The Frayed Cable, Gaelic in galleries, and Britain's third sexiest politicianby Prospect / February 23, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
Rite of spring: hundreds will gather at 6pm on 21st March, the vernal equinox, to watch as a ray of sunlight illuminates the Virgin Mary in the San Juan de Ortega monastery, northern Spain
He’s back! The other Miliband
After five months of discretion following his defeat to brother Ed in the Labour leadership race, David Miliband is about to break his silence. The former foreign secretary will deliver a speech at the LSE on 8th March about why the left is losing in Europe.
According to a draft seen by Prospect, Miliband will point out that governments in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands are all led by conservative or centre-right parties, and that this is for “more fundamental” reasons than a “statistical quirk.” The left, he will argue, has been “caught in a vortex of voter discontent” around “lack of protection, power and belonging,” and “needs a political agenda that matches up” to those concerns.
It doesn’t quite amount to a programme, yet, for those waiting for him to craft one in exile. But to the relief of his supporters and the many critics of his brother, David Miliband’s appetite for the fray appears to be returning.
Hunt the BBC headhunter
An intriguing figure in the search for a new chair of the BBC Trust is Dominic Loehnis, a headhunter hired to help with the quest. Loehnis happens to be an old Etonian and university friend of David Cameron, as well as a near neighbour of the prime minister in Oxfordshire. That is perhaps one explanation for why Loehnis was present just before Christmas when Cameron met James Murdoch at the Oxfordshire home of Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International. That’s no doubt a useful extension to Loehnis’s contact base. But whether senior BBC figures will be pleased to learn of Loehnis’s presence at the Murdoch-Cameron power dinner is another matter.