You may have heard the old joke in American politics, “A mother has two sons, one joins the navy, the other becomes Vice President… And neither are ever heard of again.” Ok, so not particularly funny, but it used to have them rolling in the aisles in the 1950s when Tricky Dicky was Ike’s Veep.
Now the tale needs updating to accommodate the Miliband brood. One son becomes a Foreign Secretary with aspirations of leadership, heeds his kid brother’s advice not to challenge the leader and to bide his time, and is then defeated by said brother in the leadership election. I wonder how Christmas will be in the Miliband household this year?
However….I wonder if poor old David hasn’t escaped lightly and may yet have the last laugh. As of this morning he has yet to announce his plans. But for what it’s worth, let’s speculate: Ed has secured the leadership without the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party or the membership and is reliant on the Unions for support. If the Tories are smart this will be brought up on every occasion that the increasingly militant unions bring London to a grinding halt or ground British Airways flights at Christmas.
How does David Miliband deal with this? By putting 3,000 miles of clear blue water between himself and the plight of his kid bother. Go west, young man and make a killing. Go to Harvard and teach. Cosy up to the Democrats in DC, let Hillary swoon over you in Fogy Bottom and become a man of international renown. Meanwhile let brother Ed take the fall for another Labour defeat in 4 1/2 years and become the next ‘greatest Labour prime minister the country never had.’
Then he can decide if he wants to return to the fray and lead a resurgent Labour Party in 2015… It’s just a thought.