Whilst we might all feel happy in our casual clothes ...

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.


English Pensioner said...

I feel uncomfortable if I'm wearing the wrong clothes at the wrong time. But I did vow when I retired, I would to do my very best to avoid wearing a tie, which I've always hated and could never tie well. So now theyr'e only worn for weddings and funerals.
But think about the Ladies. My daughter has to go to occasional "posh" affairs with her husband and moans that whilst he can just wear a dinner jacket, and the same one every time, she has to find a suitable dress and accessories which cost a fortune! However she was rather pleased with her last outing; she bought a very expensive dress, very cheaply, at the local charity shop, and a couple of days later sold it on e-bay at a good profit!

Chris said...

I suppose we'll have to see how it goes, the next few weeks will be important for him. He has to fight off the attempts to paint him as 'Red Ed'.

I was a MiliD supporter, but I think one good thing for Ed is that most of the party really want to unite, regardless of who they voted for. And no-one has any really negative feelings toward him.

I'd love it if his personality and appearance didn't matter, and he was judged on his policy, but I'm not so naive to imagine that's how the world works. David was the more statesmen of the two, Ed's going to have to work hard to prove he is can mix it with the big boys.

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Norfolk Blogger said...

It's not the issue Chris of what the party think, its what the outside worl dthinks of him.

From today's speech, Ed Miliband seems bland, without charisma and boring, which are phrases you wouldn't use about David, and the electorate at large will see that.

I think Labour have gifted the Tories a second term.

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Aardvark said...

I`m not so sure that either of the Millipedes is particularly charismatic.

In any case, the outside world is not really that interested in `conference culture`.

To me personally, the interesting thing is that all three major parties went into the last election expressing great hopes of an economy based on manufacturing. All three have now turned inwards and seem to have little awareness of a world outside of Westminster.

In many seats in the Midlands and the North, disaffected Labour voters turned to the Lib Dems at the last election - I did myself, and was even thinking of becoming a Lib Dem member. Assuming most are like me, those voters will return to Labour purely as an anti-Tory vote, so I doubt the Coalition should think too much about another term in office.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Weather you like it or not, if you dress looking like a cleaner, thats how you will be treated. If you dress looking like the boss, thats how ..............

Casual in dress = casual in manner, and clothes maketh the man.

It should not matter but it does.

Anonymous said...

And if you write and spell like an uneducated numpty?

weather = whether
thats = that's

It ought to matter and it does.