An unlikely outcome of Russian saber rattling is the increasing prominence of David Milliband, who has benefited almost exclusively from the media attention surrounding tension between the Soviet Union and the West.
Following Miliband’s barely disguised attempt to establish himself as a contender for the Labour leadership, the media was rife with speculation about his fate when Gordzilla returned from holiday. The Spectator warned:
Brown must either destroy him, isolate him or yield to him. But Miliband cannot pretend nothing has happened. He has started a war with the most ferocious street fighter in Westminster.
Alas, Miliband has not been destroyed or isolated, but left to benefit from the unravelling of foreign affairs. At the very least he is now too big to be demoted or removed easily. Brown should have reacted more quickly to his Minister’s earlier insubordination.
It will be interesting to see if Miliband’s media presence improves his public standing. If it does, Brown’s replacement looks that much more plausible.