Ed Milliband’s choice of Desert Island Discs – assuming it was his own and not some psephological committee’s – is shocking not for its bad taste but for its numbing banality. Every single song the Labour leader is a piece of public furniture, familiar to passing dogs on Comfort FM. Not one reveals an original mind, let alone a quirk.
There is nothing wrong with Ed’s songs in musical terms. But they seem to have been chosen not for any musical reason so much as for what they might represent in political terms – freedom, equality, struggle, strength of purpose – and what they might achieve among the electorate.
From that perspective, Ed is pitching for middle-class, multicultural, thirty-something voters who go to France and Florida for their summer hols. How vapid is that? How utterly dull.
– Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika
– Hubert Parry – Jerusalem (lone classical pick)
– Paul Robeson – Ballad of Joe Hill
– A-ha – Take On Me
– Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
– Robbie Williams – Angels
– Josh Ritter – Change of Time
– Edith Piaf – Je Ne Regrette Rien