A Journey: The Ed Miliband story

It's not just Tony Blair who goes on journeys. Other Labour leaders do, too. Some are bumpy (eh, Gordon?), yet others can be so smooth hardly anyone feels a jolt. Well, so far, anyway
Click to follow
Indy Politics

1969 Man lands on the Moon. Rupert Murdoch buys the News of the World. Lulu jointly wins the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Boom Bang-a-Bang'. The 50p coin is introduced. Monty Python's Flying Circus begins, and Edward Samuel Miliband is born. Thus is launched a new era of hope for the common man and woman.

1988 Edward, now styling himself 'Ed', goes up to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, the same college as his brother. And, like David, he reads PPE and some books. People begin to mutter that he will forever live in the shadow of his clever elder brother. How wrong they are.

1990s After the briefest flirtation with a career in the real world, Ed starts working for the Labour Party as a speechwriter for Harriet Harman, cleverly mimicking, in the formal speeches he writes for her, the beguiling cadences of her everyday hectoring.

2005 The journey continues, this time to unexplored territory. Having been shown where to find it on the map, Ed makes his way to Doncaster North where he wins the seat at the general election. He is proud to represent the home town of Jeremy Clarkson and Thomas Crapper.

2007 A thrilling time for the Milibands when Ed joins David in the Cabinet, and they become the first pair of brothers to sit together around that famous table since Oliver and Edward Stanley in 1938. Being more formal times, they were not known as Ollie and Ed.

2008 Sometimes, on journeys, it is the accidents of others which speed your own progress. While Ed quietly goes about his own business, brother David poses for a picture while holding his pet banana. Thus are planted the first doubts about his suitability to lead the nation.

2009 Ed, now Gordon Brown's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, represents Britain at the Copenhagen summit. He is now growing in stature, and a few perceptive oracles wonder if, by some miracle, this far-seeing man could one day lead his country.

April 2010 Ed Miliband writes the manifesto for a seemingly doomed enterprise – Labour's attempt to win the general election. The nation responds, granting the party a triumphant result which condemns both rival parties to try to clean up the deficit mess. Labour loyalists note his contribution with gratitude.

May 2010 Gordon Brown resigns as party leader. Brother David declares his candidature; Ed follows. Throughout the long, talkative summer of campaigning, Ed trails. But he has faith, he has strength, and he has the support of the unions. Gradually, the hopes of his supporters rise.

September 2010 The leadership results, and, cometh the hour, cometh a chairperson with a list of percentages. As they are read out, Ed shows no emotion. With the last of them, he is acclaimed leader. The man of destiny rises from his seat, and embraces his brother. The journey goes on.

Comments