Sunday, 14 June 2015
Notes from the blue corner: The busted flush
Two posts in one weekend, goodness me we are lucky aren’t we! I shall be brief, as I fear that I have been rather lengthy in my last few blogs.
As a Tory, I should be jolly pleased with myself, given that we have the first Conservative majority since 1997, but I wouldn’t want to offend the acting leader of the Labour Party so I will refrain from gloating or indeed dwelling on the subject.
No, it is the Labour Party I want to focus on here, taking the opportunity to set the barrels of my salt-loaded shotgun on one Mr. Miliband Snr, a most craven individual if ever there was one. I was inspired to type this by an article I read in the Mail Online, which claims that Ed Miliband was not invited to his brother’s fiftieth. As the elder one of two brothers myself, if this is true, it shows the former foreign secretary in a dismal light.
There has been much furore and hearsay about ‘the wounded’ brother, blood apparently gushing from his back. They talk of a ‘Man in the Iron Mask’, cruelly denied his turn as leader of the party. Labour claims it could have edged the election if Miliband Major had been at the helm, an easy thing for a broken and ideologically bankrupt party to claim in hindsight - although in all likelihood they would have still lost.
The story, really, smacks of fantasy, as if they were casting Cameron as Narnia’s White Witch and Miliband as Aslan, sailing in to rid the land of perpetual winter. The ongoing ‘feud’ between the brothers has been picked apart, analysed to death and David Miliband has been stoking rumours of a return to British Politics, it all seems so dramatic.
To make the matter more of a story, even Lord ‘Two Jags’ Prescott, the coarse union dinosaur, has waded in, telling Mili to keep his nose out. As much as I loath Lord Prescott, his manner and all he stands for, the man has a point. The Labour Party needs to move on.
It is easy to forget that David Miliband had a number of opportunities to de-throne Gordon Brown during his premiership and he bottled it each time. Caution is often a deathblow for any ambitious politician and to my mind it was so in this case.
Furthermore, he did not put an appealing case to the broad church of his party, he must have had an inkling that mass union support was unlikely. It must have been gutting to lose but surely, there are bigger things in life - perhaps David Miliband was consumed by the idea of becoming Prime Minister? I don’t know... I merely speculate.
However there is an even bigger reason that this fraternal feud should make us cautious of embracing David Miliband, aside from the fact that it suggests the man is prone to holding a grudge. In essence, he abandoned his constituency. He decided to take a post in the US, albeit for a worthy cause, and stand down as an MP rather than seeing the electoral term through and then going. Obviously there were reasons, but it does not inspire confidence that the man put his electorate first and foremost. It’s a bit flaky for my tastes, and I dare say a number of other too.
There’s somethings marvellously Heseltine-esque about the whole thing, storming off in a huff and sniping from the sidelines. But at least ‘Tarzan’ had the decency to remain in his seat and serve his constituents whilst he planned his gambit.
In any case, we need a strong, robust opposition, it’s how an effective parliament works. The only way we will achieve this is if Labour is brave enough move on from Miliband and look to fresh blood untainted by Blair and Brown.