The BBC has been campaigning for David Miliband ever since Tony Blair announced that he was giving up. It no longer acknowledges the existence of any of the other four candidates for Labour Leader, and it has Milly on the air morning, noon and night.
Heaven knows why, because dismantling the BBC has always been high on his agenda, along with savage cuts in jobs and services, removal of security of tenure from social housing tenants, introduction of “free” schools, selling off of our GP services to American healthcare companies, engaging private companies at public expense in order to persecute supposed benefit cheats, creating for-profit universities, to privatise the Royal Mail, abolishing all three Armed Forces by “merging” them under American command, and so many other things now being implemented by this Blairite Government complete with Alan Milburn, but unrestrained by Gordon Brown. He has long wanted to means test Child Benefit.
Just as David Miliband cannot Lead the Opposition to those, his own policies, so he cannot lead the support for measures to which he is opposed: withdrawal from Afghanistan, restoration of the link between pensions and earnings, taking the working poor out of income tax, the abandonment of identity cards, electoral reform, an inquiry into his own complicity in torture, dismantlement of the surveillance state, a renewed emphasis on a manufacturing-based economy diffused throughout the country, removal from Job Centres of advertisements for the sex industry, David Cameron’s acceptance of the principle of the maximum multiple, Iain Duncan Smith’s acceptance of the principle of a minimum income guaranteed universally by the State, expansion both of nuclear power and of coal, opening up of the serious possibility that Trident might be cancelled, one coalition partner that really did oppose the Iraq War while the other at least has the decency to pretend that it did so, and the pursuit of bilateral ties with Russia, with China, with Latin American countries, with the Arab world in general and the United Arab Emirates in particular, with India, with Indonesia, with Japan, with the major Commonwealth countries of Africa, and through the Commonwealth generally, among others.
So, why is the Beeb backing him? Surely not because, unlike his more stereotypically Jewish-looking brother, he passes Nick Cohen's Im Tirtzu Test?