David Miliband’s desert island discs

We asked each of the leadership candidates to choose 8 favourite tracks, a book and a luxury which they might take to a desert island.

We will be publishing them one candidate at a time.

David Miliband is first because he sent his back first.

The ambitious modern politician might be expected to focus-group and value-test something as revealing as his music selection.

Even normal people might self-consciously seek reassurance before such a public statement of their personal taste.

Looking at the choices, it appears that David Miliband did none of these. Whether this is charmingly insouciant or a calculated double bluff is a question for the conoscenti.

We expect him to be ridiculed quite a lot for An Englishman in New York and Elton John, and at least a little for James Taylor. Nor will he win points back with his classical choices.

And he will be mocked, Blair protégé that he is and Blair-wannabe that he is often accused of being, for the guitar thing.

Even if he is too nerdy to have anticipated all this (which is quite possible), the people around him must have done so. Yet they have chosen to publish what appears to be the truth, rather than to attempt to present an artificial “cool David”.

It is possible, of course, that this is the massaged version. But the firm Uncut conviction is that this is not the case. We believe these desert island discs to be authentic.

And choosing authenticity in the face of ridicule may well have been a wise and brave decision. Verging on – whisper it – new politics.

Sting – Englishman in New York

Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army

Fritz Kreisler – Liebeslied

Sibelius – Violin Concerto

Shostakovich – Symphony No.10

James Taylor – How sweet it is (to be loved by you)

Elton John – Your Song

The Beatles – All you need is love

Luxury: Guitar

Book: Teach yourself to play guitar

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11 Responses to “David Miliband’s desert island discs”

  1. Harry Barnes says:

    On 11 June you supplied a list of the hustings in the Labour Leadership contest, do you have an update of these? How can I automatically get information of fresh ones that arise. Last Friday David Miliband informed me that 50 or so such hustings were being held. See here for an option that would lift the contest beyond X Factor style trivia ,such as what a candidate would take with them on a desert island. It is a question of what they would take with them into the leadership oif the Labour Party –

  2. […] This post was Twitted by paulwaugh […]

  3. John T. Capp says:

    Do you not think it’s a bit odd he’s taking a guitar that he can’t even play (yet)? And then uses his book selection to take ‘Teach yourself to play guitar’?

    Nothing wrong with Sting or Elton John, by the way!

  4. […] 25 06 2010 Rather than rip the shit out of David Miliband’s mind numbingly dull Desert Island Discs selections, I thought I’d join in the […]

  5. Please never invite me to a party at Miliband’s house. I think I’d have to beat myself to death with one of his bananas.

    Anyway – I’ve joined in the game and written my own list.

  6. Antigone says:

    Not sure there’s a constituency that is addressed by your song (or even the James taylor, in both cases poor examples of their repertoire) but English man oin New York is great

  7. Antigone says:

    Though it’s a bold stroke, and not uncontroversial, not to find a single bit of Bach to while away the hours.

  8. Alun says:

    There’s the potential for some amusing over-close-reading of the Shostakovich choice; the first symphony he wrote after Stalin’s death and all that. Some people even (probably wrongly) think that the extremely savage second movement is a musical portrait of the dead dictator.

  9. For a far better selection of music check out, Labour’s new MP for Streatham, Chuka Umunna’s tracks of the fortnight, which he has revealed as part of the new ‘Sounds of Streatham’ feature on StreathamPulse.com

    How many other MP’s are UK Garage fans?

  10. […] » I dischi da portare nell’isola deserta? Per il candidato alla leaderhip del Labour David Miliband sono Sting (Englishman in New York), Elvis Costello, Your Song di Elton John e i Beatles di All You […]

  11. AmberStar says:

    Is David Milliband trying to appeal to the ‘grey’ vote with his selections?

    Are Sting & Elton Labour Party donors? 😎

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