Reaction to the departure of David Milliband in the media was mixed. The Guardian/BBC axis treated it like the death of Nelson Mandela, whereas Peter Oborne in the Telegraph described him as a greedy failure. I suspect the wider populace collectively shrugged, if they noticed at all. I fancy one or two front benchers in the Labour party maybe secretly very pleased. Oddly enough, my mind went back to a scene from the 1960 version of Spartacus.
It was the part where Glabarus, the beaten commander of the garrison of Rome is explaining to the Senate how he managed to lose six cohorts fighting slaves.
Gracchus: This is no time for a man of honour to withdraw from public affairs!
Senators: Shame, shame! – Sit down.
Gracchus: This sort of heroic public behaviour is nothing new! I’ve seen it before– we all have– and I know the meaning of it!
Senator: Crassus acted on a point of honour! – Patrician honour!
Gracchus: No matter how noble this looks from the outside…I don’t like the colour of it.
Senator: Crassus is the only man in Rome…who hasn’t yielded to republican corruption, and never will!
Gracchus: I’ll take some republican corruption along with some republican freedom…but I won’t take is the dictatorship of Crassus and no freedom at all!
That’s what he’s out for and that’s why he’ll be back.
Now I am not suggesting Milliband would like a Roman style military dictatorship of course, neither am I suggesting he is a man of honour like Crassus. What I mean is, he’ll be back, and I’m not suggesting that would be a good thing either.
Incidentally, when reading the script, I came across this gem. I think it rather neatly explains socialist politicians these days.
Crassus: For Gracchus, hatred of the patrician class is a profession…and not such a bad one, either. How else can one become master of the mob and first senator of Rome?