The Tale of Two Milibands

When I went away for the weekend, I was so sure that David Miliband was going to be the next Labour leader and I wrote this post. It became inappropriate as David lost to his brother in a tight election that definitely surprised me, and concerned me a little. The Labour leadership election is in fact the most inclusive leadership election in Britain: 350,000 people cast their ballots compared to 200,000 voters at Conservative Party leadership elections and 50,000 at Liberal Democrats’. David Miliband won 53% of MP/MEPs’ votes, and 54% of Labour Party Members’ votes but what carried Edward Miliband to victory was the union bloc vote. He won a decisive 60% of Union vote, which means this victory marks the return of union politics.

In retrospect, it doesn’t surprise me at all: after an election defeat, political parties sometimes go for a more radical candidate: hence, in US, Goldwater in 1964, McGovern in 1974, and current movements within Republican party; in UK, Michael Foot in 1980, a succession of Tories from 1997-2005. David Miliband’s defeat was sad reminder that Labour not only lost an election but also its centre. I met Ed Miliband in Copenhagen last December; he was a tireless worker and a wonderful intellectual, but also inexperienced in statecraft and diplomacy.

David Miliband, well he was a different story. In my opinion, he got too much crap for the above banana story (I am not helping here either). He was merely holding a banana in one of one-too-many photo-ops a politician witnesses; during the 2008 Labour conference in Manchester, he walked into the conference centre clutching his banana in the fashion of a handgun, prompting one photographer to joke: “Don’t shoot.” Maybe it was David’s insistence that he be taken seriously despite his age that made this photo an instant ironic classic. In the end, this (his arrogance, not banana) and his failure to conceal his ambitions for higher office, probably did him in.

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0 thoughts on “The Tale of Two Milibands

  1. 949152 943014yourself’m as burning with excitement along accumulative concentrating. alter ego was rather apocalyptic by the mated ethical self went up to. It is punk up to closed ego dispirited. All respecting those topics are movables her really should discover no finish touching unpronounced. Thanks so considerably! 745544

  2. The norm for this blog. Nice pics and the accompanying ignorant commentary.

    No block votes from the unions. Just a block headed blogger.

    Stick to the pics. The rest is embarrassing.

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