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Miliband brothers

Miliband brothers were talk of the weekend.

Following Lord High Almighty Everything’s visit to South Shields on Friday evening, our MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband, along with his younger brother Ed have been the talk of the weekend. Various newspapers and commentators have jumped on the bandwagon that has started to roll towards Brussels with David Miliband on board, yet despite his denial in being interested – don’t politicians always deny interest? – the world and his dog now firmly believe that Miliband the Elder will be heading for the EU as it’s Foreign Minister (sorry High Representative of the Commission) as Labour gets turfed out of office at the next election.

If the intense speculation all turns out to be true, then one could perhaps then understand David Miliband’s recent attacks on the Conservatives, painting them out to be almost anti-semitic Jew hating baby killing Nazi types, after all he may as well try and cosy up to the remnants of the EPP, he may need support in other parts of Europe to bolster a bid for the big job. As Dan Hannan points out:

No wonder David Miliband has been waging his jejune campaign against the ECR, a campaign so malicious and misleading that the Latvian Government has called in our ambassador to protest. Suddenly, it all makes sense: what the Foreign Secretary is really after is a promotion. If that means sacrificing British interests in order to cosy up to the EPP, so be it.

In the current climate, with all parties proposing ministerial pay cuts, what national politician wouldn’t gladly slither to a new post in Brussels, complete with housing allowance, personal chauffeur, entertainment allowance, tax-free salary and all the rest? Especially when he expects his party to be voted out of office within a few months.

Yes, quite, the opportunity must have an awful lot of appeal.

Curly, like others, is gradually coming round to the view that Gordon Brown will not be allowed to lead Labour to an electoral disaster, and that sometime in the early part of 2010 he will be forced to admit to his Cabinet colleagues that he is an electoral liability and that his health has deteriorated to the point where it would be wise to allow someone else to carry the flag for Labour. Paul Linford in his column for The Journal suspects the same scenario:

I wrote several months ago now that I did not believe Mr Brown would lead Labour into the General Election if it became clear that the only consequence of that would be a catastrophic defeat.

The recent drip-drip-drip of information about the Prime Minister’s health, some of it emanating from within Downing Street itself, seems to confirm that an exit strategy is being carefully devised.

One slogan heard doing the rounds this week was “New Year, New Leader” – and once again, the name of Miliband seems to be in the frame.

The question of course is which Miliband?

The two sons of Ralph have done exceptionally well for themselves, weaned into the political class in the roles of advisors, researchers, and bag carriers as the NuLabour project was formed under Blair and Brown, given patronage and moved into safe Labour seats in South Shields and Doncaster North, neither of the brothers has had a job outside of politics (which is all too common in all parties these days). Both now of Cabinet rank in a government facing the agony of watching it’s own death. If Lord Mandelson had used his time profitably in the EU, and there is no reason to believe that he hasn’t networked extensively, then he ought to know exactly which ears to drip poison advice into, to further the prospects of one David Miliband succeeding to a highly paid position the High Representative for the EU, just in case EU leaders lean away from appointing Tony Blair as their President.

Should Mandelson win that battle then perhaps, seeing defeat awaiting Labour, he will gently suggest to the one eyed son of the manse that it’s time to play the health card and make way for Ed Miliband to lead the party in the next election and in Opposition. Such a move may rescue Labour’s position in the polls as a young new leader goes head to head with a young new leader of the Conservatives, ultimately of course, it will be the record of twelve years in government and a wrecked economy that will lose it all for Labour.

But, no need to be feeling negative, if all of this speculation materialises then both Miliband brothers will be sitting pretty in much better paid employment than they have at present.

As far as South Shields is concerned, David Miliband would have to give up this seat and the Labour Party would need to find a new candidate to fight the general election, in something of a hurry. Now image, just imagine, that South Tyneside Council Leader Iain Malcolm got the call (he has wanted to represent his home town in the Commons for some years), then the Conservative’s Karen Allen and others would need to have a “plan B” prepared and ready to use. Because, if Labour’s candidate was to be Iain Malcolm, we can be virtually guaranteed that an Independent candidate would enter the fray, giving electors a further choice and creating further electoral confusion with the possible permutations in the anti-Labour split.

Positive outcomes for the Milibands may end up leaving negative thoughts in South Shields, and also at Westminster where David Cameron would also need a “plan B” to deal with the possible prospect of Europe’s top two positions being occupied by the leading architects of NuLabour.


A “Stop Miliband” campaign has already started.

stop miliband

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