Dalrymple interprets David Miliband’s latest crusade, and by extension, those of all such “modern political mediocrities”:
The duller and less interesting our politicians become, and the less religious faith there is in the general population, the more political saviours we seem to have. Such saviours don’t want just to improve things a little, in some minor but definite way, they want to play the salvationist hero, that is to say all or nothing… The interviewer did not ask Mr Miliband how and why he lighted upon the fish of the world as the object of his salvationist urgings rather than, say, the stickleback of his local pond. The need to save is primary, the object of salvation secondary. I suppose it has to do with a deep inner emptiness that can [be] filled only by an equally vast ambition.