Has he helped or hindered his job prospects?
The foreign secretary, David Miliband, figures prominently in two current betting markets – that for next leader of the Labour party where he’s the 5/1 second favourite and for the first High Representative of the EU where he’s now been installed as the 3/1 joint favourite.
Anybody interested in betting on both might be wise to spend thirteen minutes listening to this item on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning when the Chief Rabbi of Poland was asked to give his views on Michal Kaminski of the country’s Law and Justice party, and leader of the group that the Tories are aligned to in the EU parliament.
In the past few weeks Miliband has made attack after attack on the Tories for being lined up with someone whom he said has an anti-Semitic past. The Tory response has been to say that Miliband is wilfully mis-presenting Kaminski’s position and have called for an apology. Today the Polish Chief Rabbi made what will be seen by the Cameron team as comments supporting their position.
So where does leave Miliband? Has a he queered his pitch for both possible promotions?
My view is that he hasn’t done himself any harm within the Labour movement. He’s kept up an attack and helped sustain his party during a difficult period. The fact that the Polish Chief Rabbi now says what he’s saying won’t make much difference.
Where he could find it more difficult in the future is with his relations with the media and if the Today programme is anything to go by then they might be a bit less ready to accept at face value things that he’s saying.
As to the big EU role he might just have made himself more enemies. The big problem with Miliband (D) remains – he’s not in the top league of communicators and finds it hard to focus on the big picture rather than the detail.
The Tories are vulnerable on their EU partners because they opted not be be part of the mainstream. That should have been the Miliband focus – not the Kaminski distraction.