Like Ed Miliband I am a geek. I always have been and always will be. I also I went to a comprehensive school where I spent my free time socialising, with other geeks. We sat in the geek corner of the common room at sixth form. We were definitely not the cool kids. One of coolest things we ever did in geek corner was sleeping, The Head of sixth form did not like this and used to wake us up; not cool. Another thing we did was hiding under the desks from our Biology teacher, who then assumed we were in geek corner and went to look for us there. When she returned we had our pens poised ready for the lesson; that was cool.
What are the residents of Geek corner doing now? One is a consultant obstetrician, one is an information security expert, one does something with radar, one got a PhD in some unpronounceable aspect of cell biology and does niche consultancy work (He is also a 'Twitter famous' football pundit @IWantCurlyHair2). One is primary teacher. The geekiest of all the geeks went to Oxford to read biochemistry then realised he was a cool kid at heart and now is a mountain biking instructor. Worryingly despite being well qualified and with specialist experience a few geeks are out of work at the moment. This reluctant geek is a biology lecturer and part time politics geek. Many of the cool kids did OK too but I would say that the geeks have ended up in the more interesting jobs.
A lot has been made of Ed Milibands geeky persona and there is talk of him getting rid of his 'policy wonk' image after the recent Labour Party Conference. Commentators are talking about him becoming less geeky and more Prime Ministerial. The two are not mutually exclusive. I now must apologise in advance to the cool kids reading this; but I would rather have a geek as a Prime Minister. The nerdy analytical skills will come in handy when big decisions have to be made quickly, as will the ability to grasp detail and come up with a big picture conclusion. There are still massive jobs in politics for cool dudes. It is useful if the foreign secretary for example is more than a little bit cool.
The choice for the next general election is clear. Do the public want a Prime Minister plays at being cool and thinks he was born to rule. Or is the public ready for a Leader might not look as airbrushed but whose values are more than skin deep. I hope that Ed ignores the sort of advice that a spin doctor might give to 'shake off his nerdy image'. My message would be in complete contrast; the electorate prefer authenticity to fakery every time. Say it loud. Geek and proud