Tribune magazine have today endorsed Ed Miliband as the race for the Labour leadership heads into its final stages. However what is perhaps most interesting about their endorsement is how little it focuses on Ed, and how much time is dedicated to criticism of David Miliband. In fact, this reads more like an “anti-David” endorsement, than a “pro-Ed” endorsement.
“Labour goes nowhere if it does not both learn from its mistakes and rediscover its principled roots. Recognising the failures of New Labour is not to discount the achievements of those 13 years. But they have been overshadowed by New Labour’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, subservience to the City, timidity with the banks, an almost casual disdain for civil liberties and a disconnection with the very people Labour came into being to represent. It was the electorate which drew a line under New Labour.”
“Mr Blair’s suggestion that the last election defeat was due to the government ceasing to be New Labour is a denial of an electorate which has wearied of what New Labour is seen to stand for. Peter Mandelson’s warning that ditching New Labour would result in an electoral cul-de-sac – an undisguised attack on Ed Miliband – was itself a leap into one.”
“And that is where David Miliband and his senior party supporters, from Mandelson to Alan Milburn and Charles Clarke, have placed him – as the continuity New Labour candidate, the one most clearly identified with the failed policies of the Blair era and who blithely beseeched the party to “move on” from criticism of the decision to join in the invasion of Iraq.”
“David’s supporters claim he has the toughness necessary to do the job, whereas Ed Miliband is unproven, or even “soft” on special interest groups (such as the Labour Party?) Yet it was David who dithered when told that by challenging Gordon Brown he could save the party from defeat at the polls while Ed’s difficult decision to reach for his brother’s crown shows a determination of purpose that should dissuade doubters.”
“While office mired the elder in allegations of Britain’s involvement in torture, it brought for Ed as climate change minister a reputation for fresh ideas and an ability to listen which he brought to his dealings with party members.”
“Ed Miliband has the passion, the clear vision, the strength and the personality to lead Labour and the country in a new direction. If the party decides Blair is right and it is not New Labour enough, it will elect David Miliband. If it recognises that the country wants something different will will elect Ed Miliband.”