It’s easy to be gracious in victory. It’s far more difficult to be gracious in defeat. Your true measure can only be fully understood when you have to experience and express despondency in public.
David Miliband may wish to retreat from what will feel like the most frustrating of moments. A minimal difference has meant that a once-in-a-lifetime prize has been lost to – of all people – a younger brother.
But it is now in David Miliband’s hands to do far more for the Labour Party than his brother ever could. In that defeat I speak of lies an opportunity to forge a different politics. A different politics his younger brother asks for but cannot deliver by himself.
David Miliband has acquired tremendous political and human capital. It is now his choice entirely. It is now up to him.
He may heed the call or not.
And whether he does or not will not ultimately alter the matter a single jot – for either way, whatever he decides to do in the end, we will inevitably have his true measure as both human being and politician.