Back in the summer of 2008 we wrote this at the time David Miliband was being heavily promoted by his party and sympathetic press alike. Generally speaking the message was the man is a genius. Well how wrong can you be? And now years later he's off to America. Fraser Nelson says of the new job
then we find out that David Miliband is off to run the real-life International Rescue in New York. Life is mirroring art, or at least British politics is mirroring Thunderbirds.
In the Gerry Anderson ITV puppet show the character, Brains, that Miliband was compared to was horribly nerdy. He was a plodding techno who acted as a foil to the more dashing pilots and other characters.
As Foreign Secretary Miliband frequently made gaffes that showed him up as awkward and unthinking. His social skills let him down at home too. The Labour party demands a particular brand of behaviour from its Ministers. A complex web of forces within the party requires constant attention if the Minister is to survive. Miliband showed himself incapable of dealing with this, it was too subtle for him. Despite the backing of Tony Blair he never made it to the top of his party.
Just a few days ago you might have thought that Labour was willing and able to leave its past behind. The drubbing at the general election hurt them but, looking on the bright side, it got rid of Gordon Brown. Labour's recent past is riddled with problems stemming from the Blair/Brown feud. The wishful thinkers in Labour's membership would have hoped that the new leader could have shut the door on this period and the party move on but as we have said before Labour loves a fight, any fight. So it was foolish to imagine this could happen and not to see the trouble brewing during the leadership contest. While Brown appears to have no shame, subtlety or remorse about him after his and the party's defeat, he did at least show he can pick a winner, he anointed Ed - more on this below. Blair went all lofty as usual and spoke, publicly, only about Blairism, no doubt aiming to keep his 'legacy' pure; while Alan Johnson and Peter Mandelson, like other 'heavyweights', publicly supported David Miliband. But as Ed Miliband won it has shut the door on them instead!
Have you ever had such laugh? The battle for the leadership of Nulabour, can it get any worse? Not so long ago Nulabour had convinced itself, and crucially, the Westminster village, that it was the finest political machine ever made. Now it looks, and performs, like a rusty wreck, if it were a car it would be traded in for a new model. Just as the Peter Mandelson scheme for trading old cars for new was supposed to help UK industry, but did not, the point of the leadership battle , it's hardly a beauty contest, was to stimulate the party, to make it better and renew it, but it won't. And we have none other than Polly Toynbee to tell us it's all gone wrong. But should we take her word for it? As in her case not so long ago she sang the praises of Nulabour, in its entirety, for all to hear. But now it's different, Toynbee calls the likes of Blair and Mandelson "yesteryear headline addicts". This is hard to take seriously from Toynbee, or her newspaper.
With comedians a sense of timing is vital, it appears to be the same with memoirs. As we see HERE Gordon Brown is still typing his and, recalling those speeches by Tony Blair, the ones he peppered with pauses for dramatic effect, perhaps his typing stops dead now-and-then too, for the great big book from Blair is rumoured to be still months away from publication. If as reports suggest Brown is typing 10,000 words a day, although the man was prone to fibbing, all eyes will be on the work by Peter Mandelson. For his book is the first to appear, first past the post if you like and no, this is not, for once, the main point. What is of real interest is the length of it and the estimated speed of typing, as the question must be-"when did he start writing it"?
Well hidden, deep in a desert of South Western USA is the Boneyard. This is a ghostly place where the US military stores its unwanted aircraft see HERE. By contrast the political scrapyard in which Nulabour waits to be recycled is, for those who want to see it, in full view. Although it would be wrong to say we are all agog, as most of us are not. Put simply Nulabour has slipped off the nation's radar, this is a geeks only story. Even so it's very interesting (how sad!).