New Times,
New Thinking.

18 May 2010

What’s the secret behind brothers who are rivals?

It is that -- whisper it -- they secretly get on.

By James Macintyre

The Guardian today carries a feature on the “psychology” of sibling rivalry. The hook is the candidacies of David and Ed Miliband in the Labour leadership race, but the story begins with a reference to the brothers Peter and Christopher Hitchens, the two controversial pundits based on opposite sides of the Atlantic. It might have mentioned, too, the broadcasting brothers Jonathan and David Dimbleby.

By sheer coincidence, I happen to know all of the above to varying degrees. And what do the pairs have in common? It is that all the brothers have more respect for one another than is widely assumed.

The only exception to this rule that I can think of is, in fact, the footballers Jack and Bobby Charlton.


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