I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Ed Miliband, ever since he worked like a dog through the almost pointless Copenhagen summit for climate change last year. Franny Armstrong's excellent "Stupid Show" videos on You Tube caught Ed, exhausted but still upright at the end, trying to maintain a politician's gloss on what was a shambolic failure. He really looked like he meant it. Maybe I'm a sucker.
It was Ed, let's not forget, who wrote the Labour manifesto going in to the election, and he put many straightforward green targets in, which frankly were a lot less wishy washy than the Tories/LibDems appeared to be. Good old Ed, eh?
We're told that Dave is a bit of a Blairite, and Ed's a lot more of a Brownite, so then it's time to look at the boys' voting records to see where those differences in their attitude toward key issues really lie. This data is taken from the excellent and indispensable site "They work for you". (Sorry my table making skills are dreadful. I left the borders in because it all got a bit lost in the page otherwise).
|Equal gay rights||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Iraq war||Strongly for||n/a|
|Iraq war enquiry||Strongly against||Strongly against|
|ID cards||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Transparent Parliament||Mixed results||Mixed results|
|EU integration||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Replacing Trident||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Student top-up fees||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Autonomy for schools||Mixed results||Moderately for|
|Anti-terrorism laws||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Ministers intervention in inquests||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Removing hereditary peers from HOL||For||For|
|Wholly elected HOL||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Laws to stop climate change||Moderately against||Mixture of for & against|
|Stricter asylum system||Strongly for||Strongly for|
|Foundation hospitals||Strongly for|
|The smoking ban||Moderately||Very strongly for|
So where is the wiggle room between these famous brothers? They both love the Iraq war and ID cards; they both want fewer foreigners in the country (don't we all! Er, no); they support PFI in foundation hospital building and Ed *really* doesn't like smokers. Either all of that, or they've just slavishly following the party whip. And why would two such independent enterprising, energetic, passion driven future leaders do that?
...because they're more of the same.