The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

IT’S A tricky thing be­ing an older brother. Of course, you get com­pet­i­tive with your sib­lings, but more of­ten than not you feel pro­tec­tive.

For ex­am­ple, back in 2010 I re­mem­ber my big­gest re­gret about not win­ning the Labour lead­er­ship was that I didn’t think Ed was quite ready for it. Don’t get me wrong, Ed is a very bright boy, but it must be hard when every­one (in­clud­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton) talks about your older brother as the good-look­ing one, as the one with­out the funny voice, as the one who has ac­tu­ally been For­eign Sec­re­tary and knows what is go­ing on in the world,

I would love to im­part some of that ex­pe­ri­ence to Wal­lace/Ed, par­tic­u­larly as life has been so kind to me over the past four years. Here I am with the job I have al­ways wanted – as head of In­ter­na­tional Res­cue.

Ok, so it’s New York rather than Tracy Is­land and we don’t have any ac­tual Thun­der­birds, but I can do good for real peo­ple, rather than, say, blun­der about from one cri­sis to another (I’m re­fer­ring to no one in par­tic­u­lar).

A cou­ple of weeks ago I heard that Ed would be in town for a mi­cro-con­ver­sa­tion with Obama (hand­shake and a selfie). I called him. “Ed, come over for a bar­be­cue. We have loads of space for you and your ‘ad­vis­ers’, I can get my team of chefs cook­ing and we can kick back and maybe sort out a few of those pol­icy mis­takes which have been hold­ing you back”.

But he was very sniffy. “I’m hav­ing hugely im­por­tant talks with very, very, im­por­tant peo­ple and I have, like, a flight to catch to some­where, like, re­ally se­cret and im­por­tant, as soon as Barack and I have de­cided how our two great coun­tries should act on the re­ally, re­ally, big things, which you prob­a­bly haven’t been con­sulted on.”

Well, of course I know how dif­fi­cult it must be as a powerless Op­po­si­tion politi­cian suf­fer­ing in the opinion polls. I might have men­tioned a few things to him, though.

For ex­am­ple, be­fore you start play­ing pol­i­tics with Gaza, it might be a good idea to check to see whether Aun­tie Sarah (the one he was hug­ging on his trip to Is­rael re­cently) has been down in the shel­ters hid­ing from Ha­mas rock­ets … only be­cause an en­ter­pris­ing jour­nal­ist is likely to do that.

Ed­die just wants to help peo­ple. I earnestly hope he gets his chance one day.

I can do good for real peo­ple. Can my brother?

*As imag­ined by Si­mon Round

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