Opinion Politics

David Miliband: the smug, archetypal Blairite returns

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It would seem that the Labour right are incapable of learning from the most recent history of their party. Media reports say that Labour MPs are scheming and trying to convince the uber-Blairite David Miliband to return from the US, stand in the Batley and Spen by-election, and then challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.

Despite being a stunning indictment of their lack of belief in their current sacrificial lamb, Owen Smith, their courting of Miliband highlights a laughable misunderstanding of the mood of party members.

Their faith in a man who is horribly tainted, and further to the right than Smith, would hardly be the tactical master stroke that they are fiercely looking for.

The Labour right have descended into a creepy adaptation of Greyfriars Bobby. They all kneel at the tomb of their long-departed idol; scratching the earth in a pitiful attempt to inject life back into the waxen cadaver of Blairism. It’s as if the last ten years have passed these dullards by.

Miliband, who was once Blair’s heir apparent, is as discredited as anyone who served in the cabinets of New Labour. He is the consummate slimeball, lacquered in charity dollars and company directorships.

This former poster boy for the right wing is now mixing with the upper echelons of US politics and has trousered more than £1m since leaving government – and that was before he started with the International Rescue Committee. I cannot imagine that the prospect of the Batley constituency and £76,000 a year would be enough to lure him back to the UK.

He has already shown that he has no stomach for the fight, with his silver mallen streak playing second fiddle to the bright yellow streak that runs down the centre of his back. Who can forget him throwing his toys out of the pram, like a petulant brat, and fucking off to the US after being humbled by his infinitely more likeable brother at the 2010 Labour leadership election?

Miliband’s role in the denial and cover up of the UK’s part in supporting the US global rendition and torture programme was an absolute disgrace. His weasel words and faux-regrets hold no water. He was in it up to his snivelling pencil-neck.

Miliband is one of the illustrious group of MPs that have a whole section of their Wikipedia page dedicated to their dubious – yet legal – expense claims.

Miliband has certainly been busy since 2010. He has had numerous company directorships and consultancy roles, as well as charging £20,000 just for speaking engagements. Quite how he finds the time to justify his $600,000 a year charity role is anyone’s guess. Rumour has it that he is to be offered a diplomatic role in the Clinton administration should be become President. Does he really want to come back to the UK to be routed by Corbyn? He couldn’t win the Labour leadership under the electoral college, so wouldn’t stand a hope in hells chance of winning under one-member-one-vote.

What must Smith and his supporters think? While his risible attempts at reinventing himself as a ‘normal’ man of the left are doomed to failure, he and others have realised that staying on the right, or moving further to the right (enter Miliband), would be like urinating in a wind-tunnel.

The Labour right often accuse Corbyn supporters of being a cult and a historical re-enactment society, rather than a serious political proposition. Yet they don’t see that they are trying – and failing – to do exactly what they accuse Corbynites of.

To all the unnamed (as always) backbench Labour MPs who are hoping that David Miliband will “return and topple Jeremy Corbyn”, I would suggest that you put the crackpipe down and realise that this discredited yesterday’s man would struggle to topple a Jenga stack.

If you genuinely think that the answer to your problems is to parachute a smug archetypal Blairite into a safe Labour seat in the hope he will usurp Corbyn, then you really haven’t been listening, these last twelve months.



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