James Forsyth

Miliband D tries to break out of the Blairite box

Miliband D tries to break out of the Blairite box
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With ballot papers out, the Labour leadership contest is entering its most critical phase. It is striking that David Miliband has taken this moment to co-author an essay with his most significant left-wing supporter, Jon Cruddas. Indeed, a casual observer looking at the piece would assume that the two men were running on a joint ticket.

The language in the article is very Cruddas, it talks of a ‘new covenant’ (one of Cruddas’ favourite phrases) with Britain. The intellectual heart of the piece is an attempt to break away from the left right arguments within the party by proclaiming that Labour in government was “too hands-off with the market and too hands-on with the state.” It is also blunt about the task facing Labour, the two men state that the party’s ‘relationship with the British people has been ruptured’.

There is a feeling in Labour circles that Ed Miliband has closed the gap on his brother in the past fortnight. He has been stacking up endorsements on the left—Compass, Tribune, The New Statesman—and his media strategy is proving very effective. David’s decision to pen a piece with Cruddas at this moment suggests that his campaign believes he needs to shift the dynamic.