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Virtual author pens Miliband article

By Paul Goodman

Politicians are increasingly tending to lend articles their name which have clearly been assembled by computers - into which every conceivable cliche, safely tested and approved on a focus group in a marginal seat, has been first inputted and then duly outputted, in no particular order.

It's therefore unfair of me to single out Ed Miliband's article in today's Daily Telegraph but, hey, life's unfair, and doing so will at least enable me to try to fight off sleep.  For the Labour leader's piece has truly stupendous narcolepsy-inducing powers, and could usefully be bottled and sold to those who have trouble resting at night.

It's called: "Labour must be a force for optimism" (I'm waiting for a politician to startle us by revealing that he believes not in change, optimism and hope, but in intertia, pessimism and despair.)  Every leaden phrase is there - "affluent few", "deep sense of anxiety" "squeezed middle", and "the basic social deal", whatever that is.  As a prose stylist, Ed Miliband makes Rip Van Winkle look like Liberace.

At the risk of falling into a coma, the link above will take you to the whole thing.  The Daily Mail, never one to give a rival paper the benefit of the doubt, declares sniffily that Miliband is trying to "woo [the] Middle Class vote".