On the Farm: David Miliband & Alistair Darling

We learn from Alistair Darling’s memoirs that immediately after James Purnell resigned Gordon Brown reluctantly gave up on replacing him with Ed Balls. The course of history would have been very different if the kamikaze economic duo had got total control of the economy in 2009. The Prime Mentalist and Banzaii Balls would have pushed us into Greek territory…

The other counter-factual piece of history concerns the subsequent secret meeting on the farm between David Miliband and Alistair Darling. If David Miliband had the courage to tell Darling that they should oust Brown, history might be very different. They could have forced Brown out, changed economic course and lured the LibDems into a post-election coalition. The Rose Garden could have been the scene of a Miliband-Clegg romance. Miliband lacked the cojones to take the gamble, unlike his younger brother.

One question remains for Guido. Who owned the Essex farm that was the scene of their meeting? Who did they both trust enough not to reveal their dangerous liason? Essex farms don’t come cheap…

UPDATE: Guido’s Essex boy reckons that the “friend’s farm” at which Darling met Miliband probably belonged to Catherine MacLeod, his spin-mistress.




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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