Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I feel oddly melancholy about the Labour leadership outcome. I used to love Ed Miliband, but the campaign brought out the worst in him. He became tribal and oddly petulant; I saw one interview where his underlying assumption seemed to be how dare you lowly reporter question brilliant me? It was most unedifying. David Miliband I thought behaved with grace and good humour. So I think the Unions, and it was they who decided it, chose wrongly. I think it will be bad for the Labour Party and bad for the country, because strong, principled opposition is vital for the next few turbulent years. I am most Sunday-nightish about the whole affair.
Also, the more I ponder it, the odder I think it is to run against your own brother. I know there should not be a coronation sort of thing, just because someone is older, or got there first, but I still find it emotionally peculiar. I try to imagine if my sister wanted more than anything to be Prime Minister (I would vote for that party) and after she had gone about her campaign, I decided that I would step in and challenge her. It would be perfectly within my rights to do it; it would make sense on paper; but I know I could not perform such an act of familial hubris and treachery in a million years. People are saying that it shows that Mili E has the necessary ruthlessness, the chip of ice in his heart that all successful leaders must have. I think this is an old canard. I think it shows that he learnt his lessons in loyalty too well from all his years in the Treasury.
I am in danger of thinking: bunch of showers, the whole lot of them, and I hate that unworthy thought.
To cheer myself up, I made some polenta chips and started to look forward to Downton Abbey, a perfect Sunday night period drama, filmed at Highclere, written by Julian Fellowes, and starring two of my all-time favourites: Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville. (Together at last, I kept thinking.) I consulted the television guide to see what time it was on, only to discover that IT IS NOT SHOWING IN SCOTLAND. Instead, there is a thirteen-year-old programme about Billy Connolly in the Arctic. I am incandescent with rage. I am being treated as a second-class citizen on account of geography. What were the programmers thinking, when they fixed up the schedule? Scots are far too chippy to want to watch a programme about English aristocrats? It is prejudice and foolishness, and I am considering taking my case to the European Court of Human Rights.
I shall just have to console myself with conkers and roses: