I suspect Queen Polly is right on this one. History may well judge David Miliband to have lost the leadership election at exactly this point, with Mandelson foolishly attacking Ed Miliband and Blair almost certain to come out in support of David, although I suspect Blair will be rather more subtle in his approach in this, his book launch week.
In fact, it seems to me so obvious that the endorsement of Mandelson and Blair is unhelpful to David Miliband, one might well ask oneself, why do it? Are they trying to ruin it for everyone? That’s one rather novelistic take on it. Far more worldly Labour friends of mine take a different view; they think the intervention of the Old Guard might well swing it for David. Either way, silence about one’s successors is usually a wise course. Very rarely does a figure like Neil Kinnock come along, with the largeness of spirit to support a more successful later leader but the political courage to criticise his policies.
Interesting how our final judgement of political personalities so often comes down to values, and not how much money or glamour or fame or even how many votes they won.
But therein lies the paradox, for a successful political leader must, of course, win power.
That’s one reason why I am supporting Ed Miliband. He has decent personal and political values, is a warm man, genuinely interested in listening to others, a hugely underrated quality in politics, and has, I believe, the courage and self awareness to withstand the terrible pressures of power and leadership, political triumph and possible disaster: ‘to treat those two impostors just the same.’ Just as importantly, over the past few months he has set out a credible if modest stall for social and economic change.
In other words, I think he, too, can win power. And do something significant with it.