David Miliband has just given a brutal interview to BBC News in which he took a few more words to say ‘I told you so’ about the way his brother led the Labour party. Some of the worst lines were about their relationship, with David saying of Ed that ‘we remain in touch’, as someone might talk of a former colleague who they occasionally email, and that the two ‘remain brothers for life and that’s something that has to be kept’. It’s one step away from saying ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’. Politics aside, there is something horrible about watching the often beautiful relationship between siblings being trashed by both men.
The former MP’s main comment on Labour’s campaign failure was that it was wrong to blame the electorate because ‘they didn’t want what was being offered’ and that he and Gordon Brown ‘allowed themselves to be portrayed as moving backwards from the principals of aspiration and inclusion that are the absolute heart of any successful progressive political project’.
He ruled himself out from this contest. But will David Miliband’s intervention really help the sort of candidates that he’d like to see running the party? Many will be wanting to stand with a Blairite offer, but they may not want the tag, and they may not want to be too closely associated with a bitter feud between two brothers.