Monday, 27 September 2010
Pipped at the Post So What Now?
David Miliband is said to be considering his future this weekend. His brother Ed, the new leader of the Labour Party, has said he can have any job he fancies in the new shadow government but David hasn't leapt at the opportunity to be shadow chancellor or any other high profile post. Who would want their younger brother to be their boss?
Miliband Snr must be rueing the days when he had the chance to lead the Labour party because that opportunity has now gone. Some of his supporters say he should have challenged Gordon Brown in 2007, but he dithered and then decided to let Brown have a free run. Then there was the day his pal James Purnell quit the cabinet last summer. Many thought then it was a perfect time for David Miliband to follow suit and, because Brown was hingin' by a tack ( translation: hanging by a nail) at the time, Miliband Snr may well have seized the keys to No 10. Alas, he dithered once again.
There's rumour abound in the press this weekend that he may serve for a year or so, either in the cabinet of some other capacity, then he'll depart British politics. Will he start touting his wares around his pals in the EU? Last year some European leaders thought he would be an ideal candidate for the post of EU foreign minister, but he decided against it and Cathy Ashton thought all her Christmases had come at once. The reason given at the time was that he wanted to lead the Labour party.
Will he perhaps follow in the steps of his mentor, Tony Blair, and decided to look for a position in the US? Hilary Clinton appeared quite fond of him and she's able to open many doors.
Regardless what I think of the Milibands, I must pay credit to the manner in which Miliband Snr conducted himself on Saturday. Leading the labour party was his lifelong ambition and now he has to redefine his aims. Not a bad thing for anyone to do once in a while and in David Miliband's case he can tap into a deep layer of those in high places who may be due him a favour or two.