If the Milibands work together, we can win the next election

23rd September, 2010 11:30 am

sky debate milibandsBy Rory Kinane

This summer I have missed much of the leadership campaign as I have been embroiled in American politics, working over in the U.S Congress. Coming back to Britain I have been trying to catch up in order to make an informed decision on who to give my vote to. However, my overall judgment has been guided by what could be seen as a superficial gut instinct.

When looking at both Milibands on the campaign trail one thing strikes me about the image presented by both brothers. Ed looks like a Labour leader in waiting, David looks like a Prime Minister in waiting. It is wrong to base your vote for anybody simply on appearances, but this judgment of the two favourites is not merely a shallow opinion.

David has more gravitas, style and composure than his younger brother. More importantly, he appeals much more to regular voters and those all important swing voters.

This is not to say Ed is without style or merit. In fact he enjoys a large advantage over his brother in that he seems to understand the average Labour voter in a way David doesn’t. Ed speaks clearly and passionately on issues of real importance that matter deeply to our movement. He speaks with an empathy and understanding that makes me think of him as the conscience of the modern Labour movement. He sees where we lost working class support through poorly handled policies like the 10p tax issue. He realises we need to rebuild the trust we lost with the public over Iraq.

David does not have these qualities that have made Ed’s campaign so effective at coming from nowhere to level pegging. However, there is a reason David has been the man to beat from the start. He has the right combination of experience, relative youth, intellect, presentation and political skill.

In conversations with Labour friends, even those who have voted for Ed seldom disagree; David is the leader most likely to beat Cameron in five years’ time. We must remember that winning the election is the important thing, and that opposition is simply time where our achievements from the last thirteen years will be ruthlessly undone by an uncompromising Conservative government.

This analysis is not meant as a simple endorsement; in fact my main point is quite the opposite. While I hope David will win, my primary concern is that his victory not be seen as some kind of triumph of Blairite over Brownite or centrist over left wing or whatever label people want to use. The fact this contest is so narrow, the fact we were split almost fatally for over ten years between two personalities shows that we need, more than ever, to come together.

David Miliband was infamously nicknamed “brains” in his younger years working for Tony Blair. If he wins this contest, David may be the brains of the Labour party, but he needs his brother to provide the heart. He will need to bring his brother in and give him a real seat at the table. The two brothers working well together will mean we can rebuild the electoral coalition that made us unbeatable for three elections.

We need to move beyond petty concerns over personality-driven factionalism. Let’s hope the Miliband brothers can see that.

Comments are closed

Latest

  • Comment We’ve already tried Jeremy Corbyn’s altnernative electoral strategy and it didn’t work

    We’ve already tried Jeremy Corbyn’s altnernative electoral strategy and it didn’t work

    I’m going to start by listing a bunch of things that I believe to be self-evident truths: The distribution of political opinions in the British electorate is basically like a bell-curve: a few outliers sit at either end on the right or left, but most are clustered around the middle with centre-left or centre-right opinions. That’s because British voters are basically sensible, pragmatic and (as any Marxist materialist analysis would predict) self-interested. They want governments that combine sound management of […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Labour’s failure had little to do with organisers in the field

    Labour’s failure had little to do with organisers in the field

    The fortunes of the Labour  Party will not change until and unless the Party re-organises the purpose of the of the organisers in the field. From mid 2011 through 2013 I had the privilege of spending a great deal of time in the field with the many of the regional directors, regional organisers, field organisers and members in every section of the UK. I found the people that I met and worked with to be talented, smart, hard working and totally […]

    Read more →
  • News Has Yvette Cooper won Alan Johnson’s endorsement?

    Has Yvette Cooper won Alan Johnson’s endorsement?

    It’s being reported by the Huffington Post tonight that Alan Johnson will shortly announce that he is endorsing Yvette Cooper for leader. Johnson has previously confirmed that he will not be supporting Jeremy Corbyn, but was waiting to see more of the campaign before making his decision whether to support Cooper, Andy Burnham or Liz Kendall. There have been some rumours about an endorsement today, and Cooper will be visiting Hull as a guest of Johnson on August 15th, the […]

    Read more →
  • News Weekly survey: deputy leader and London Mayor

    Weekly survey: deputy leader and London Mayor

      Next Friday ballots will go out for the leadership and deputy leadership contests. Since we recently asked who you’re backing for leader, we want to know who you’re planning on voting for to be deputy leader. There are six people in the running, who will get your first preference?  Let us know what you think. But these aren’t the only two contests going on at the moment. For Labour members, affiliates and supporters in London there’s also an election to […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Full 2015 CLP leadership nominations list – and what’s changed from 2010?

    Full 2015 CLP leadership nominations list – and what’s changed from 2010?

    The deadline for Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) to make a nomination in the leadership and deputy leadership contests closed on Friday (July 31st). 387 CLPs decided to support a candidate for leader, slightly down on the 396 who did so in 2010. The final results were: Jeremy Corbyn: 152 Andy Burnham: 111 Yvette Cooper: 106 Liz Kendall: 18 Below, we have compared 2015 CLP endorsements with those from 2010 (a full list of 2010 nominations is here). There are plenty […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit