Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Good morning. What a fun-packed day it's going to be. OK, the rain is cold and miserable (though proper rain is my favourite weather), but teaching's going to be good: Shakespeare, followed by a three hour session on Ethics and Media.

Both classes are intellectually satisfying: the students are always good and engaged, and there's a lot more discussion than lecturing (don't tell the students, but the Ethics one is a very thinly disguised philosophy class).

I spent last night making (accidentally) enough pasta for several days, heavily laced with sherry and chilli, then slumped in front of the TV, shouting at the news. I'm just getting so bored with the Ed'n'Dave Show. The media have turned a political story (Labour Party elects new leader) into a Freudian or Cain and Abel melodrama. Who's up, who's down? Can David ever recover from the psychological blow? Will he retreat from front-line politics? I hate that phrase, by the way - front lines are where young men and women are blown to pieces, not comfortable jobs surrounded by flunkies.

As far as I'm concerned, if David Miliband thinks he's got something to offer the public but runs away because he lost to his brother, he didn't deserve to stand for election in the first place. Political office shouldn't be about ambition, or not primarily: it should be, in Kennedy's terms, what you can do for your country. DM needs to swallow his pride, realise that (despite his dubious role in the Iraq war) he has a real contribution to make to the party and the country, and get down to work. If he doesn't, he's nothing more than an egotistical dilettante.


Ewarwoowar said...

I'm guessing you don't have a brother, Voley?

The Plashing Vole said...

I do have a brother. And four sisters.

Ewarwoowar said...

Ah, that's one way to piss on my chips.

The point I was going to make is that I have two brothers, one older, and one younger. I abhor losing to either, at anything. I am a terrible loser, which is why I support Manchester United.

Whilst I agree the media are over blowing this to a remarkable extent, I understand David's current bitterness. You're going for the job you want - the top job you can get in your field, only to see it snatched from you by your younger brother, by hardly any margin at all. Let him sulk for a few weeks. We accuse MPs of not being in touch with normal folk, and not displaying any emotions we can relate to. David is here, and whilst I'm not a fan of his, I think it's understandable.

The Plashing Vole said...

Well, fair enough to be utterly disappointed, but when you're a politician you have to put the public good before private sentiment (or at least appear to, in practice).

You're completely right that politicians should be free to express emotion in the same way the rest of us should. To turn David's disagreement with Ed over Iraq into a massive news story yesterday was ridiculous and childish. For the same reason, I thought Prescott punching that Tory fuel protestor was brilliant.

The Plashing Vole said...

Perhaps the sayings of Gore Vidal are relevant here:

'It isn't enough to succeed: others must fail'.
'Every time a friend succeeds, a little bit of me dies'.