Milimajor is crossing the Atlantic because he can a) no longer bear the scoffs and scorn of his erstwhile so-called colleagues in the so-called Labour party; b) no longer bear the carefully disguised pitying over-the-shoulder eye contact from Miliminor; or c) has been offered a seriously better paid job doing something useful, read the subtle tweets from godfather Tone, and thought ‘fuck all that, I’m outa here. And I wasn’t really that into football anyway.’
As a fellow victim of sibling rivalry, I feel for him. Tell me about it. My brother has, throughout his life, outplayed me in almost every aspect of attainment. I hardly know where to start, but the motorbike will do. At seventeen, I mooted the idea of getting one, like my mates, and was forcibly made to wash my mouth out with two-stroke and write a hundred times ‘I must not think about motorbikes’. Five years later, guess who’s whizzing around Bournemouth on some kind of Norton. Or maybe it was a Vincent Black Shadow. Doesn’t matter. I’ve got over it.
Let’s go back further. I was expected, at the age of ten, to look after him whilst my parents were swanning around doing work and stuff and my sister was trying to become a teenager. Did he ever do the same for me? Did he hell. Even when I dropped him on his head in a train game involving dining room chairs, he showed no gratitude. He just got up, bleeding from his eyebrow, and howled. I was gutted, I remember: at least, I thought, you could have thumped me, shown some recognition. But no, it was all about him. And he must have been at least four, you’d expect some maturity, wouldn’t you?
And don’t start me on technology. He was configuring wireless networks when I was still stringing coax cables across the pull-down kitchen clothes dryer. He had the country’s first Pioneer 100-CD multi-changer just after I’d moved on from 78s, and the day after I got one, he gently, without a smidgeon of smugness, told me about this new gadget called MP3. And don’t start me on the Fiesta XR2 – how heartless is it to upgrade to a Peugot 309 GT something-or-other the day after, on his advice, I’d bought one of those? (Or my employers had, to be exact.)
And now – and now! – he’s moving house!! Just like that: a mere eighteen months in the process, start to finish. I’ve been trying to achieve this for at least three years, and haven’t got past the stage of ‘who’ll empty the attic for me?’, never mind ‘ where might I move to?’ or even ‘why would I want to?’ or ‘where’s the vertical equivalent of this sofa?’ And the little tinker just ups and does it!
Clearly, I’m going to have to rethink this relationship. Right, done that: I still play better guitar than him. Oh, but he plays better mouth organ than me.