown’s Seven Ways to Change the World is published by Simon & Schuster for £ 25 (Telegraphic Offer Price: £ 19.99)