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Revealing words

Nick Robinson | 15:37 UK time, Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Words can be terribly revealing particularly when uttered by someone like Tony Blair who's so careful and so skilled at deploying them.

Today at PMQs David Cameron picked up yesterday's BBC story that David Miliband would not try to follow Tony Blair as Labour leader. "Will the PM now explicitly endorse the chancellor?" Cameron enquired. To which our departing leader replied "I will make my decision, (pause), I will make my statement at the time I decide to stand down". Decision, heh? So perhaps he's not yet made up his mind.

milibandblair_pa203.jpgLest you think this is the crazy petty fogging semantics I draw your attention to his answer to me at yesterday's news conference when I asked him for his advice to Mr Miliband. I don't give advice, he replied after a long pause, to someone "in that situation".

What could he have meant? I'll tell you. He meant the situation of someone agonising about whether to run.

There is, you see, a Miliband campaign waiting to roll. There is, as I reported yesterday, no Miliband to lead it.

PS You may have thought that yesterday's interview with the environment secretary left him "wiggle room" to announce he'd run at a later date. It did but at the moment I do not believe he'll exploit that wiggle room and neither do many of those who dearly wish he'd change his mind.

PPS I'm writing this on Blackpool Pier. I've come to sample the mood ahead of the local elections.


You could call it the "Milibandwagon"- surprised you missed that one!

  • 2.
  • At 09:49 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • David Evans wrote:

David Milliband is young, and you have to wonder why he'd risk a knife fight with Gordon Brown at this stage in his career. If Labour lose under Gordon, he can be the one that takes it all back.

However, the first question he has to answer is whether he wants to put himself or his family through the horror of being PM...

  • 3.
  • At 07:05 PM on 24 Apr 2007,
  • Paul Dockree wrote:

Still Milliband.

  • 4.
  • At 08:49 PM on 25 Apr 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

"Lest you think this is the crazy petty fogging semantics..."

Well, Nick, I have to admit - it did occur to me!

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