Leading article: They're off!

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The Independent Online

They're all going on their summer holiday – thankfully, as they made clear at a recent hustings, not together. You can have too much of a good thing; too much even of a Labour leadership contest that, with two brothers, two Eds and a fair sprinkling of in-jokes, increasingly feels like Ask the Family. But holidays, as the Blairs found to their political cost, are treacherous territory; even non-holiday holidays like the Browns' don't hack it. Like a tent, you have to pitch it just right especially if – as every aspiring Labour leader must be mid-contest – you're in the business of winning votes.

So here's to five variations on the theme of not too proletarian (trying too hard), not too bling (too much déjà vu), not staying put (too much different déjà vu), not too long, not too short, not too near, not too far, and trying hard to get it just right. Barely qualifying is Ed Balls and his family – off to New England, but hiring a camper-van to compensate. Has he written off his chances? At the bottom end – same question – is Diane Abbott, who hasn't organised anything, but might take a holiday in Britain. For the rest, it's (rented) cottages in Northumberland (David Miliband), Cornwall (brother Ed), and Oban (Andy Burnham). Not a tent or a Blackpool Tower in sight. We hope they enjoy the truce.