Looking forward to 13th October. It will be Ed Miliband's first foray at PMQs. I expect him to do quite well. I've watched him perform at the Dispatch Box, and he comes across as a relaxed and personable speaker. He may even make Labour MPs feel better about themselves, though a majority of them voted for his brother - and Harriet Harmon was a surprisingly (to me anyway) good performer. The bar is higher than many think.
But none of this chamber stuff counts for much. Remember the way William Hague kicked lumps out of Tony Blair at PMQs. Zilch effect on the voters. No, what Ed Miliband has to do is come up with some credible policy - particularly in relation to dealing with the deficit. Only impression he's given so far is that he wants to reduce Government spending by even less than Labour committed to do had it won the Election. In fact, he's piled up more commitments to spend during the campaign that took the prize away from his brother, David. This 'fantasy economics' may play well in Labour Party meetings and the left wing press - and I can see him enjoying a bit of a honeymoon in the polls. As did Gordon Brown of course. But people are not daft. They can see that the Government that Ed Miliband was a leading member of has crashed the British economy, and loaded debts on our children that is utterly immoral. Liam Halligan came up with a great line in his column in the Telegraph today.
"This is perhaps the most systematic act on inter-generational theft the world has ever seen".
On 13th it will be a case of 'getting his eye in' but it will not be long before Ed Miliband will have to have an answer to the questions about what he would do to clear up the financial destruction that his party left behind for us to clear up.