Couldn't help but blog on a subject that I'm loathe to broach here - politics. [The risk of offending readers is too high, but then a blog that doesn't take any risks can be a dull read.]
The BBC has just run a story here about an aside allegedly made by David Miliband at the Labour party conference, in which he seems to indicate that he deliberately toned down his speech because he's keeping his powder dry for a future leadership challenge.
Now I'm not a terribly party political person, but I've found it fascinating to watch what has happened since Tony Blair gave the leadership of the Labour party, and the job of prime minister, to Gordon Brown. It seems obvious that Brown, while a highly competent cabinet minister and intelligent person, is not really a leader. Leadership is a relatively rare quality, and only some people possess it. You can spot leaders, because people instinctively want to follow them - that's why they are called leaders.
Gordon has been coached and coached, and you can see he's trying to do all the right things, like smile, and be personable, and crack jokes. But it all looks so rehearsed and so false. If he walked into a room, people wouldn't terribly much want to be near him. Even though he's the prime minister. The poor bloke has got the top job - the one he has been longing for - and it has turned into a living nightmare because he can't carry it off.
I suspect that everyone in the Labour party of average intelligence and above knows it would be madness to approach the next election with Gordon at the helm. Yet, for now, there is this show of faux unity. Like the pursuit cycling event we all watched for the first time at the Olympics this year, timing is everything (this is the event where the two cyclists, who are racing each other, almost stop, waiting to see who will make the first move). Within the higher echelons of the party, there exist natural leaders, and foremost among these is the as-yet inexperienced Miliband. Sooner or later, it seems inevitable that he will make his move. As I said, timing is everything, and it is fascinating to watch.