I don’t normally have more than a passing interest in what’s happening in the UK politics. But this time, the Labour Party leader’s election was different. With two good-looking brothers in the fray, it was an unusual battle and one difficult to ignore. David Miliband (45), former foreign secretary, and his brother Ed (40), ex-energy and climate change secretary, were the two favourites to succeed Gordon Brown.
The world has seen brothers in politics before, such as the Kennedy brothers in the US and the Kaczynski twins in Poland. But the Miliband brothers’ story makes a great copy for journalists nonetheless. Born to Polish migrants, they went to the same school, took the same degree in the same year and joined the cabinet at the same time. David became Tony Blair’s policy chief and Ed was a speechwriter for Brown.
But the negative energy that dominated the Blair-Brown rivalry is conspicuous by absence here. “David is my best friend in the world. I love him dearly,” Ed said during his campaign. “There is no way I’m going to take lumps out of him either on the record, off the record or behind the scenes.”
Yesterday it emerged that Ed had beaten his elder brother by a wafer thin margin of 1 per cent. I was watching BBC news and saw an emotional Ed bear-hugging a visibly happy David.
Perhaps a lesson here for our Ambani brothers? It's possible to be business or career rivals without sacrificing the filial bond.