English Labour Party?
Thanks to Dan Hodges of the Tribune we now know that Gordon Brown's toe-curling England photo calls and PR stunts were in part motivated by a fear that he would be outflanked on the issue of an English parliament.
Gordon Brown wasn’t concerned about his nationality. He was totally paranoid about it.
I remember discussing a list of major policy priorities with a Brownite advisor just before the transition from Tony Blair. What, I asked, had the incoming Prime Minister identified as the key issues. “An English parliament”, was the response. “You’re joking”, I said.
“No. Gordon thinks David Cameron is going to outflank us on it. It’ll be a major issue at the election.”
He didn’t. And it wasn’t.
“Gordon was obsessed”, recalls one former Government advisor. “He used to ring up the Department for Culture, Media and Sport every month demanding they sort out some photo call or press stunt with the England football team. He was convinced that, if he got enough photos of him next to Wayne Rooney, people would think he was English”.
The Scottish albatross has dropped from the neck of the Labour Party, and according to the Tribune we can expect "English Ed" Miliband with "his unique brand of Englishness" to start quietly beating the English drum.
If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, benign nationalism is the first destination of the Labour politician seeking an answer to his party’s painful predicament.
We can but hope that Dan is right.