Who will be the next Prime Minister?
The coalition is due to collapse on November the third, 2010, when Vince Cable eventually feels so much shame he strips off and starts self-flagellating in the Commons Chamber, begging Charlie Kennedy to rub salt into his opening wounds, and Nick Clegg suddenly realises his error, staggers over to David Cameron and after picking him up by the waist, hurls him down into the void as the Death Star collapses and Ewoks celebrate on the Moon of Endor.
Who then, will replace Palpatine…errr, Cameron? It looks likely to be the Older Milliband, David. I’ve previously voiced my disapproval of DM, but that was on the not very thought out grounds of him being an older brother and having one of those moustaches that are sort of not really there but not not there, if you follow me. So when Nick Palmer announced he would be supporting DM in the Leadership Battle, I decided to take a closer look. A really closer look. So close in fact at one point he was practically spreadeagled over me. I’m committed to my vocation, am I not?
Milliband is in Nottingham to shore up support for his campaign, and a Labour activist colleague asks me if I wanted to come along. So its a stinkingly humid Thursday evening and Im in a hall near the Orange Tree pub and somehow, i’m right on the front row, and potentially one of the most powerful men in the world is sipping water right opposite me. Thats Gloria Del Piero, MP for Ashfield, next to DM. I’m not sure whats shes doing, but she looked about 12 and was evidently in absolute awe and possibly in love with the member for South Shields.
He spoke for a bit, trying to show the real man behind the robot. This was partially successful, seeing the man in the flesh, thin, slightly stooped, trousers higher than Cowell/ Clarkson and Action Man hair, struggling with a malfunctioning microphone…well, hes just a man. But his attempts to show that he was nothing but a Whitehall-Centric policy-wonk were only partially successful. His answers to questions sometimes seemed rehearsed, indeed, I already knew he was a big fan of the Gruffalo and his favourite box set was Fawlty Towers, as I’d read them a week or so ago in the Guardian. Del Piero, who is animatedly acting as interviewer, asks a few mawkish questions about Hilary Clinton fancying him, and it doesn’t convince. When taking questions though, he showed true form. Despite being a home crowd (being comprised of mainly party loyalists) he still batted away awkward questions with professional verve while homing in on positives and basking. The skill is undeniable, and the passion surprising. The person next to me, who previously had rated DM behind diphtheria in her preferences whispers ‘I like him’, and I see shes blushing slightly.
I’m not so sure, and still remain a sceptic, but he does have a good brain, a ton of experience and is charismatic enough to woo those elusive entities, the Floating Voter. I think I’d still prefer Burnham, or even Little Milliband, but am pretty ok if DM does make it. I can also bang on for ages at dinner parties on how I met the Prime Minister before he was Prime Minister, and people will want to touch me and think I’m cool. Yeah. ——————————————————————–
There was an interesting moment in the Q and A section, when a quite terrifying looking guy in a charcoal suit two seats down from me on the front row asked a question that was so rambling and dull when it reached its climax, demanding to know if Milliband had attended a Bilderburg Meeting, I couldn’t remember how it hd started. DM denied he had, but the guy was tenacious: ‘The Guardian said you did, did you, did Blair, did he?’ , to the point DM simply ignored his probing andmoved on to the next question. It was amusing off the script, but the guy came across as a bit of an idiot. Still, I decided to chat to him afterwards, to see if he was just a bonkers conspiracy-theorist or was genuinely concerned about the shady Bilderburg (read Jon Ronson’s ‘Them‘ for a good overview and investigation). But when I glanced over, he gave me the scariest look EVER, and every time I glanced over he was still staring, blank faced, steely eyed. I didn’t talk to him . Not worth the risk.
A big thank you to my knee, for inadvertently taking a great picture tonight while I rested my Blackberry atop it: This was taken a Mili-second (geddit?) before DM threw himself into the audience and crowd surfed up and down the room to cheers of absolute adulation. Possibly. _______________________________________________________
Oh, I got DM’s autograph. I joked ‘that’ll be a fiver on Ebay’ and recieved a mock-withering look. However, Im not sure if DM knew what he was signing… Seamless. My evil plan inches over forward…. ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ `
I was glad when I saw you’d been there – we left it too late before ringing up and all the places were gone. I was pretty keen to see DM in the flesh so was disappointed. It sounds as if your feelings about him were/are very similar to mine. I’ve been inclined to vote for Ed M so far, but was open to being converted to DM if we’d gone.
It’s encouraging to hear words like passion and charisma along with skill (and robot) You still sound a touch ambivalent, but ok with him if he’s elected. I’d be ok with him too, but still prefer Ed M. But then I’m a younger sibling too.
He will become leader, I have no doubt,and I also expect him to be ok. But it would be nice if it wasn’t such a foregone conclusion, and Abbot seen as a cutesy token to the left of the party.
Dr Palmer is a DM fan though; surprising in some ways, I saw Nick going a little further left than that, especially with DM’s passionate defence of Trident. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
Interestingly, when the meeting broke up, more people flocked to Nick than David….
It was a good evening. Inlinked you on a different post but will add you to my “links” soon.
BTW read this before googling my name.
I’m not a necrophiliacs… honests…..
dying laughing here, having just read your mistaken-identity story Benjamin …
I think your post contains a comprehensive and cogent analysis of the issues and of David Milliband’s potential as a future Labour leader.
However, I think, more importnatly, it also reveals (particularly in the photo taken by your knee), that Gloria De Piero is stunningly attractive.
When you are dictator of Beestonia, could you get her in your cabinet… or, better still, mine.
Absolutely Alan. She smokes, I noticed, lighting up the moment she got out.
I would also mention something about her attractiveness but since Soubry called me ‘sexist’ I have to be Dworkin-esque in my commentary.
I’m not voting for a party while it’s led by a cabinet who have supported and encouraged torture – the recent Guardian/Observer exposés show government involvement was deeper than I thought. The report on restraint of young people in privatised institutions was also disgusting.
I’m looking for a libertarian socialist party – and beginning to wonder whether I can buy barricades on eBay.