The case for David Miliband, by Alex Norris

Our crisis is clear to see: a Conservative and Liberal Democrat government stripping people of the best that a state can deliver for them – from the future jobs fund to free swimming for under-16s and the over-60s.

But our opportunity is just as clear: we have a chance while in opposition to reassert our credentials as both the party of the progressives in this country and the future party of government. These dual goals must be our only priorities. There is no point in being progressives without governing, and no point governing without being progressive. All five candidates address these two points to varying degrees, but only one is sufficiently able to do both: David Miliband.

David has outlined the big ideas that we will need to seize the progressive mantle and to reset ourselves for government. Our own movement needs reinvigorating, that is why I welcome David’s bold pledge to double our party membership. More importantly he has set a road map for how this can be achieved. It will be achieved by refreshing the connections the leadership has with all branches of our movement – some of which have been neglected over the last few years, such as the trades unions, Labour in local government and our powerhouses of Scotland and Wales.

Similarly, by promising to create an elected party chair he is making a rod for his own back in leadership, but also creating a much more inclusive party structure. The message is clear: involve more people and more people will get involved.

His agenda for the country is just as bold. We all know David’s credentials on education. There is no one better placed to end the scandal of the persistent gap in educational attainment based on social background.

We also know David’s credentials as Secretary of State for the Environment, that is why I am so encouraged by the emphasis that he puts not just on tackling climate change but on harnessing new green industries as a source of jobs. If we are to have a rebirth of manufacturing, which I think we need, then it will be in the green technologies of the future that this will happen.

This is not just a prospectus for a progressive party, but also a prospectus for government. David’s plans meet the needs of modern Britain – jobs, equality, education, strong communities – in a way that is not only sympathetic to our party’s values but is palatable and agreeable to the people of Britain. That was always the great strength of New Labour – making big ideological leaps forward in a way that brought people along with it.  And with David Miliband at the helm that will be a strength for the next Labour government too.

I believe that the best way to presage someone’s conduct in office is to look at how they how campaign for that office. If a candidate runs a bold, creative campaign then that’s a pretty good indicator of bold, creative future leadership. Conversely, a campaign that is obsessed with process will no doubt lead to a similar style of government. Take David Cameron and his Conservatives as examples of this. David Miliband and his campaign are offering big ideas for our party and for our country, they are offering a new model for inclusion in our party and a new vision for Britain.

That’s why I will be voting for David Miliband to lead Labour.

You can follow Alex Norris on Twitter

Tags: , ,

3 Responses to “The case for David Miliband, by Alex Norris”

  1. KeithNieland says:

    In addition David has integrity. He is not trying to distance himself from the last Government’s policies or rewrite history. He knows what went right and what went wrong in recent years and is trying to build a new way forward. He does not brag about voting against the Government – hardly the path to buidling alliances and expecting loyalty from others. From his performances so far he appears the best candidate to bring the broad church of our movement together. He also understands the difference between ideas that work, win support and votes and those which are just wishful thinking, without a wide base of support and just win votes for the Tories. Of all the candidates which one would I wish to see stand up at QT, shaking hands with Obama, building alliances with our European partners and bridges with Russia and China? David Miliband – he has experience and sudstance. And Hilary Clinton likes him!

  2. AmberStar says:

    David lost me when he was on Newsnight. In some areas the state got too big, he said. A swimmingpool wouldn’t let somebody with 3 kids in because they have a rule that says there must be 1 adult for every 2 kids.

    When did the Labour government impose that rule? I mean really, what was David on about? 😎

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amanda Ramsay, Tom Stanley, Labour Uncut, Alexander Norris, Labour Uncut and others. Labour Uncut said: GRASSROOTS: Alex Norris makes a case for David Miliband […]

Leave a Reply