Tag Archives: David Miliband

2032

The Labour-Liberal Coalition is just about managing to cope with the constant rioting but at least immigration has been halted. No-one wants to move here anymore.

Head Minister Yvette wishes that she hadn’t defeated David Miliband because her life with the 30-stone Ed Balls ended as soon  as he had been defeated in the Leadership election by the elder Miliband. She had felt honour-bound to avenge her former husband’s humiliation and to everyone’s surprise, she had won!

Within two days had been texted by the Leader and asked to either form a government or go into exile to Melton Mowbray in the Mid-Shires.

No-one knows where the younger Miliband is at the moment. Rumour is that he is teaching English somewhere near Beijing – but these days – who knows.

Anyway, it was no joke having to go everywhere totally surrounded by large sweaty Security Guards in too-tight suits. Yvette hated that nearly as much as the Kevlar jacket which she seemed to take off only at bedtime . Even that wasn’t much fun any more.

She was soon to meet the rather wizened President of France. She briefly thought of President Lagarde in those good old days when she had been Head of the now defunct International Monetary Fund. The whereabouts of the money continues to be a mystery – but there are still lingering suspicions as to how well Germany (which used to be known as Europe) is doing.

As she climbed into the human-drawn bullet-proof rickshaw (the Ministerial Jags had been scrapped soon after the Petrol Wars) , out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of what appeared to be a familiar face. The features were still smooth – even after THAT prison sentence –  but the Buller Boy confidence now looked a little deflated and the sandwich board was not sitting comfortably on the 30 year-old hand-made suit. Sometimes, she thought that the post-incarceration humiliation phase of a prison sentence was a bit unnecessary but it did seem to teach some humility to those who were believed to need it.

The House of Parliament  used to be called Phoenix House and she was once again reminded of the historical episode thirty years ago when someone called Rupert Murdoch had a custard pie thrown in his face within these very walls! The incident had led to the destruction of the entire newspaper industry – Pre-Digi – and was commemorated by a sculpture fixed to the pavement outside.

She looked at the trio of figures. Maxwell, his wife Wendy Deng and pie-thrower Jonathan May-Bowles were depicted in life-sized splendour. Well….that wasn’t strictly true. The “sculpture” was by the Gunther von Hagens studios and rumoured to be no more than the plastinated remains of the three participants. However the bomb-proof glass case in which the sculpture was sealed made analysis impossible – plus there had been rumours that two of the figures depicted had been spotted in various locations – just like Arkle, Lord Lucan and Gordon Brown. Mind you, she mused, without any reliable news….who knows?

When she was awakened by the scream of a knocked-over tourist just outside the main entrance to the Virgin Westminster Palace of Fun, she shouted to the rickshaw pulling-team to stop. She noticed quite a few people wandering about amongst the potholes. They were all wearing those ill-fitting but mandatory jackets with “TOURIST” emblazoned on the back – although many of them were English and from only 30 or 40 miles away.

She decided to take a risk and see whether the person her team had knocked over was OK and stepped rather gingerly onto the pavement.  She reached into her gun-case for a handheld pot-pourri, as the stench of the open street was something to which she was no longer acclimatised.

A few years ago, this would have been what used to be called “an iOpportunity”. A digital image would have been taken of the Head Minister cradling an injured citizen to her Spanx-Kevlar bodice and the image would have been transmitted to everyone who still had an iDevice.

Unfortunately. Electronic signals were a thing of the past and citizens only wore “ the iBox” around their neck or waist for decoration.

However, it was soon apparent that the Tourist had a broken leg. Yvette turned and re-entered the Ministerial Carry-pod. “Deal with it, “ she snapped to one of her guards.

As the door hissed shut and she felt the shudder of the rickshaw slowly gathering speed, she fancied that she heard  a single gunshot….. in fact, as she proceeded, she noticed that there were lots of gunshots……


To be continued/

Oh Brother! Brains or Charisma?

We used to feel just a tiny bit sorry for Ed Miliband.  OK, he was a Cabinet Minister, had a barrister “partner” (Justine is an environmental lawyer), an Oxford education and all the other “bolt-ons” that the majority of 40 year-olds can only dream of. So why did we not envy him ? His career was mapped out for him, he was comparatively well-off and yet there was a “niggle”. That niggle  or career speed-bump has now been removed and is somewhere in North London licking his wounds. Big Brother, David.

Ed certainly does not possess his brother’s intellect, brooding D’Arcyesque presence  or sharp suits. In fact, compared to David, he is more of Wallace (Wallace & Grommit) with a silly haircut and the sort of annoying voice which begs a prompt visit to an ENT man.

Luckily for him, as usual, the Labour Party has managed to allow the potential runner up to shine and then try and convince itself that this was the right decision. Michael Foot defeated Denis Healey, Neil Kinnock defeated Roy Hattersley, Gordon Brown defeated himself and once again the potential silver medalist has won the Gold.

However, on this occasion, it would seem that more by luck than judgement and a combination of disaffected unions and the Party’s irrational addiction to high drama, Labour has elected the right man for the job.

So what was the path that ultimately led to the collision in Manchester? The collision that some commentators have been reporting as cunningly premeditated  fratricide.

The paths that the Miliband brothers took were practically identical. The same influences, the same education and the same career path. That is why the Labour Party’s decision was almost too close to call.

The boys are a reasonably common post-war product.  In 1940, their father, Ralph (nee Adolphe) managed to scramble aboard the last boat from Belgium to England. He and the Milbands’ grandfather Samuel settled in London. Ralph had been born in Belgium although the family was Polish-Jewish.

In 1961, Ralph married  a Polish girl called Marion Kozak. She was one of Ralph’s former students at LSE where he taught Political Science. David was born in 1965 and Ed in 1969.

The two boys were totally immersed in Socialism – their father was not-only one of the most influential socialist thinkers of his day but the house always buzzed to the sound of socialist discourse and debate. For instance, one of the regular visitors to the Miliband household used to be Tony Benn  and it is rumoured that he used to help the boys with their homework. From a very early age, the Miliband  sons were encouraged to discuss and argue politics with the constant stream of left-wing intellectuals  who’d pitch up to their London home on a daily basis.

It is said that in spite of their socialist home influences, what really shaped their views was their time at Haverstock school. The young Milibands saw that this comprehensive school (in which over 60 languages were spoken), created a background-driven disparity in pupil performance. Both brothers perceived the inverse link between social class and educational performance. The recognised that children who were far more intellectually able than they were, did not always perform to their potential. Those children did not have the benefit of their warm, intellectual middle-class existence.

To put it simply, poor children did not perform as well as well-off children. That is now accepted as a self-evident truth.

The experience fused the brothers’ political views. Not for the first time, ideology had shaken hands with harsh reality.

In spite of below-par A-level results, David went up to Oxford where he read PPE at Corpus Christi. Unsurprisingly, Ed followed a couple of years later. Same University, same college, same subject.

Their times at Oxford were similar, except that Ed is remembered as having been the more militant and has said on a number of occasions that politics motivated him more than academia.

There is a simple way to describe the difference between the Miliband brothers using the Merrill-Reid Social Styles model. Ed is more of an “expressive” while David is the  “analytical”. The “doer” versus the “thinker”.

Ed deals in emotions whilst David prefers  facts.

For instance, this week you may have noticed that there has never been any question of Harriet Harman NOT continuing as Deputy Leader. One of the reasons for that is the very strong emotional bond between Harriet and Ed. His first political job was as Harriet’s researcher.

One suspects however, that had David won the leadership election, he would have been more concerned with candidates’ previous form rather than be driven by sentimentalism.

After university, Ed worked as speechwriter and researcher for Harriet Harman and for Gordon Brown, then the Shadow Chancellor. He followed Brown to the Treasury as one of the “two Eds” (the other is Ed Balls) who steered the Chancellor and the Treasury through the ten Blair years. Ed has the very great political advantage of having been very close to the economic shenanigans of the last  fifteen years.

There are those who cannot understand why the Unions gave Ed the ticket to the leadership. David Miliband is still perceived as a Blairite – after all, he used to be Tony Blair’s Head of Policy. The Unions have long memories and they DO hold a grudge.

Both brothers were in the thick of the Blair/Brown feud but it was Ed who became the non-elected nuncio who was the buffer between the two camps. He was dubbed (rather eloquently) as “the ambassador from Planet Fuck” – primarily because he was the only member of the Brown team who did not tell the Blairites to “Fuck off”.

So, the two brothers were gradually being squeezed apart  by the Blair/Brown in-fighting and in spite of the fact that it has become transparently obvious that Brown’s tenure at No 10 was a disaster and that Brown was arguably the worst leader since John Major, Ed Miliband does not appear to have been tainted by his closeness to Brown and he achieved that by his comparative anonymity.

There is little doubt that Ed Miliband is regarded as the warmer of the two brothers and his natural ability to “connect” makes him a very popular speaker. He should not be judged solely on his 2010 conference speech!

His leadership potential is there but still largely untested. He has not had David’s experience of comfortably striding the world stage  as Foreign Secretary but by all accounts, he is a fast learner and what he may lack in natural physical grace, he compensates for in political guile and a profound doggedness.

Had David remained  as part of Ed’s shadow team, there would always have been a real danger of the soap opera that was the Blair/Brown feud having been reprised with a younger (Miliband) cast.  The Tories were looking forward to David being elected as leader because there was little doubt that Ed would have been part of David’s shadow team. That would have created two distinct camps within the party which would have suited the Conservatives very well. There is nothing as agreeable as watching your enemies (once again) publicly digest themselves from the inside.

The election of Ed Miliband has averted a potential disaster for the Labour Party.

Many predicted that the Milibands would work as a team and rebuild the car-crash that is the current  Labour Party but on reflection it seems that the right Miliband is in charge.

In the leadership game, charisma always wins over intellect.

Ed “Seagull” Miliband’s Speech

There will be many analyses of  Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour faithful in Manchester. This is the only analysis which you will need. It is the speech “Worldcloud”.

Macro-message (from Wordcloud): 

” New Generation Must Change Country. “

Now you know what was on his mind.

No surprises. He disagreed with some things that he had previously agreed with and vice versa.

The delivery was more Aldi than Audi and the speech was a triumph of Cut over Paste delivered to an audience which had nothing left but  faith.

Why “Seagull”?

Anyone who flies in, creates  a lot of noise and disturbance, eats the food, shits on his brother and then flies off again, deserves to be called “Seagull”.

(Thanks to SP Bain for the WORDCLOUD)