The intellectual waste of space masquerading as our "Environment" Secretary, David Miliband, has made a pitch to be considered for the next Prime Minister of NuLabourland in the Telegraph.
Laughingly entitled "I'm in tune with the 'I can' generation", Miliband attempts to break down politics to the expression of different generations characterising the post war generation as the "I need" generation, the Thatcher era as the "I want" generation" and the current generation as the "I can generation".
It's actually possible to imagine the way Miliband came up with this article. Picture the man surrounded by his "team" of researchers, assistants and advisers - all young, trendy and "in tune" (at least, they like to think so).
Miliband: "Right team. I need to make a pitch for party leader and I want you guys to come up with ideas so I can get the ball rolling"
Team member #1: "Whoa!" Hang on, there David. You've just come up with the idea yourself!
Miliband: "I have?"
Team member #1: Yes - I need, I want, I can. That's brilliant. We can use that to promote you - David Miliband - the "I can" man.
Miliband: "Hey, I like that, I'm so clever. How do I do it?
Team member #2 (fiddling with mp4 player): "It also sounds a bit like 'I pod'
Team member #2: "You know, the Ipod. It's very trendy and all the kids have one (holds mp4 player up so Miliband can see it). I need, I want, I can - I pod"
Team member #3: "Yeah! Great idea! We can put in puns like "being in tune".
Miliband: "I like it, team. Get to it. I need it by Wednesday afternoon"
Sure enough, they got to it and produced one of the most vacuous articles from a politician that I have ever seen. A politician who can come up with this ....
The power stations of the future will draw energy from a million roofs, rather than just a central generator. "I can" must be combined with a sense of "we can" - the belief that there is a shared willingness within each community that individuals' actions will be reciprocated by others.
... and then go on to say this ....
The next phase will be to capture the politics of a people who can now do so much more. That is a project that should excite everyone for the years ahead.
... is a man so out of touch with reality that he really ought to be locked up in secure accommodation.
Miliband's suggestion that each generation can be summed as either "wanters", "needers" or "doers" is, of course, patently ridiculous. Every generation has needs and wants - the satisfaction of which enables them "to do". Some of those wants and needs change from generation to generation, but there are some that remain the same regardless.
There are fundamental "needs", which the majority of people "want" the state to provide so that those people "can" enjoy their lives and the fruits of their labours. The most fundamental of all those needs - of the post war generation, the Thatcher generation and this generation - is security.
Security in their homes. Security on their streets. Security in buses, trains and aeroplanes.
They "want" to be free from attack or the fear of attack. They want their homes protected, their streets safe to go out into at night, their public spaces and transport to be free from roaming gangs.
In a sense, though, Miliband is correct. His generation of politicians have created an "I can" generation. They are the thugs, hooligans, drug pushers, drug abusers, villains, terrorists, murderers, rapists, muggers, burglars, child molesters, fighters, brawlers, pukers, urinators, scrawlers, smugglers, slavers, adulterers and fornicators who believe they can do what they want because there are no moral boundaries and none of the institutions a society needs to restrain them. Instead, there is a dis-empowered police force, there is an impotent criminal justice system and, perhaps worst of all, an ignorant governing class typified by men like Miliband.