23 March 2015
Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, People’s Palace, Queen Mary University Mile End Campus, E1 4NS
Chief political commentator for the Observer, Andrew Rawnsley interviewed Professor Tim Bale about the book and Labour's strategy for the election, this was followed by questions from the audience and a drinks reception.
“It is still entirely possible that Ed Miliband will be prime minister. One thing that we have to look at between now and election day is the performance of Ukip. If Ukip begins to seriously lose support, in the way that I think the greens will lose support, then that could scupper Miliband’s chances," said Professor Bale.
“If Ukip doesn’t damage the Conservative vote…then Labour is in trouble. If on the other hand Ukip polls anything near 10 per cent, then Labour and Ed Miliband are in with a very good chance.”
On the question of whether Ed Miliband is “up to the job”, Professor Bale said that while perceptions of his abilities are poor, he does possess much of the experience and many of the skills required for the role.
“He’s got something going for him in the sense that he’s experienced, he’s been a Cabinet Minister and he knows how things work. The party are doing a lot of preparation at the moment in terms of process and transition. He’s also a reasonably good manager of people, which would certainly help him in terms of coalition negotiations or in the event of a minority government.
“On the negative side people say he that he is not at all decisive. There must be a grain of truth in that because so many people say it. Then again, those people who’ve worked with him say that one of the reasons that colleagues and civil servants describe him as indecisive is because he is prepared to ask questions of the options given to him.”
Praise for Five Year Mission
"A superb overview of the past five years of Labour's history, offering an unequalled sense of perspective on Ed Miliband's ambiguous record as Leader of the Opposition This book will be the starting point for all future historians." (John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday)
"Bale's command of policy, personality and their inter-action is exemplary. A superb book." (Matthew dAncona, columnist, The Guardian and Evening Standard)