Ed Miliband then. I'm not unhappy about it. When I saw David in action during the general election campaign, I was genuinely impressed with both his communication skills and the cut of his suit, but frankly he would have been predictable and who needs yet another smooth operator? At that time, David Miliband seemed like a good fit against Cameron and Clegg, but courtesy of the coalition I've changed my mind. Cameron Major and Cameron Minor and David Miliband - they'd have been like a scissor-cut string of paper-dollies. Ed is at least an interesting choice - dark-eyed and sixth-former-geeky I'll grant you, but patently super-intelligent and sincere. Apparently during the leadership elections, another 32,000 members joined. I didn't. Perhaps it's finally time?
I have two boys. I explained what was happening at the top of the Labour party over breakfast the other day - about younger brother Ed going for the leadership although he knew older-brother David was desperate for it, about Ed winning, and now noone knew what David would do and whether he would take a job under his brother. Over porridge, I conducted a scientific poll. Similar to those polls the cosmetic industry uses - 93% of women think this hugely expensive moisturiser strips the fat from their jowls and slaps it onto their breasts. (Sample size: 14 women genetically related to the marketting manager.)
1. Do you think David Miliband should take a job in the Shadow Cabinet and work under his brother?
2. Will David Miliband take a job in the Shadow Cabinet and work under his brother?
1. No he shouldn't. Definitely not.
2. No he won't. (Cue scornful laughter.)
1. Yes he should.
2. No he won't. (Shaking of head.)
Interestingly, my nine-year-old followed up."What job is he being offered?," he asked, "and is it a very good one?" I explained that David could have whatever job he wanted (apart from his brother's of course.)
He considered David's options some more: "And exactly how long will Ed get to stay leader?"
As for me (and I admit I'm an only child), I'm of the opinion, David should take the job his brother offers him. Take it and try it on for size. If the media make a meal of it and the party loses more than it gains by having him as Shadow Chancellor, then walk away. That way he knows he tried - he did his best. Something in him isn't ready to give up just yet or he would have done it by now, surely? I agree the whole psychodrama at the top of the Labour party goes on, but hey at least that's something people can understand. Our politicians are human. Occasionally, their families drive them to distraction but they love them enough to stand beside them when it counts because that is what family is for. That's what I'm hoping I get to explain to my boys when we know exactly what David Miliband has decided.
The main question this thoughtful post raises for me is this: where can I buy that moisturiser?
Ed is seriously cute. This is a serious comment. :)
I've been rooting for Ed for ages. I liked his sincere plain language approach and could imagine voting for him.
Will be interesting to see how he develops in the job.
I'm reading your book and find it very fresh and lovely...
Thanks for this travel in your land and life...
I'll certainly come back for reading your blog but my english is realy not perfect ...
Ed's patently a back room dealer: it's not obvious either way whether he'll be able to grow the judgement and gravitas he'll need to be a good leader. But he won't be helped by the fact that most of the party and the MPs don't think he's the best person for the job, and the coalition will certainly be releived that they won't have someone immediately capable opposing them in the difficult couple of years before the economy rebounds/before they sort out the mess Labour left behind (choose which depending on your point of view).
Whether he is ultimately successful will depend on the speed of the economic rebound, which in turn will be dependent on private sector economic growth - which will have little to do with Dave, Nick or Ed.
I meant to add: the fact that there's so much attention being placed on brotherly love shows that David needs to find another life unless he wants to recreate a new dividing line within labour.
As a Tory, of course, I hope he does accept what he's offered.
Amidst all the high drama in the political scene, you hit the nail on the head with your ...."Occasionally, their families drive them to distraction but they love them enough to stand beside them when it counts because that is what family is for."
It's just a shame that a lot of families in this world seem to have forgotten this basic truth.
Your two participants in your scientific survey, (genetically linked to you) are already beginning to show their streetwise political savvy!
I do hope we won't have to be faced with an autobiography next to Blair's, on the lives of the Miliband brothers, and of course their doting mum.
But as someone said today, if Ed can do the dirty on his brother, he wouldn't think twice about doing it to the likes of us. Thank goodness he is not in number 10 and hopefully never will be.
Ed reminds me of my unfavourite son-in-law. Sorry Ed, you're out!
Sorry, Alcoholic Daze, but how exactly did he 'do the dirty'?
By standing as leader?
By standing as leader and telling people how he would lead the party?
By getting more votes?
I like EdM, and I am a Labour Party member who voted for him. I didn't like David when he was Foreign Secretary lying to the whole country about the situation in Iraq. He has already proved himself to be more than capable of doing the dirty on the country!
WITN, your boys have done you proud!
I love your poll. I used to work as a management consultant and the research I conducted looked very similar to the methodology you applied. I could put in a word for you, if you ever were to look for a change in career.
PS: What's that cream called?
Think your 7 yr old is super insightful and what wisdom from two so young... have you thought about getting them elected? I'd vote for them :)
Have read your book with so much joy, thank you for this. And I hope you will soon keep posting again entries on this blog!
Judith-just wanted to say that I've just bought your book and am loving it-thank you from a fellower Northumbrian!
Oooh, I loved your tea-party piece in yesterday's Times! Lovely photos, wow, who made the cakes? lovely kitchen (envies!)
So when will this movement roll out nationwide? As the owner of five teapots all ready for action, I want to be part of it!
Tea and cake is what I am all about.....
I recently found your blog, and i have had such a good time reading your old entries. I am married to a man from the north. We live in Norway at the moment, but someday the plan is to go over to England and settle somewhere in the north. So reading about your experiences has been not just fun but also useful.
Please visit my blog if you like. I have a mini give away on at the moment. You're welcome to try your luck. :-)
Have a good week!
Love the scientific research here, you forgot the cat - he could have been the control group x
I was wondering if the moisturiser people were looking for anyone to test their product on?
Ed reminds me of a slightly bumbling junior chemistry teacher.
The thing about the slick alternatives is that the likes of Blair and Cameron actually won elections...
Over 3 months and not a word. Are you retired? Incapacitated? Or snowed in? Or editing another book??
We haven't heard from you in such a long while. Not even a Tweet. Are you OK?
Hi nice to meet you. Jody here living in California. I love your blo!. Only lived in Cheltenham and London when I was there, so the North is fascinating to me. Moisturiser and politics, helps the medicine go down for sure. Love your boys answers, maybe they should be employed on the shadow cabinet, would help move things along a bit. My six year old son's answer to everything is: what are the snacks?
Nice article, thanks for the information.
im reading your book also its inpiring thanks a lot
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