I wish to preface this article with the statement that everything you are about to read is simply conjecture. I have no inside knowledge as to whether any of this is a possibility or not. This, in other words, is just a scenario I have completely made up. But it is a possible one, and a fascinating one.
There is a by-election approaching in Batley and Spen following the assassination of the sitting MP, Jo Cox, a few days before the EU referendum took place. All of the main political parties have said they will not contest the by-election, allowing Labour a clear run. A far-right, openly racist party has chosen to ignore this guidance, but they have no hope of winning – it will be a Labour hold.
What if David Miliband chose to contest the seat for Labour? The CLP there could try and stop it, but I wonder if they would. Labour HQ would almost certainly try, but how far into such a debate they would wish to get is questionable, even for them.
David Miliband’s reputation has gone through the roof since his departure from British politics. He is genuinely the prince across the water and his return to UK politics, should he choose to do so, would be greeted with can only be described as ecstatic joy in certain quarters. Given we now have Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the opposition and Andrea Leadsom has a 50-50 chance of being the next prime minister, Miliband would look like Winston Churchill with some of Superman’s powers in this climate. He would be someone the Gang of 172 could rally round as well.
The question, of course, is why David Miliband would want to do it, other than feeling the need to save the country. It will be a messy job. He will also face Obama syndrome – when people think you’re Jesus, it can be hard to live up to expectations. I can only say to him if he is wavering because of this particular point, that people compare Corbyn with Jesus Christ all of the time and he isn’t even a functional politician in the broadest sense. So don’t worry, David: it’s all about projection anyhow.
Again, as I said at the top, I have no idea if this could ever possibly happen. It would be a glorious thing if it did, for many reasons. However, I shall end on a down note. Having written this, I suddenly feel like it is less likely to happen now. I can see a non-entity of extraordinary proportions shoved into the Yorkshire seat by HQ instead. Please, Labour – some of us need some political hope in our lives. If DM wants a seat, let him have it.