Exit Banana Boy and the Blairites, pursued by a dead sheep

November 15, 2010

A couple of posts ago, Thus urged anyone with a semblance of influence and common sense to choose Ed Miliband over elder brother Dave. Endorsements from Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and ‘Lord’ Peter Mandelson confirmed what we’d been saying for some time – that Banana Boy was a puppet, determined to hold onto all the belligerent, class-divisive, oligarch-inclined right-wingery which lost ‘New’ Labour the last election. Increasingly shrill endorsements from the Times, Sunday Times, Financial Times and, oddly, The Economist, plus warnings about Ed’s lack of experience – as though Banana Boy were some sort of elder statesman – confirmed that the Blairite tendency’s desperation to cling on to influence.

This yellow cake uranium is proof itself that Iraq was the right decision, Hattie, you treacherous hagwitch
Dave was backed by the big money Illuminati. Ed won because the big unions decided that genug was genug in the face of overwhelming evidence, if any more were needed, that New Labour meant old Conservative, with the added ingredient of unquestioning Atlanticism – hence The Economist’s ringing endorsement – unthinking globalisation – ditto the FT’s Martin Wolf’s enthusiasm – lickspittle obeisance to Big Usury. The shrieks of protest from the Guardianistas at the very idea that ANYONE could think that ANYTHING associated with THE UNIONS had any merit whatsoever underlines just how far English politics have drifted to the centre right.

Ed Miliband and his brother, Schnorbits, in happier times
I’m not convinced about Ed, who looks too much like Bernie Winters and sounds too adenoidal to be taken seriously. Though his speech to Conference was workmanlike and it was brave to admit that the murderous and incompetent invasion of Iraq was ‘a mistake’, he is still an uninspiring figure who went to the same primary school as Boris Johnson, Oxford and, after all, comes from the same gene pool as Banana Boy. He is a devoted environmentalist, however, who seems genuinely committed to repositioning Labour as an alternative to the muddy centre-right – perfect for attracting disillusioned Lib-Dems and securing at least a coalition when the current government implodes as the (partly necessary) cuts cause widespread misery and introduce the possibility, if not the actuality, of civil unrest.

Still, it’s not all bad news. Banana Boy has taken his bat home, after having been caught on camera castigating the awful Harriet Harman for applauding brother Ed’s apology over Iraq (‘why are you clapping? You voted to go to war’). David Milliband’s wife was apparently ‘furious’ that David didn’t get the job (why should we care?) and we shouldn’t forget that he waged a snide and, at times, decidedly unfraternal campaign against Ed, whom, by contrast, kept his dignity.

So, the verdict of Thus, for what it’s worth, is good riddance to Banana Boy and good luck to Ed, who will need it. None of the candidates were up to much, but then again, the government itself isn’t exactly stellar. Ed needs to distance himself from the Blairites, the Brownites, especially Ed Balls, and learn to be constructively confrontational. The middle classes aren’t the only game in town, and though Ed is one of them, his best chance is to concede the need for deficit reduction but ruthlessly expose ideologically-motivated policies which the Tories are finding it increasingly difficult to resist putting into play.