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The clash

Nick Robinson | 17:06 UK time, Monday, 27 September 2010

Something tells me that when the Miliband boys were at school, they probably weren't punk rockers - but surely they will be remembering today the lyrics of that great single by The Clash to help them solve their dilemma, Should I Stay Or Should I Go. Just in case, here's a reminder: "If I go there will be trouble / And if I stay it will be double".

Miliband brothers and The Clash

Ed and David Miliband (above) and The Clash (below)

PS: David says he's not made his mind up whether to stay or go. Here, in summary, are the arguments on both sides:

    • Party unity
    • Loyalty to his brother
    • Politics is bigger than any man

    • Party unity (the media will never let the Miliband split story die)
    • Loyalty to his family (Louise and the boys)
    • There is more to life than politics

No wonder he's taking his time to decide.


  • Comment number 1.

    Thanks Nick. Just as Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Eastenders and Neighbours were getting boring you have invented a new soap 'The Milibands'

    The Labour opposition starts work when the spending review is announced and 'the Milibands' will end its run.

  • Comment number 2.

    Nick Robinson.

    "..the Miliband boys.." -- Joe Strummer would turn in his grave.

  • Comment number 3.

    I would expect him to go. On a purely human level, I doubt many of us could cope with such a very public disappointment (perhaps even humiliation, given his early status as overwhelming favourite) and the prospect of serving under our little brother.

    I think Labour has made a mistake. I was never David Miliband's biggest fan but I think he was superior to all the other candidates. If the party wishes to have broader appeal (i.e. to remain competitive in that fabled 'middle ground') it simply mustn't appoint Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor. As someone who doesn't wish to see Labour return to office, that's precisely what I'd like to see. But if they can somehow persuade David Miliband to stay on, and appoint him to shadow Osborne, that would represent their best chance to unify the party. Nonetheless, that would create serious rivalry between the leader and the guy in charge of the money... Sound familiar?

  • Comment number 4.

    "There is more to life than politics"? Surely not.

  • Comment number 5.

    'There is more to life than politics'.

    True but unfortunately politics pervades and contaminates just about everything.

    And the most tricky version of all to negotiate is 'family politics'.

    So this Christmas/Winterval, Ma Miliband will probably be inviting Diane Abbot for dinner rather than her two sons, who by then, will probably have developed a perma-frost relationship or if they have'nt, the wives/partners certainly will have.

  • Comment number 6.

    I heard the political reporter on TV saying:

    Ed has just ruined his brother's career!

    Too true!

  • Comment number 7.

    Maybe Nick is working on another programme - Five months that changed Labour? Seriously is this domestic matter of the slightest interest to the electorate? The unions have installed Ed and that's it.

    I am not an avid Labour follower but Lord Mandelson seems to have hidden himself away.

  • Comment number 8.

    If only they had a St. Bernard to share, they would be dead ringers for Mike and Bernie Winters. Even without the dog they are a credible resemblance and just about as ridiculously funny.

  • Comment number 9.

    Who cares?

  • Comment number 10.

    There are people who come to the door in pairs, proclaiming a certain kind of politics and handing out free booklets in an attempt to convert us. Ed and David come across in a similar way but never in a month of Sundays do they come across as ANYTHING like the Clash. Have you ever hung around with punk rockers? Yeh, I know! The Clash are political animals but they come across as quite raw. That is because they have lived closer to where it is happening. If Ed and David want to brand themselves as the Clash, they will have to loose the squeaky clean clothes and rough it a bit. Today on TV there was a re-run of a sentimental old film on called, 'The Emperors New Cloths' the Mili boys could learn a lot from that. Sometimes you have to look back to see forward.

  • Comment number 11.

    Dunno about The Clash....

    More like The Steve Miliband (thats the brother I'd have voted for)..... The Joker.

  • Comment number 12.


    Oof. Harsh. Very harsh.

    But, ultimately, fair.


  • Comment number 13.

    re 8

    If the 3 party leaders + Caroline Lucas had a Golden retriever to share, we'd have a Classic Blue Peter tribute act.

  • Comment number 14.

    I don't know what to say! This is individualism; but leadership is a pluralistic role; it is not exactly running a marathon or motor race, though termed as race for post. Here, with Leadership role, one is acknowledging to take responsibility, more than the glamour. If Ed understands what is responsibility as a human element then he should have acknowledged the responsibility of recognising the fact that another person from the same sphere is already put forward his interest. So his matured spirit would have been to give a supportive chance to his brothers view; it is not charity. It does not mean Leadership contest should not take place; But not meaningful, when both coming from same home, only to fight on road, unless there is contrasting difference so as go for reffurendum. It is a value based oppertunity; one shouldn't show as though wants to pounce on it. He who has no sensitivity to think of his brother's wish, what can he think of community brotherhood?

    Morning shows the day. This is not a war, where one has to display killer instinct; that is not going to take world any where. Here you kill means you don't win; you get position, but you are also making sure there is nothing for you. This instinct is only self-destructive; after all neither of them would last more than 20 years of leadership role; so why pounce, with all such killer instinct? We have seen, Tony Blair's political graveyard in Iraq, ended with his hidden killer instinct; finally engaging in faith cohesion now, but not returning to Labour meeting.

    The ideal would have been for David to lead for some time, contributed with his sense of maturity; by then the younger would have matured. People don't want oppertunist but deliverer; that younger would have looked through his elder's maturity, before becoming ready. With Union(s) becoming greedy; Ed's Leadership got certain but shortened also.

  • Comment number 15.

    More like the Everly Brothers than the Clash...

    Take your pick:
    "Let It Be Me"
    "Gone, Gone, Gone"
    "It's My Time"
    "It's All Over"

  • Comment number 16.

    Hell's Bells... 15!

    Must be ripe for a closing soon.

    Previously on...

    37. At 4:01pm on 27 Sep 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #10 seems to be casuing the BBC some problems, its statement of fact

    I can see the problem right there. But it is back now. After careful thought. Facts can do that.

    Next on anything to keep this going news wall to wall: Miliband on the run: the swirly-avoiding years

  • Comment number 17.

    re #6
    At times, the meejah have the attention span of a gnat.

    I seem to recall that Milliband Snr had one really good opportunity in 2009 and one lesser opportunity in 2007 to take the leadership of the Party.


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