I like a pair of jeans and a football top. I admit it. It's a fair cop. To me there is nothing more comfortable than jeans, my Adidas Samba trainers and a football shirt in which to potter around the house or, as I did for three years at University, to go out in or attend lectures. In short, I think most people feel more comfortable in their casual clothes.
What's this got to do with politics ? Stick with it and you'll find out.
In direct contrast to the football top, trainers and jeans, I sometimes have to wear a suit for important council meetings, very occasionally for work, or for a wedding. When I am putting it on, I don't feel that comfortable. I feel a bit awkward, in short, I prefer my jeans and football shirt. But when I've got it on, and pass a mirror, I take a sideways look and think to myself, hey, I'd but a car from that man !
Now call me vain, but I don't think I am much different to anyone else. Looking smart is less comfortable, but actually pays dividends in terms of the image you give, and the way you feel about yourself.
So what has this to do with politics ?
Looking at the Labour leadership, Labour appear to have gone for the jeans and football shirt. Ed Miliband is comfortable. He re-assures the Labour party that they still might be left wing. He allows them to forget Tony Blair and New Labour, he is in many ways, despite starting from some way back, the easy option.
David Miliband is, however, the smart suit. It feels less comfortable initially, but when you've got it on, people look at you and listen. Yes, it might feel a bit less relaxed, but it's impressive and people will nod at you in appreciated for the effort you've made. That is exactly what David Miliband is. He is the smart suit.
Watching the Milibands on TV today, one oozed class and sophisticated, one sounded nasal and looked like his clothes didn't fit.
Yes, it's a long analogy, but at the end of the day, the electorate don't want to vote for the jeans and football shirt. They want a suit, and the sharper and more made to measure the suit, the better. This was show in the period up to election day this May when Cameron, the sharp suit, was for some years taking the "sharp suit" vote until people suddenly saw Nick Clegg, the new sharp suit in town, and suddenly, irrespective of what he was actually saying, people were impressed. Yes, the Nick Clegg effect wore off to some extent, but it save the Lib Dems from a mauling and got Nick Clegg in to government.
Look too at Brown compared to Blair. Was Brown any worse ? No. Was he any less of an ego than Blair ? No. But his suits appeared not to fit, and he was the easy option for Labour, the only option for Labour. Brown was the pair of jeans and the football top.
I think Labour have made a dreadful mistake. Despite my natural antipathy to Labour, David Miliband, the smart suit, impresses me and other I know. Ed Miliband, the jeans, does not.
It doesn't matter how much money you spend on jeans, they are still jeans.
If you read all this, thanks for sticking with me.