The political air is still thick from the dust kicked up by the Glasgow East by-election, not least thanks to David Miliband entering the shattered ruins and stirring up the toxic cloud of particles even further. It’s hard to say which event is the more seismic. But the Glasgow East by election was unavoidable; Miliband could quite easily have kept quiet. Indeed in days, weeks, years to come he may well come to wish he had stayed silent. Because in all the flurry of words and articles he pointedly refused to endorse Brown and there must be a Cabinet full of ministers who would be mightily pleased not to be forced into a position to answer that question, yet here we have Miliband going out of his way to set himself up to be pestered with such queries.
So just what is going on?
Well … I am not sure anybody knows – not least the main protagonists. Oh they may well think they know what they are up to, but really do they? The answer is ‘No’ quite frankly. They no more know what they are doing than do headless chickens. When Miliband stoically refused to offer himself as a candidate during the leadership election did he suffer from misgivings then about Brown’s abilities, or did he have worries about the economic outlook which he now, only now, alludes to?
Indeed, did anyone in the Labour Party?
Just about the only Cabinet Minister who can hold his head up on that one is John (sorry, Dr John) Reid. He promptly upped sticks and left. The rest? They were still dreaming in cloud cuckoo land, hubris piling upon hubris as they arrogantly rid themselves of Blair.
ALL the people who would currently like to see the back of Gordon did not have the foggiest notion that they would be in their current pickle way back then when they were busily anointing him The Great Leader. For 11 years they believed in Gordon and all his works. For all this time they sat silently through all the interference in the machinery of government emanating from 11 Downing Street and The Smith Institute (which of course in many instances were one and the same thing). They applauded everything from tax grab to tax credit. Are we to believe that after years of sleepwalking through government, and in the case of Miliband ‘sleepwonking’ his way through the corridors and backstairs of power, are we to believe that these people have the intellectual ability to carry out any coherent thought through policy, even one for their own self preservation?
They have not got a clue what’s been going on, what’s going on, nor what’s going to go on. The notion that at the click of a few fingers the likes of Miliband or any other co or rival conspirator can breezily come up with what’s wrong with what they have been doing to Britain all these years is, quite frankly, risible. Britain is in a mess. But pardon me, it’s THEIR mess – and the notion that THEY can put it right, when they do not even know what they have done wrong, is insulting to what is left of our intelligence after 11 years of Labour education policy.
So go easy on the conspiracy theories, rein back on the carefully crafted plots. If Miliband has a plan then it is, as Arthur Dent might say, “… obviously some strange usage of the word plan that I wasn’t previously aware of.”
And in the most ironic of postscripts, what of the spectre at the feast? “Why oh why”, must muse Tony Blair, “why did I not sack Gordon Brown when I had the chance?”