From the Observer. “And the Lord said unto Cain: “Where is Abel thy brother?” And he said: “I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And he said: “What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Like David and Ed Miliband, I come from a left-wing family. Red diaper babies were not taught to “do” God by our parents, only to do him in. The Miliband boys will not have learned that the first story in Genesis after the Fall is of brother murdering brother, and the book goes on to describe how Jacob tricked his older brother Esau into selling his birthright for a “mess of potage”.
You have to look hard to find family values upheld in the Bible, or indeed in most families. Miliband v Miliband was meant to be a clean contest. Mutual politeness would hide the primal spectacle of brother fighting brother as they struggled for the leadership of a centre-left party, which satirically claims to be committed to the ideals of fraternity and the brotherhood of man. “David is my best friend in the world. I love him dearly,” said a suspiciously syrupy Ed. “Are you saying that annoys me? It doesn’t annoy me at all,” said a frankly unconvincing David about Ed’s candidature. Labour’s justification for fratricidal strife was that it had suffered from not getting its old disputes in the open. Because Gordon Brown did not run against Tony Blair, he was able to inflict a decade of envious sulking on the party while he nursed the myth that he was somehow the rightful heir who had been robbed of his inheritance. Because no one stood against him, Gordon Brown was crowned rather than elected prime minister with disastrous consequences for party and country.
All of which is true, but beside the point.
Carry on reading