Fun fact: I once had dinner with Ed Miliband. And, on another occasion, played with his BlackBerry when we were both at a picnic on Regent’s Park.
I point this out not to show off – or at least, not purely for that reason. Rather, to illustrate just how rapidly he has risen – and share some thoughts on his suitability for the position he’s ascended to.
I first became aware of Ed Miliband in the autumn of 2003. As you may now, Ed (I sense that people are going to refer to him generally as ‘Ed’ rather than ‘Miliband’) spent 2003-4 teaching at Harvard University. This is widely-known because it meant that he was out of the UK and away from Government around the time of the Iraq war, which has helped him no end since.
I was studying at Harvard in 2003-4. Not long after I arrived, the campus was covered overnight with posters advertising a course called “What’s Left?” and subtitled something like ‘the future of social democracy in Europe.’ And by covered, I mean plastered. The bloody things were everywhere. Advertising for courses, especially new courses, is common at the start of the year at Harvard like elsewhere. But there were three or four of these for any one of anyone else’s.
The course, needless to say, was being run and taught by one E. Miliband. He’s David Miliband’s brother, someone explained. I was only dimly aware of David Miliband, so the existence of his brother didn’t particularly excite me, and I didn’t take the course. But I was told the first lecture was literally overflowing ,with over 500 prospective students turning up. “Crikey,” Ed apparently said when he walked in. “I guess advertising does work.”