James Forsyth

Is Miliband the elder up to the job afterall?

Is Miliband the elder up to the job afterall?
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If there was an award for most improved conference speaker it would go to David Miliband. Last year his lacklustre effort helped put an end to his putative leadership challenge. This year he showed delegates why he might be up to the job of being Labour leader after the next election. He has dropped his voice making him sound more serious and cut out the gurning. His comments about military force which sounded so absurd last year carried more weight this time round. However, he’s far from presentationally perfect. He still managed to get ahead of his autocue and hit the microphone with his hand when trying to emphasise a point. But in the leadership stakes the bar was doing better than Ed Balls did yesterday and Miliband sailed over it.

A couple of other thing struck me as notable from the speech. He spoke about his children, something that he doesn’t normally do. He told the Labour party that it was “our fault” that the Tories were ahead in the polls. But there was far more stuff attacking the Tories in his speech than laying out any kind of Miliband message.