This week, Ed Miliband has mainly been watching the scene in Byker Grove where PJ got shot in the face with a paintball.
“Jeff, Jeff! He cannae see! He cannae see, man!”
Ed cracks a half-smile and mutters something about it being the least Ant deserves. Or is it Dec?
“Stop watching that and come to bed,” says Justine from the top of the stairs. But Ed presses rewind and watches it again. And again.
Ed has been like this since loveable TV presenters Ant and Dec added their names to the list of Labour supporters disappointed at the party’s apparent inability to find a leader capable of kicking a victory-shaped ball into an election-sized open goal.
Ant (he’s the cheeky Geordie one) told The Times this week: “I feel we’re both staunchly Labour and would vote Labour if we could, but I don’t know what their philosophy is any more.”
Dec (he’s also the cheeky Geordie one) added: “I’m not sure I could picture [Ed Miliband] as prime minister.”
Some journalists have been quick to question why Ant and Dec should be sharing their political insights at all.
Presumably the comments came about because a journalist at The Times asked them a question and they answered, expressing an opinion they’re perfectly entitled to. That’s pretty much how an interview should work and I’m surprised there are journalists who need that explaining.
It’s obviously not up to Ant and Dec what The Times did with their answers.
The interview appears to have been set up to plug various TV series and the forthcoming Brit Awards which Ant and Dec are presenting. There’s little to suggest Ant and Dec engineered the whole thing just so they could have a pop at Ed Miliband.
But however people might scoff and sneer, this isn’t great news for Miliband. No matter how hard anybody tries to dismiss this, Ant and Dec enjoy the kind of popularity among the British public that politicians could only dream of.
When Myleene Klass got snooty about mansion tax and Sol Campbell did the same it was all pretty predictable, easily dismissed stuff. Rich people don’t want to pay more tax. We get it.
But Ant and Dec are prime time. They even manage to get people to watch Saturday Night Take-Away and that’s rubbish, so don’t underestimate the power they wield.
Ed Miliband presses rewind. Just one more time before bed. Just one more time…
Also on TV this week was a spoof Channel 4 documentary which imagined what Britain could be like under a UKIP government. The fictional programme portrayed a Britain where UKIP’s racism and isolationism had brought the country to the brink of economic and social ruin within just 100 days.
Nigel Farage was furious. He probably thinks he’d manage it in half that time.
Despite this fictional portrayal being the closest they will ever come to power, UKIP members and supporters were also up in arms, calling it a smear and forgetting there’s nothing Channel 4 could ever throw at UKIP that would be any more ridiculous than the party manages to say or do itself.
For previous ‘Election Watch’ articles, see:
Election Watch: Tory balls and a little pink bus
Election Watch: It’s going to be a long election