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The story of Kung Fu Panda is one I find oddly relevant today.

The story is set in the Valley of Peace, a fictional land in ancient China inhabited by anthropomorphic animals.

I look to this story for political realism, it can be said that our political leaders are somewhat anthropomorphic, they exhibit human characteristics but are not quite human- not quite us.

Before you stop reading or dismiss this as the ramblings of someone who has either hit the bottle hard on a Monday evening or has been socialising too much with David Icke; I am not trying to claim politicians are lizard life forms that move amongst as predator in the jungle. Politicians live in their odd, Westminster bubble, very few of them truly appreciate society for what it is. Cuts to budgets, arguments of grammatical nuances and slight policy shifts do not relate to the public during times of genuine hardship. Their focus is on a game, not on an agenda.

The panda analogy is running out of steam, so it is time I introduce the panda, Mr Ed Miliband.

Now I have been a Labour supporter since I remember my mother pinning a red sticker on me, outside Sainsbury's in 1992. I like my politics tribal, unashamedly so, I know who the opponents and bad guys are, that lot in the blue. In today's world of coalition, my outlook is probably seen as outdated, consensus is seen as something modern politicians strive for- red dividing lines are almost as archaic as the Maginot lines of France. However, look at what consensus creates- Nick Clegg. I would much rather be a shouty, angry, bile spouting political nut than a yellow tied Conservative posing as a Liberal teddy bear.

Watching Miliband over the last three years or so has been what I imagine a parent of an under achieving child feels on the sport field (Or how my old Games teacher saw me whilst I played Rugby.) I have been willing Ed to show us his way, to take on the Conservatives and inspire the nation with some Obama-esque quality. Sadly, everytime Ed steps up to the penalty spot, no matter how close he is allowed to take the ball, he manages to hoof the ball over the bar, drop to his knees, head in his hands and find consolation in Ed Balls' bear like bosom.

Ed is currently an unsuccessful Kung Fu Panda. He has the panda like qualities; In each press conference his eyes focus deep into the distance, almost as if he can see a ghost ship, captained by Davey Jones, ferrying his predecessors to the under world. "Look, there goes Tony, munching on his own gold teeth. Look, Gordon is there too, unsuccessfully munching on his own ear." Unfortunately for Ed, the public don't want a panda- they want a tiger. What else explains the popularity of Nigel Farage? I have been waiting for the panda to explode, to take the fight to the Tories and prove me wrong. I dearly want to be proven wrong, yet the indicators show me that

Labour currently have as much testosterone running through their blood as a 2 year old toddler. It just is not happening. Big ideas on the economy equate to austerity-lite, education policy is led by a man who seems to be Michael Gove's therapist and well, that's about it. I liked it when Ed took on Murdoch, I did not like it when his party political broadcasts showed him playing pool and his old school friends were interviewed: "Ed was so intelligent, I always knew he would make it." Currently, he is not making it, he is not making the political weather he is simply providing a slightly more optimistic forecast for the future.

Whether Miliband succeeds and achieves the aim of the Kung Fu Panda remains to be seen, the general election is 99 weeks away. Miliband currently has 99 problems to solve, in order to show us that the only problem history judges him to have solved is not only that of his brother, Eddie needs to sharpen up. I for one hope he does, Ed needs to turn that Valley of Peace into a river of blue blood.


  • Date published: 22nd June 2013
  • Written by: Fabian de Fabiani