Labour leader Ed Miliband has admitted he struggled to hold back tears at the TUC conference this week as the nations of the world joined together to crown him the greatest politician of his generation.
‘At the time cynics called it opportunism,’ said an emotional President Obama, ‘but looking back now as we celebrate the dawn of peace in the Middle East, no one can doubt Ed Miliband’s courage and conviction. To work with the government to produce a reasonable resolution to vote for another vote on allowing military action to be taken, and then produce his own resolution which ensured neither motion was passed; I take my hat off to him. He’s opened the door to peace and the whole world owes this inspirational leader of an ailing opposition party a priceless debt of gratitude.’
Commentators have noted that without Mr Miliband’s defining intervention there would be no prospect of a vote in the US congress on whether to go to war, and no French President calling for immediate action and then shuffling backwards uncomfortably and shrugging his shoulders.
‘You have to admire his guts. I’d like to meet him and personally thank him,’ continued Obama, his teeth clearly visible.
With a photoshoot for the cover of Time magazine scheduled for tomorrow, Mr Miliband still found time to listen to the praise being heaped on him from around the world. Bashar al-Assad called him ‘an inspiring, towering figure on the world stage who can visit any time’, while Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, went even further; ‘I wonder if there might not be a Nobel Peace Prize coming his way soon,’ he laughed. The President of Iran, struggling for an interpreter, showed his support by banging the backs of his hands together and sticking his lower jaw out – apparently an unparalleled gesture of respect in the Arab world.
But the modest Mr Miliband, who is now a certainty to become Prime Minister at the next election in 2015, remains reluctant to step into the limelight.
‘He prefers to keep a low profile and just go about his business quietly,’ said close ally and shadow cabinet colleague Sadiq Khan. ‘But the people of the world know the vital role he played, and in fact they’ve already given him an affectionate nickname. Mandela became ‘Madiba’, Ghandi became ‘Bapu’ and now people are calling Ed Miliband ‘Edu’. Or I suppose they might be saying ‘Ed who?”