Friday, 10 September 2010

Dennis Skinner and David Miliband. The 'Laughing Halibut Pact'?

There were gasps of surprise and astonishment when it emerged earlier on today that the bastion of the 'hard left', Dennis Skinner had backed David Milband for the Labour leadership.

It probably shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise.

Although probably opposed to Miliband on every policy issue, from the EU to Trident, Skinner is keenly aware of what it takes to do well in the House of Commons and has opted for the man he thinks is most likely to trouble the coalition.

Anybody who has read Tony Blair's memoirs shouldn't be so surprised.  This is what Blair said about 'the Beast of Bolsover':

"In later years, Dennis was one of my best (if somewhat closet) supporters.  He didn't agree with any of my policies, but he liked someone who whacked the Tories... In particular, he used to give me brilliant PMQs advice... feeding me one-liners and explaining what would rouse the troops behind me."

So, where was the unlikely Miliband-Skinner axis formed?  

Pure, tongue in cheek speculation, but Mr Skinner is a bit of a regular at 'The Laughing Halibut' in Strutton Ground.  And, last week, when asked what his favourite London discovery was by the Evening Standard, David Miliband replied, "the Laughing Halibut on Strutton Ground."

Maybe the Granita accord has now been replaced by the Laughing Halibut agreement!

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