If you want to know just how much anger Damian McBride’s book has created in the Labour party—and particularly its Blairite wing, just watch Alastair Campbell’s interview with Andrew Neil on The Sunday Politics. Campbell doesn’t scream or shout but the anger in his voice as he discusses McBride’s antics is palpable. He did not sound like a man inclined to forgive and forget.
This whole row is, obviously, a massive conference distraction. Those close to Ed Miliband had hoped that this year, the Labour leader would get a free run at conference now that his brother has quite politics. But as one of his colleagues said to me late last week, ‘it used to be all about David, now it’ll be all about Damian.’
What makes this particularly problematic for Miliband is that this isn’t a purely historic argument. Half the cast of the Blair Brown dramas remain on the stage and the old wounds are still raw. Miliband will have to hope that in Brighton this week, the past is not prologue.Tags: Alastair Campbell, Damian McBride, Ed Miliband, Gordon Brown, Labour, Labour conference 2013, Labour Party, Tony Blair, UK politics