Ed Miliband and Jenni Russell

What Jenni Russell doesn't tell you in her column on the Miliband brothers

Our good friend Jenni Russell has a column in today's Guardian dismissing the recent rise in David Miliband's fortunes and attacking "a kind of arrogance" in his speeches.

The Foreign Secretary is usually seen as one of the more cerebral members of cabinet, but for Russell there is "no sign that he is thinking deeply about politics".

Not content with this, she goes on to deliver an encomium to Ed Miliband, contrasting the "passionate, funny, self-deprecating" Ed with "remote, self-satisfied" David.

I take no issue with Russell's praise for Ed. Watching him in action on the conference fringe this year, quoting Marx on the cyclical crises of capitalism, one saw a figure unusually at ease with Labour's history and traditions. My colleague James correctly identified him as the "up-and-coming politician of 2009" in his predictions last year.

But what's missing from Russell's column is a declaration of interest: Ed Miliband is the godfather of her child.

 

Sign up to the New Statesman newsletter and receive weekly updates from the team

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

David Cameron calls Sadiq Khan a “proud Muslim” – after trying to link him to Islamic extremism

The PM has his best flipflops on.

After months of backing the nasty racial politics of the Tory mayoral campaign, the Prime Minister has taken the bold move of sharing a platform with infamous moderate Sadiq Khan on the EU Remain campaign trail. Quite a spectacular about-turn.

Compare and contrast, readers.

David Cameron, 20 April 2016

“If we are going to condemn not just violent extremism, but also the extremism that seeks to justify violence in any way, it is very important that we do not back these people, and we do not appear on platforms with them. And I have to say, I am concerned about Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, who has appeared again and again and again . . . The Honourable Member for Tooting has appeared on a platform with him [imam Suliman Gani] nine times. This man supports IS.”

David Cameron, 30 May 2016

“Let me first of all congratulate Sadiq on his victory. He talked about his father. He’s the son of a bus driver. I’m the son of a stockbroker, which is not quite so romantic. But he makes an important point about our country. In one generation someone who’s a proud Muslim, a proud Brit and a proud Londoner can become mayor of the greatest city on Earth. That says something about our country. There are still glass ceilings we have got to smash. There’s still discrimination we have got to fight.”

What a difference a month makes, eh?

I'm a mole, innit.