When I first heard the news that Ed Miliband was bringing back the former deputy prime minister, John Prescott, I had to check my calendar to ensure that this wasn’t some kind of April fools joke. When Prescott was in power, not only was he considered incompetent, but he was also a liability more often than not. However, I have had time to reflect on this latest development and have now decided that brining back Prezzer is not as crazy as you think.
John Prescott has few things going for him, but what he does have is an undisputed working class persona. You can say a lot of things about Prescott, but you cannot under any circumstances question his working class credentials. As a working class man, he ticks every box. He is not only the grandson of a miner and the son of a railwayman, but he sounds the part to, refusing to shake off that deep northern accent which has been his weapon of choice against the Eton educated Tory front bench. One of the biggest criticisms of the current Labour team is that they don’t really understand the workingman, or at least don’t appear to do so. Although Ed Miliband has tried his utmost to reach out to ‘the people’, the bottom line is that he lives in a multimillion-pound house in Primrose Hill and speaks as posh as Cameron does. The official line is that Prescott will be involved in environmental policy. However, a more accurate description of his role will be that of a working class poster boy. I am in no doubt that Prescott and his famous battle bus will be pushed around every working class town in the country, singing like a canary about the working class credentials of the Labour party. Hey, it worked for Blair, why can’t it work for Miliband too?
In addition to giving Miliband the working class seal of approval, Prescott has a second strength, and that’s his brutality. One of his most famous political moments was the time when, as Deputy Prime Minister, he punched a member of the public square in the face for egging him on the back. It is this kind of brutality that Ed Miliband and his team need. It makes perfect sense. When you are at school how do you stop getting bullied – make friends with the school brute of cause. Not only is Prescott now likely to come down hard on anyone on the Labour side that briefs against him, but his new role may also silence the former Blairites who have been increasingly vocal against Miliband in recent months. As someone who helped create New Labour, he may have enough influence and sway to silence his former colleagues.
John Prescott is everything Ed Miliband isn’t; so bringing him back makes perfect sense.
By James Evans, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.