David Prescott reports from David Miliband’s big speech

It was like seeing a former girlfriend you’d taken for granted and finally parted from. Only to realise that you loved her after all.

Problem was, she’d moved on.

I predicted the other day that David could read the Manchester Yellow Pages and bring the house down.

But boy did he do his homework, and the media missed out on the big message.

It was the best conference speech since Blair’s inaugural address in 1994.

I remember delegates clapping estatically in Blackpool without realising that little constitional change that had to be explained to hacks by Peter and Alastair’s little helpers – a new Clause 4.

And who was the reseacher who beavered away on countless drafts to define New Labour’s new creed? David Wright Miliband.

Here it is:

“The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”

16 years on David took to the stage to the same rapturous applause that greeted TB.

Only this time it was to mark what could be the end of a brilliant political career rather than the start of one.

So while the media reported the lines about unity and the “will he won’t he” run for shadow cabinet, I thought his peroration sent a loud and clear message.

“Our fourth leader, John Robert Clynes, he said something very, very important. He said we come into Parliament not to practise the class war, but to end it.

“To end the abuse of power in the workplace, to end the inequalities of health and education, to end the waste of worklessness and the cruelty of crime. He said he came into parliament to put into practice what it says on our membership cards: power, wealth and opportunity in the hands of the many and not the few.

“Those are inspiring words. Those are words that, if put into practice, would transform this country. Those are vital words that we remember, with one big difference from the days of John Robert Clynes.

“In today’s global village, if we want power, wealth and opportunity in the hands of the many and not the few in Britain, we have to be a party that stands for power, wealth and opportunity all around the world.”

How apt that the man who helped craft the new Clause Four should cite it in what may be his swansong as the only way forward for the party.

No pressure Ed!

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One Response to “David Prescott reports from David Miliband’s big speech”

  1. And what will he do next? Will it be the EU? Or the US? Or will he still be the next leader?

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