Comment at end
9th November, 2009
MILIBAND SAYS “MY FUTURE IS IN BRITISH POLITICS”
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected the chance to become EU high representative, the BBC understands.
So, the excuse reason that some gave for rejecting Tony Blair as EU president suddenly no longer exists. The thinking had been that Miliband was a promising candidate for the second big post in the new EU (so killing off Blair’s candidacy since Britain could not hold BOTH these posts.)
Mais naturellement, mes amis.
If the king-makers in Europe (also known as Merkel & Sarkozy) think that they can still reject Blair for some other reason they are madder and sadder than even I could imagine.
EU leaders will all have heard this news at the dinner in Berlin tonight. Plenty to chat about over a cigarette break outside in the German rain.
Britain and other Blair supporters may have decided to called the bluff on the ‘bluff’ of the promisers of Europe. There was never any guarantee that Miliband would get the job, even if highly recommended. The reasons for NOT having Blair as EU president may have been the simple fear of being overshadowed by a more prominent European than all of them combined.
Heaven forfend any such politicking.
BROWN TO GIVE WAY TO MILIBAND?
The ‘frightener’ for Mr Brown now will be that Miliband will be more of a threat to him as a possible successor as leader of the Labour party. We should put that concern right out of our minds. I have little doubt that Mr Brown has had enough already. He is now likely to be looking forward to a less cruel future than his present under the British press. In fact he and colleagues may be quite prepared to go for a handover to David Miliband prior to the next election. Especially so if Blair becomes EU president and the choices facing Britain can be laid out in a two-pronged attack – Blair & Miliband against a seemingly split and confused Conservative future, particularly as regards their approach to the EU.
Time to place a euro or two on TB for President? (See present betting here below)
‘He was seen as a frontrunner for the foreign affairs job, one of two created by the EU Treaty, but has insisted he is not “available” to be a candidate.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Miliband had told the head of the European socialists’ group on Sunday he was not interested in the job.
Foreign secretary since 2007, he has been touted as a future Labour leader.
He has been campaigning hard for former PM Tony Blair to get the other job created by the Lisbon Treaty, that of president of the European Council.
But there have been suggestions that Mr Miliband might be in the running for the foreign affairs role if Mr Blair fails to be selected for the job of president.
The foreign secretary had responded to speculation he might take the job of EU high representative for foreign affairs by saying he was not “available” to be a candidate but had not ruled out taking it if it was offered.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said he understood Mr Miliband had told the president of the centre-left grouping in the European Parliament that he was not interested in the job when they met on Sunday.’
As at 23:00 on 9th Nov 2009:
Van Rompuy 1.50; Blair 6.50; Balkenende 8; Juncker 8.
There is another alternative, of course, not yet mooted. Blair might decide that HE would be better suited for the First High Representative job, especially since this is more of a foreign policy post than is the President post.
Right now, Miliband is still the favourite at Paddy Power for the High Representative post, and is quoted at 1:90. With the news of his exit, which can be taken as a definite probably, that might all change overnight.
Watch this space.
(You can tweet D Miliband here. He might even reply to you!)
- Do politicians ALWAYS tell us the truth?!? What a question! Do they, Monsieur Sarkozy?
- New poll shows TINY majority for Tories