The New Statesman was, I think, first out last night with the very welcome news that Jon Cruddas is endorsing David Miliband for Labour leader. Apparently Cruddas was very taken with DM's Keir Hardie Lecture a few weeks back (also noted here.) "What was interesting to me about this", Cruddas comments, "was when he started talking about belonging and neighbourliness and community, more communitarian politics, which is where I think Labour has to go." Hear, hear.
The Staggers itself has come out for Ed Mili today, declaring that he is somebody they feel could, conceivably, become a "bold, charismatic, compassionate and visionary" leader. I'm still left wondering which meeting I missed where the younger/shorter Miliband brother offered such powerful evidence of these inchoate qualities. John Rentoul today describes the sanctimony, the small-meeting-room populism and evidently mounting peevishness that many of us associate more readily with Miliband Junior.
The NS is careful to make a secondary case for David Miliband, however heavily they count against him what they call "his mistaken support for the catastrophic invasion of Iraq." But they see him as the darling of "the right-of-centre commentariat" whereas their man Ed is the "change candidate"; and so they hope that DM, if defeated, will remain in politics as "his brother's lieutenant-in-chief." This would require extraordinary stoicism on David Miliband's part, if it turns out that what his brother is selling really is what most Labour voters want... and I only hope we aren't forced to witness such a fraternal job offer being made in the first place, much less the ghastly spectacle of its acceptance. The differences between these candidates are clear now, and only one, it seems to me, would not be utterly wasted in a backseat capacity.