Peter Hoskin

Is it the leadership or nothing for David Miliband?

Is it the leadership or nothing for David Miliband?
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A cracking post from Paul Waugh on the prospect of shadow cabinet elections for Labour.  For those who can't remember the last time they took place (14 years ago), they're the annual elections which Labour MPs hold, when in Opposition, to help determine who gets to sit on the front bench.  The party leader and deputy are immune from the process, but everyone else is subject to the whims, fancies and dispositions of all those backbenchers.

In which case, Paul's observation about David Miliband is worth noting down:

"Word is that David Miliband and Douglas Alexander would do disastrously, given their reputation for aloofness and failure to gladhand in the Tea Room. Some backbenchers are relishing the chance at revenge against ministers who instantly forget their colleagues once the red box appears."

Which could, of course, just fuel our Foreign Secrtary's determination to take control of the post-election Labour party.  Might it be either the top spot, or the ignominy of ... well ... nothing much?  Or, at least, the ignominy of a poor finish in a popularity contest?

To be honest, I'm perpetually surprised at the latent level of support that Miliband the Elder seems to have in Labour circles.  Even after his embarrassing attempt on the leadership in 2008, there still seemed to be a lot of Labour MPs willing to tick the box next to his name when the June 2009 rebellion came around.  But, then again, maybe that's changed after his latest show of indecisiveness.