Monday, 22 September 2008

The Two Daves

Dave Miliband and Hazel Blears delivered a coded attack on Gordon Brown's stewardship at the Blairite Progress beanfeast in Manchester last night. Meanwhile, a subtle campaign is going on to 'humanise' Dave as a potential prime minister.

While I was waiting for my takeaway on Saturday evening, I noticed what we would have called a 'yuppie' in the 1980s carefully perusing a long piece in The Times magazine on Dave Miliband.

Much of it was a recycling of familiar material: musician wife; adopted children; dad was a leading Marxist theoretician - great respect for him, but don't share his views. We also got the occasional personal revelation: he has a painting of nude women in his living room. Daring Dave, then. We were also told that he was well on top of his briefs in the Foreign Office and could handle awkward customers like the Serbian foreign minister.

However, the most interesting part of the article was the comparison with Dave Cameron. They were born 15 months apart, both have a first in PPE from Oxford, both married creative women, both became MPs in 2001. Admittedly, Dave M. went to a comprehensive rather than Eton and one, he tells us, with a 'sense of edge'. Dave lives dangerously.

Dave M's take on Dave C was that he is very fluent, but he lacks depth and that his commitment to equality of opportunity and social justice was superficial - or at least advocated the end without willing the means. The charge that Dave C is persuasive but shallow is one I have heard before.

So perhaps we shall have the Battle of the Daves at the next general election.

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