My Disastrous Dinner Party Date with David Miliband

When David Miliband was riding high on the velvety steed of frontline British politics, getting hold of him was impossible. I’d ring him about twice a week, hearing myself say demoralising nonsense like ‘Hi David, Ed here – I’m having considerable luck with your answering machine, less so with you. Just thought I’d check if you were around at the weekend for some dinner, let me know’.

He’d never call back.

Things changed this week however, in the wake of his shock defeat in the Labour Leadership election. None of us knew how he’d take it. There were rumours that he’d sent Louise, the mili-wifey, down to the pharmacy with instructions to “fill a basket with bloody sleeping pills”. Other reports leaking out of the miliabode suggested he was watching entire seasons of House back to back and he’d stopped mili-grooming. I was nesting my head on the horizon of Louise’s naked breast when she said something rather alarming.

‘You realise that he hasn’t washed since Tuesday. He’s stalking the corridors, naked from the waist down. He’s saying awful things like “All Eds are bastards” and just this morning he used the word rape at the breakfast table. Oh Edward, I think he’s broken!’

‘Oh Lou,’ said I, ‘he’s just going through a bad patch right now. He’s bound to think that everyone’s against him. He doesn’t feel he can trust anyone; he thinks we’re all plotting his downfall behind his back. It’s all nonsense of course but David’s understandably paranoid after what happened with his frère.’

‘I know, I just wish I could reassure him,’ she said, walking to the en suite shower, her William Hagues gently bobbing with each step.

In light of all this I was surprised to receive a dinner invitation the next day. I suppose David wanted to get back on the horse, although that was tantamount to squatting on glue at this point. Nevertheless, when you’re down it’s important to present yourself to the world and solider on. I wanted to be a part of his social rehabilitation so I graciously accepted.

The following evening, Friday, I arrived at the requisite hour, the dot of seven, with a promising gift – a bottle of Louis Jadot Cote de Beaune Villages 2008.  Barely across the threshold, I noticed that his usually impeccable style had been somewhat relaxed. His shirt collar hadn’t seen the flat surface of an iron in the post-war era and his woollen pullover was like a chest plate of hair plucked from the scalp of a mad scientist; a kitten’s plaything. I noted shirtsleeves bound by the plastic fasteners used in paper folders, his trademark UN cufflinks AWOL as he swiped the wine out of my hand.

‘Thanks for this’ he said flatly. Having spent five minutes in the supermarket picking it out, I was annoyed at that.

Things didn’t improve at dinner. I sat opposite David, staring into his doll-like eyes. I’d never seen such desolation. His peepers were the Nth grade of black. When he straight at me I felt myself wither.

‘We’ll be having chicken, I hope that’s satisfactory’ he said. Actually I’d had chicken the night before but it seemed churlish to bring that up now.

‘This is an old Labour Party recipe,’ he explained, ‘one my younger brother would enjoy were he here, no doubt.’

Total silence.

None of the guests knew what to say – not me, Louise, John Cruddas, Richard Bacon or Peter Stringfellow. What could one say? Cruddas tried to lighten the mood with a round of The Red Flag, only for David to tell him that “no one was interested”. Bacon, usually good value on these sort of occasions, wanted to know if David had seen his Beer and Pizza Evening on ITV4.

‘Fuck me, are you kidding Richard?’

I found myself forensically dissecting my chicken breast.

Stringfellow talked about a few of his “new girls”. He’d got two in, Phosphorous and Aimeeee, apparently both with “watershed tits” and no parents to worry about. Usually David would jump on topics like this but instead I watched him look through Stringfellow as he spoke, occasionally shrugging when a gap in the conversation suggested it was his turn to speak.

It was remarkable, I’d never seen anyone so bored in conversation with Peter Stringfellow.

The night was young but I was already thinking about my exit strategy. None was possible until we’d got through the sweet of course, Louise having prepared a very fine Rhubarb crumble. The question now was, would there be enough goodwill left in the room to eat it?

‘I’m sorry if it’s not up to my usual standard,’ she began, wearisomely, plonking it down in front of her backbench miser, ‘it’s just that we’ve all been so busy recently.’

‘Well thank goodness that’s not going to be a problem from now on, eh Lou?’

He’d put that out like he was hoping to cut her with it. We were all embarrassed I think. It was at this point that I felt compelled to step in and say something – traditionally the moment when matters are satisfactorily resolved.

‘Look David, I know you’ve had an awful time of late,’ I began, generously spooning out the empathy, ‘but there’s no need to talk to Louise that way. She’s trying her best to help y-‘

‘Oh hush up you pompous little cunt’ he said. Well, I was incandescent, yet on he went!

‘Do you really think I want any of you here?’ he intoned. ‘You lot, a bunch of fucking bores?! Let me tell me you something. When I was nineteen I had to tell Ed what his Miliband did. That’s me telling a fourteen year old how his man meat works! This is the guy that the fucking unions have just allowed to hijack my Party. That impudent little scroat, that bag of bovine cum, wouldn’t know his chin from his wrist without me. I CREATED ED MILIBAND, get it? “Don’t stand against Gordon” he said,”don’t stand against him, it’s not the right time” – that fuck. He always knew what he was going to do. Y’know, when he was six he fell out of a tree and winded himself – he couldn’t breathe, he was in real trouble. Who saved him? Me. Big Brother. I kept him calm, I put him into the recovery position, I got help. I shouldn’t have fucking bothered. It’s not that I’m greedy or anything, it was just my life’s ambition that’s all. Nothing important. He’d have had a chance after me, no question – no question, yet he thought “no, I know what I’ll do, I’ll destroy my elder brother. I’ll smash those pipe dreams to bits and shove the pieces up a vagrant’s crevice”. That’s my brother for you – a selfish bottle of liquid bastard, insipid as PISS.’

With that he violently pushed himself away from the table and adjourned to his study. An ashen faced Lou had to make apologies and we were all politely asked to leave, the official excuse being “David’s very tired”.

Still, at least I’ll get another swipe at that crumble when Lou brings the bulk of it round this evening.

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Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 17:20  Leave a Comment  
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