In all the analysis of Ed Milliband’s speech, has one (ahem) softer issue been overlooked.
For whatever the age of austerity may mean, or whatever memories of the tie-less casual trends of the late Blair era may still exist; I still believe nothing helps to establish a serious image quickly than a high quality, well-tied tie.
So ignoring for a minute the words themselves, let’s think what new Labour Party leader Ed looked like on the conference platform with the volume down.
OK the tie was imperial purple (a Mandelson era colour, surely chosen as the none- too subtle retort to “Red Ed”?).
But with its cheap thread and crumpled knot it shrieked…SPAD. Yes, it was that special sort of special adviser tie that’s had the odd pint of Red Lion lager splashed all over it, followed by dribbles of crumbs from a Ginsters munched while hunched over a keyboard making late night speech changes. A tie never properly unknotted, and probably one of only two or three owned.
My mentor once told me: “Dress for the job that you want to do next, not the job you have today.”
Well Ed, that means getting up every morning, looking in the mirror and thinking “Would I wear that, the first time I wave in front of the cameras in Downing Street?” And if the answer is no, put whatever you are holding back in the wardrobe.
There is a big bit of me that can only admire a man with a brain so full of ideas that he can’t be bothered to worry about ties.
But then, the tie wearer in me wins out.
Maybe a happy compromise. Ed, no need to worry yourself, but send an aide down to Duchamp PDQ.