Monday, 27 September 2010


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I call my mother.

'If you were Mrs Miliband, what would you be saying now?' I ask.

'Oh shit,' says my mother.

I should explain that my mother is a respectable woman who used to travel about by pony and trap during the war. She only swears in matters of national emergency.

I shout with laughter. 'I was not expecting that,' I said.

'I know,' she says happily. 'That's why I said it.'

We are both very pleased with the special Miliband joke, but actually I do feel very sorry for poor Mrs Miliband, who has spent her whole life fighting for worthy causes and now, according to one journalist, could not watch the leadership announcement, because it was too agonising.

Mili D got up and gave a tremendously good and graceful speech, and you could see the members in the hall thinking: we really did choose the wrong brother. There are all kinds of stories on the political blogs about Charlie Whelan and the union bosses bragging in the bars that they sewed the whole thing up between them. Meanwhile, Mili E gave a rather vapid interview to Andrew Marr, in which he constantly accused Marr of not understanding his answers. I hold no great torch for Mr Marr, but I do think it is not the best idea to go around patronising seasoned political journalists on your first day as leader.

People say Ed Miliband is very charming in life. I can see no sign of it at the moment in public. He keeps saying how much he loves his brother, but I think actions are louder, and you should not go about stabbing those you love in the back. I am turning out very old-fashioned about this whole affair. It's one thing to be dastardly with your political rivals, but quite another to do over your family in public.

In order to keep calm, I make a croque monsieur. There are very few things that cannot be solved by a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Also, to continue the continental theme, a salad of endive, frisée lettuce, rocket, finely sliced radishes and pine nuts.

Some soothing things to contemplate while I wait for the conference season to wind down:

Rather blousy new hydrangea, which I do not love nearly so much as my old one, but still has a certain something:


Elderberries, which need no explanation:


The bare poetry of my dry stone wall:


The beech avenue, with the very first leaves starting to turn:


Who are these Milibands? (said in manner of Lady Bracknell, confronted with a handbag):


I don't CARE; I am EATING a stick:


(I hope wood is good for her digestion; she can demolish a small stick in under four minutes.)


  1. I know whats going on with those Miliband brothers - David is better looking, Ed is peeved and must regain power where he can?
    Speaking of jealousy, oh that beech avenue, its like something out of a dream.

  2. I don't fancy the first family dinner round Mrs Miliband Senior's house. I expect Mrs DM is totally furious with her brother-in-law. I do hope David doesnt disappear off in to the sunset. A real shame for all those who voted for him.

  3. Priceless blog..... excellent comment by your mother. Bet Sunday lunch 'round at the Milliband parental's will be somewhat testy from now on.... 'carve the turkey' causing one brother to take a defensive stance....

  4. I loved this post. I read it after watching the news, where Ed looked for all the world like a tearful 16-year-old and about as terrified as I would if I'd just been voted party leader. Great to read your passion and fascination with it all.

  5. How lovely and kind you all are. So glad I am not alone in my fascination with the Mili saga. And I do agree: family dinners from now on will be the most peculiar affairs.

  6. Is this why there are so few women in politics, only concerning themselves with the petty as opposed to doing what it takes to draw the line and move on?

  7. Oh Anonymous - bless your little heart.


Your comments give me great delight, so please do leave one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin