The ‘Bleurites’ push for Blair to become the first EU president has, over the weekend, lost traction. But another UK candidate for another EU job (that has yet to be defined) enters the mix. Gordon Brown, it appears, is quietly supporting David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, for the EU foreign affairs chief. Should David Miliband, who has always said he is not available for the job, find himself in the post then Labour will effectively be left with a choice of two Brownites during the post election leadership contest.
Ed Miliband (David’s brother) or Ed balls could well then become the Labour leader by next summer. Then they will have the unenviable task of restructuring the party knowing in all probability that they will never benefit by being Prime Minister. (At least we’d know that the leader will be called Ed.)
According to the Times there seems to be a secret campaign to put David Miliband in the job. He has had ‘productive’ behind the scenes talks with Martin Schulz the German leader of the European Parliament socialist bloc, who supports him. David is also highly regarded in the US, an important point. But some in the Labour party believe this foreign affairs job should go to a woman. (How sexist is that?)
The UK cannot expect to have both the Presidency and this top foreign post. So there is a shift in support coming from Number Ten towards David Miliband as the wheels come off of Tony Blair’s wagon.
With all this public (for the EU) horse trading going on, it makes you wonder if, in the final analysis either of them will end up with a job in Europe. The great EU stitch up rolls on as senior posts are allotted without reference to the people.