I really enjoyed this article I read in Daily Mail Plus
Ask Ed Miliband (as told to Craig Brown)
THE Labour leader answers all your questions on home maintenance. Part One: Putting up a shelf
DEAR ED, How should I go about putting up a shelf?
ED SAYS: Look, what I find when I talk to people up and down this country is a very deep sense of wanting to have bold answers to some very real problems and, yes, one of these very real problems is how to go about putting up a shelf.
So what I say is this. By all means let’s put up as many shelves as we want. But let’s make sure they stay up.
SO HOW exactly SHOULD I go about putting up that shelf, Ed?
TIME and time again, David Cameron has revealed himself totally incapable of putting up even the simplest of shelves.
So what I say is this. If you place anything on David Cameron’s shelves, from an egg-cup to a packet of Rice Krispies, they all come tumbling down. And what I say, quite clearly and boldly, is this: that’s simply not good enough.
So what I say is this. I’ve made it quite clear that the ordinary working people of this country require good, strong shelves — shelves that can hold not only an egg-cup but also a packet of Rice Krispies. Shelves that stand the test of time.
I HAVE a drill, some screws, a pencil, a hammer and a spirit level, Ed, and I’m ready to go. So what should I do now?
SO WHAT I say is this. This is what I say. What I say is not only this, but that. And that is what I say — as well as this. So what I say is both this and that.
Let’s face it, there’s a deep and profound sense of wanting to put up shelves in this country. And that’s as it should be. There’s no point having shelves if you can’t put them up. That’s why I believe we have the right answers to the whole question of putting up shelves.
And that’s why I’m relishing the chance to put those ideas into practice.
A drill, some screws, a pencil, a hammer and a spirit level. These are, I believe, essential items when it comes to the putting up of shelves. And that’s as it should be.
So what I say is this, and I make no apology: no one ever put up a successful shelf without first working out exactly how to do it.
And that’s why I’m calling for an independent assessment on the whole question of putting up shelves.
FIRST things first, Ed: should I hold the hammer by the wooden end or by the end with the harder, iron bit on it?
LOOK, the way I see it is this. We’ve got a hammer, and a hammer is internationally recognised as a superb device for putting up a shelf — but only when used in conjunction with other items, such as a drill, some screws and a pencil.
So what I say is this. We’ve got to be pragmatic and we’ve got to recognise that we must on no account hold that hammer by the wrong end. Because holding a hammer by the wrong end is no way to go about holding a hammer.
And why must we not hold that hammer by the wrong end? Because holding that hammer by the wrong end is not what we are about.
TO BE honest, Ed, I’d really like to start putting up that shelf as soon as possible. I’d be ever so grateful if you’d just tell me how to go about it.
FRANKLY, that’s not what they are telling me as I go up and down the country, listening to people. They’re saying that, yes, they want to put up a shelf, but they want us to tackle the whole shelf problem in a way that is effective not only for them but for the families of all hard-working people.
And people are also telling me that there are important questions to be answered not only about hammers and nails and spirit levels, but about the whole nature of shelves.
And so what I say is this. Yes, we do have a clear plan — and our plan is to clarify those plans so that we can plan for clarity. And that’s a very clear commitment for which I make no excuses.
But I also say this. This is what I also say. And what I say is this also.
If we find ourselves in a position in which it is necessary to make excuses, we are committed to lead the way with a bold agenda that says, yes, we are going to set about making those excuses with a bold new commitment. Because that is nothing more nor less than what the hard-working people of this country expect of us.
So what I say is this.
First, we must plan for shelves. And then — and only then — we must shelve our plans.
Daily Mail Plus is a great new app. Download it now by clicking the link below