18 April 2007

David Miliband's Labour Leadership Challenge January 2007-April 2007

Image: David Miliband MP   Blairites and Conservatives eager for a Labour leadership race are donning their mourning weeds and belabouring their underused ballot boxes and overused spin doctors today as they mourn David Miliband's Labour Leadership Challenge, which emerged from the womb of the political media stillborn last night.

David Miliband's Labour Leadership Challenge was born in early 2007, the child of the fondest fantasies (in the case of former Home Secretary and present barrage-balloon Charles Clarke, the fondest non-food-related fantasies) of Blair loyalists and the Chancellor's reputation for not suffering fools, rivals or indeed members of the human race gladly.

The Challenge was the product of the artificial insemination of a surrogate leadership challenger - Environment Secretary and part-time Captain Scarlet imitator David Miliband - with large amounts of hype from friendly columnists in the press, in a process overseen by a shadowy group of Blairite insiders known only as John Reid, Charles Clarke and Peter Mandelson. In what has been hailed by psephologists as a particular breakthrough, the procedure was carried out entirely unbeknownst to Mr Miliband, who, according to the medical team, was far too busy making TV appearances and publishing lengthy articles about his vision for the future to realise what was going on.

For the first three months of the pregnancy all seemed to be going well, with many senior New Labour figures - along with many others without such a shameful past - eagerly promoting Mr Miliband's virtues as a potential leader: happily citing his youth, his quaint lopsided smile and his ability to get the numbers of S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.'s Symphony, Melody and Harmony Angels off Commander White quicker than you can say Mysteron, not to mention the very important fact that he was not Gordon Brown.

Despite the valiant work of the medical team, however, such a highly complex procedure was always bound to be at risk of failure. Tragically the Challenge failed to make it to term when the anaesthetic effects of a looped tape of the Chancellor's speeches wore off and Mr Miliband came to and insisted that those overseeing the Challenge's birth cease their attempts to give it the oxygen of publicity, after realising that - contrary to the doctors' assurances - continuing with the birth could lead to his political death or, even worse, John Reid becoming leader.

A memorial service for the Challenge will be held this weekend at the Church of St Nick Robinson of the Shining Pate. A weeping Reverend Peter Mandelson will preside and the hymn will be an unusually plaintive rendition of that old Blairite favourite, number 375 "Lead On, O King Eternal".

David Miliband's Labour Leadership Challenge is survived by David Miliband's Blog, Charles Clarke's Doomed Charge at a Group of Windmills and a Conservative Leadership Who Will Stop Laughing Just As Soon As Labour Stop Behaving So Hilariously.