I was sorting through papers late last night to bring down to London when I spotted the Radio Times. On the front cover was a picture of Merlin the Magician, a new tv series. But I was struck by the similarity between the actor playing Merlin, and David Miliband. So could Miliband the Magician do it for Labour were Brown to meet with an unfortunate illness, necessitating his resignation?
The answer has to be a reassuring "No". As with the Tories in the 1990s and up to the arrival of Cameron, Labour are a contaminated brand, and no change at the top is likely to change public perceptions of the party. Miliband would not even command widespread support in Labour's ranks and I suspect more Labour members would prefer Brown to stay on than have uberBlairite Miliband take over. No magic will work to restore over the next 18 months the dominance Labour once held.
Labour are a bit like the Ratners of politics. A one time successful business that got away with pedalling crap, the foolery at the top resulted in everyone seeing the brand for the rubbish it was. Public confidence in Ratners collapsed and never recovered. Whilst I would not write off a Labour recovery, there appears to be little prospect of one in the near future.
Anyway, I am standing on platform 4 at Newcastle Central Station at the moment, waiting for the 7.40am to Kings Cross. At least today National Excess have not cancelled it. The problem is simply that it should have turned up 7 minutes ago.
Update - train now arrived. Wake me up when we get to London.
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