Ed Milliband isn't a natural orator, and I guess even his own mother would have had difficulty staying awake during his Leader's speech at the Labour Party Conference this afternoon. In fact the highlight of the speech was the power cut that blacked out all communication from the hall, leaving television viewers watching a blank screen and listening to muzak. There were parts of his speech which were just plain wrong - his claim that Thatcher was right to sell off council houses being the most noticeable example - and a lot of it fell flat and was full of wonk-speak. However, I'm not really too bothered by that, or the fact that Labour are showing as trailing in some polls; I think what Milliband is doing is re-positioning the party to the left of New Labour, trying to re-connect with those natural supporters who drifted away during the Blair-Brown years, and by doing that re-defining the centre-ground of British politics. All power to his elbow, I say; although I didn't vote for him in the leadership election last year (I voted for his brother), I think he's doing a good job in drawing a line under what had gone before, and turning the party into an aspirational one which has the best interests of ordinary people at heart.
I'll leave the facile hoodie-and-husky hugging to Cameron; I'd much rather have a political leader who was politically-minded, and not just a snake-oil salesman trying to protect the corporate interests of the upper-classes.