Ed Miliband: "I am Nelson Mandela; I am Emmeline Pankhurst; I am Martin Luther King!"
This is truly shameful rhetoric: the very stuff of hyperbole, exaggeration and self-magnification. It has echoes of his predecessor windbag, Neil Kinnock. Except that Ed Miliband is smaller and shriller in every sense. Juxtaposing a protest march against government cuts with the gross injustices and inequalities of apartheid, votes for women and racial equality is preposterous. Miliband's grandilquence demeans the sacrifice of those who spent years in prison and ultimately paid with their lives. His high-profile participation on this march makes him look more like an obsessive Arthur Scargill than a Keir Hardie; more like an extremist Ken Livingstone than a New Labour heir-to-Blair. Ed Miliband will live to regret this. Indeed, as the media now juxtapose his speech with images of appalling violence and vandalism, his credibility (what little he had) may now be gone forever.