Discussing the Milibands recently with a Labour peer, I was told: "Things are terrible. They're no longer on speaking terms."
In an atmosphere of lingering resentment at Ed's leadership campaign, notably his (truthful) claim to have opposed the Iraq war, the two camps have struggled to evolve a modus vivendi. Meanwhile, David's supporters have constructed a fantasy in which their man returns to claim the crown from his treacherous brother.
With this in mind, the elder Milband's comments to the Journal are perfectly placed to keep the rumour mill churning.
He tells the local paper:
I have no plans to return to front-line politics – at the moment, that is. For now, I'm doing what's best for the party and leaving the field open for Ed to lead the party. I've got to admit I wish the leadership campaign had gone differently but who knows what will happen in the future?
For those increasingly suspicious of his political motives, David has a clear message: I'm not going anywhere.