Sunday, 26 September 2010

Insurgent Fraticide.

After the long summer break, during which memories of the frantic general election faded and the coalition government settled itself in, the Labour Party elected its new leader yesterday. The battle has been highly dramatic, particularly in the latter stages, when it became apparent that the only credible candidates were the Miliband brothers - suave David and slightly geeky Ed.

For most of the campaign and in all probability their entire adult lives - David was ahead. Off he set solidly picking up nominations and good reviews, whilst Ed kept out of the limelight working on persuading colleagues, CLPs and the Unions, slowly, almost unnoticed, coming up on the rails, timing his run and calculations to perfection. He pipped his seemingly unassailable elder sibling at the post, once the second preference votes of the other three candidates had been re allocated.

Whether the Labour Party have made an intelligent choice remains to be seen - but the personal elements of the story will keep it moving forward and, inevitably it's that that makes the situation so theatrical. It's staged hugs, careful words and the need to maintain nobility in defeat. In a Shakespeare play we'd somewhere towards the end of the second act. Licking our lips in expectation of the battles to come.

But perhaps this is more of a Greek Drama rolled out by the Gods to assure us of our fallibility. For David, seemingly immune to hubris, the effect of losing out on a position that he's coveted for twenty years by such a small margin to the brother whom he loves so deeply and against whom he cannot contemplate revenge must tempt him towards madness. It might take a playwright, working sometime in the future, to uncover the truth of the next few days. I would be surprised if Peter Morgan isn't already eyeing it up.

No comments: