This interview with David Miliband in today's Times is notable. In it he movingly talks about how he and his wife came to adopt their two sons. Eighteen months ago when I profiled him for GQ he was very reluctant to talk about that issue as he regarded it as 'private'. So, why the change of heart? I think it is partly because of the backwash of the David Laws affair. He's decided, like David Cameron, that an aspirant Prime Minister has to be completely open about every aspect of his life. He knows that if he doesn't give the full story, the newspapers will start digging and find out anyway.
Milband has fought a textbook leadership campaign so far. He is clearly the leader in the field of five and the others see him as the man to beat. He's taken one or two risks, but none that have backfired. I still think he has a problem garnering support right across the Labour Party, but that maybe something that the passage of time will solve.
The big disappointment in the campaign so far has been his brother Ed, the man I first tipped as next Labour Party leader in that GQ article in October 2008. His campaign hasn't taken off so far, and he has even been eclipsed by Ed Balls. He seems to be too desperate to find issues on which he can differentiate himself from his brother. That's not the way to define himself as a leader. Unlike his brother he doesn't seem hungry enough for the job. That needs to change and change fast.
Strangely, it is Ed Balls who has eclipsed the other Ed in the campaign so far. Although his remarks on immigration have been laughably blatant, he seems to have set an agenda for the others to follow. He has also got one or two attack dogs on his team who can go for the other candidates as surrogates. Balls still needs to watch how he comes over on the media - because he doesn't - but at the moment, its he who is in second place.
Andy Burnham is just desperate. Desperate to portray himself as the renegade. Desperate to highlight his northernness, as evidenced by the very odd decision to base his campaign in Manchester. That's about the only thing one can remember about his contribution to far. At the moment you'd have to say that he is likely to come last on the first ballot.
Diane Abbott has wangled her way onto the ballot, and a good thing too. My suspicion is that she will do much better than many people think, purely by not being called Miliband or Ed and the fact that her policy platform will be very different. She is the very antithesis of being a team player so I'd hate to be her campaign manager, but if she plays this right she could soon become a major figure in post New Labour politics. Who'd have thought it?
The campaign hasn't really caught fire yet. The New Statesman debate has probably been the highlight so far. None of the candidates seems to have mentioned the last general election, let alone come up with any reasons and explanations for Labour's defeat. It's difficult when you've been a big part of it, but it has to be done if Labour is to move on and prepare itself for the next election.