Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Miliband’s Worst Nightmare .. A Conservative Win in Crewe & Nantwich

Of course David Miliband doesn’t want Labour to lose the by-election. He’s loyal to the Leader, as a serious leadership challenger hard-working Minister with his party’s and the country’s interests at heart.

Yet he probably has more reason than most for wanting to see Gwenyth’s daughter keep the seat – for seeing Gordon’s display of deck-chair rearranging yesterday actually helping to scrape a win in C&W. If Labour lose, then the pressure will be on him, either from the hotheads to go for broke, from fellow challengers wanting to flush him out early to do the initial dirty work, or simply a temptation to be seriously (and in an inevitably semi-visible kind of way) preparing for a bid when the time is right. The last thing he wants is to have even more of a spotlight on him right now – after all, in politics how many times do the front-runners at the start of the race actually win? Who wants to be the Heseltine or Portillo – the one who is out in the open for so long that he gives a clear shot for anyone who wishes to take it?

No, any serious challenger will want to see Gordon carry on and lose at the General Election. After all, what future leader wants to be at the helm of the ship just as it’s been left too late to avoid the iceberg? Better to revel in the luxury of opposition, with four years to regroup, lose the baggage and work on your prime-minister-in-waiting image.

And the best thing is, it’s easy to do – he can genuinely put all his efforts into backing Gordon to the hilt during the next two years, assuring the PM that he is behind him at all times, while omitting to mention that it’s because Gordon is acting as his human shield.

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