Sunday, April 09, 2006

Milburn declares his hand

I have just seen Alan Milburn on the Andrew Marr show (he is interviewing Jack Straw as I write) and it is obvious that Milburn intends to stand for the Labour leadership. Asked directly by Marr if he would stand Milburn resorted to an obvious euphemism: that there isn't a vacancy yet. His whole demeanour did not suggest someone keeping his options open, but someome who has decided to mount a challenge to Brown. Two other odd things about the AM show: Alan Milburn was wearing an open-necked shirt, trying to appear informal, whereas Oliver Letwin interviewed in what apears to be his own home on a Sunday morning was in suit and tie (very unDave-like); and Milburn's body-language towards Kate Melua was extraordinary, at one point looking over her head (while she was making a point to him) in order to make eye contact with Gyles Brandreth, and then replying to Brandreth and ignoring poor Kate. Milburn simply doesn't have the media skills which Blair has (in truth, no one does, Blair has always been excellent at this). Even Milburn's attempt at informality of speech sounds awkward (who actually says "all that jazz"?). Milburn will be a leadership candidate; but I think he has little chance of winning: he does not have enough support in the party and he does not look like "prime ministerial material".


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