British Labour leadership candidate's house parties mocked

21st August 2010, Comments 0 comments

David Miliband, considered the front-runner to lead Britain's Labour Party, was ridiculed in newspapers Saturday over his six-page guide on how to throw a dinner party for his campaign.

The former foreign secretary, one of five candidates for the post vacated by former prime minister Gordon Brown, was lampooned for his step-by-step guide to "what you should be doing" once "you've decided to hold a house meeting for David".

It begins with some stock paragraphs to read down the phone to invitees -- and, remember, "No one can resist a delicious spread of food!".

"5:30pm -- get in from work, give the place a quick vacuum and general tidy (or not, if you're not that type)," the guide on his campaign website says.

"Put the oven on and get the nibbles in. If there are drinks, get them chilling. Pick some music.

"7:00pm -- People are arriving, take their coats, get them a drink, all that good stuff.

"7:50pm -- Show David's leadership House Party video."

At 8:40pm, hosts can read out some more stock paragraphs, beginning: "I hope you have enjoyed this evening -- it's been really interesting hearing your stories... Whatever our different perspectives on the issues discussed tonight, one thing is clear -- that we can achieve more together than we can on our own."

And at 9:00pm, "finish the meeting with a thank you".

The Independent said it was the "dinner party from hell".

Calling it beyond "excruciating", if his leadership bid fails, "a glorious career as a professional TV dinner party organiser clearly awaits. The Labour Party's loss will be light entertainment's gain," its editorial read.

The Daily Mail said it was "toe-curling" and "bizarrely patronising".

The Sun said the "cringe-making tips on how to make the get-togethers fun will do nothing to help Mr Miliband shake off his geeky image".

A spokeswoman for Miliband said: "Every leader needs to know how to run a party".

© 2010 AFP

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