"To bring up one son to be prime minister may be regarded as a misfortune, to bring up two looks like carelessness."
October 2nd, 2010
Inspired by the Miliband brothers' battle over the leadership of the Labour Party, Howard Jacobson reflects upon life as the older brother:
So why, then, did [my mother] have a second child when I was perfectly happy enjoying sole possession as the first? All right, I wouldn't be prime minister. But couldn't I go on being lord chamberlain in my own house? I have already, in this column, described the details of my brother's invasion of my territory. Suffice it to say that one minute he wasn't and then he was, that I had been banished from my mother's sight for a week because I had the measles and when I returned she was holding him up in the front window for me to see – triumphantly, as though he were the FA Cup – and had forgotten my name. What happened over the next 10 years was what always happens. I pretended to love him and when no one was looking tried to kill him. It would have been the same with the Milibands, though they had a Marxist philosopher for a father whereas ours was a children's magician; so that while David was trying to brain Ed with wage-labour and capital, I was sawing my brother in half.