David miliband

New Labour’s children make hay in exile

Life is good in the Labour party right now – which is perhaps why it’s no surprise that a few old faces could be making a comeback. In the late nineties and early noughties, a crop of talented young New Labour advisors were dubbed ‘the golden generation’. Much like their footballing equivalents in the England team of that period, they flattered to deceive, with many leaving politics in the arid years after the 2010 election. Some lost their seats; others declined to waste their prime years in opposition under the plodding leadership of Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn. Now though, with the Starmer army 20 points ahead in the polls,

David Miliband takes in the refugee crisis… from Aspen

Oh David Miliband – never change. Labour’s prince across the water continues to surprise. Although friends of Ed Miliband’s brother have reported that David is ‘still attracted’ to Britain, as of yet the former Labour politician has not been tempted enough by Blighty to quit his £425,000 a year job as the chair of the refugee charity International Rescue. It looks like that isn’t about to change any time soon. Today Miliband has shared his working day – and it’s a ‘beautiful day to discuss refugees and political crisis of our times’. And where is the perfect spot to do this? Aspen, natch – the millionaires’ playground. It seems £425,000 a

Labour’s prince across the water – ‘distance gives perspective’

Not so long ago, Rachel Sylvester penned a column in the Times in which she revealed that friends of Miliband say he is still ‘attracted’ to Britain. Now it seems the UK is in luck! Labour’s prince across the water has made a brief return to British politics in a bid to stop a hard (any) Brexit. The former Labour politician is urging the UK to seek a ‘safe harbour’ after Brexit by staying in the European Economic Area. He warns that if Labour’s Brexit position stays as is, Corbyn risks becoming the ‘midwife of hard Brexit’. So is this a fleeting visit or will Miliband be tempted to give

Euan Blair to the rescue?

This week Tony Blair managed to say something surprising. In a rare sighting of modesty, the former prime minister said that he was not the man to lead a new centre party. But could another Blair be the man for the job? Mr S only asks after the Guardian reported that the new centre party in the works – linked to LoveFilm’s Simon Franks and £50m of potential funding – has links to Blair’s son Euan: ‘One person who was approached to join the fledgling organisation was told Euan Blair was on its board, and his father, the former Labour prime minister, had been helpful in recommending potential donors. Other

David Miliband to the rescue

There are some things in life that are inevitable: the sun rising in the east, the bus always being late and Labour centrists suggesting David Miliband is the saviour of British politics. Today Rachel Sylvester has delivered on the latter. Writing in the Times, Sylvester suggests that the answer to the lack of centre in British politics at the moment is… the Miliband rejected in the 2010 leadership contest. The former Labour MP – who is now stationed in New York – would supposedly be just right to lead a ‘socially and economically liberal’ party: ‘Imagine if David Miliband announced that he was returning to Britain to set up a new

Letters | 6 April 2017

All-round education Sir: While much of Ross Clark’s analysis of the direction that independent education has taken is spot on (‘A hard lesson is coming’, 1 April), he could not be more wrong on one issue. Many (or even most) parents who choose a private education for their children do not do so simply to achieve top academic outcomes: one look at the results league tables would disabuse him of this notion. What the average independent school does deliver is a rounded education (drama, sport, singing, D of E, CCF, debating and so on) with an emphasis on self-reliance, character and values, and competitive reward systems which acknowledge success rather

Letters | 30 March 2017

No blanket solution Sir: Paul Collier is right to say that the refugee crisis will not be solved with tents and food alone (‘The camps don’t work’, 25 March). But context is everything, and aid remains vital. In middle-income countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, getting refugees into jobs is essential. Businesses are part of the jigsaw. So is government legislation to ensure, for example, that refugees get work permits or can register as self-employed. So too are labour market interventions that generate incentives to get refugees working. However, in fragile and impoverished states that lack functioning markets and governments, different forms of aid are required. Collier rightly highlights the principles

Theresa May’s racing certainty

There are few things more predictable than people talking about the unpredictability of politics. We live in an age, we are told incessantly, in which anything can happen politically — and regularly does. Yet there is one exception. Westminster is already sure about the result of the next general election: a majority for Theresa May. One long-serving Tory MP tells me the party has never been more certain of victory in his lifetime. The Tories, with their 15-point poll lead, do look far better placed today than they did, say, 18 months before either of the Thatcher landslides, in 1983 and 1987. It isn’t just the Tory tribe who are

Who should we support in Syria’s brutal civil war?

Today, Syrian rebels in Idlib shot down a Russian helicopter; five Russians were killed and footage from the site shows people dragging away at least one body, and not, I fancy, for Christian burial. The Russian defence ministry says that the crew had been engaged in humanitarian air drops in Aleppo, though I suppose there’s no way of knowing. So…what are we to make of this gain for the rebels, the loss for the Russians and, by extension, the Assad forces? Who are we cheering, who booing? Judging from the coverage right now of the siege of Aleppo by Assad forces, the Russians are in the villains’ corner. John Humphrys’

Watch: Ed Miliband mistaken for his brother David twice on Question Time

Poor Ed Miliband. Since his defeat in the General Election, the former Labour leader has seen his influence fade — dropping to number 40 in this year’s Doncaster Power list. Now it seems some are struggling to even remember his name. On last night’s Question Time, Red Ed was mistaken for his brother David Miliband twice by his fellow panel member Dreda Say Mitchell. The Brexit-backing novelist mistook him for Labour’s prince across the water while discussing the EU: DM: Are we saying David, as a country we are the fifth largest economy EM: It’s Ed, actually DM: Sorry, Ed Alas Mitchell failed to learn her lesson and went on to refer to him as

Labour’s ‘prince across the water’ hints at a return to Blighty

During Ed Miliband’s time as Labour leader, he was subject to opposition from MPs in his own party as those in other parties. In fact, Miliband couldn’t even rely on his own family for unconditional support, with his brother David — who had lost out to Ed in the Labour leadership election — seldom praising his performance. Still, at least Ed can take heart that he’s not the only Labour leader that his brother has little positive to say about. In an interview with ES Magazine, the former Foreign Secretary — who quit UK politics to head up International Rescue in New York — is scant on praise for Jeremy Corbyn: ‘He’s won his majority and the

America Notebook

I am writing on the morning that President Obama is to deliver his last State of the Union address. You, reader, therefore know what he has said. I can only guess. ‘We have come so far… yet there remains so much to do.’ Did I get it right? Yet ‘much to do’ only mildly describes the staggering array of crises that President Obama will bequeath his successor. Abroad: a crisis in the Chinese economy that is plunging into depression commodity exporters from Brazil to Brunei… a third war in Iraq, this time fought in undeclared association with Russia and Iran… a wave of refugees into Europe that threatens to smash apart

Could Jeremy Corbyn be removed as Labour leader?

If Jeremy Corbyn is elected as Labour leader, how long would he last? Blairities, such as John McTernan, have promoted the idea of an instacoup — taking him out as soon as possible. Or the party might decide further down the line they’ve had enough. In either scenario, there is a formal procedure for removing a leader. Under the 2014 Labour rule book (produced after the Collins review), clause two of chapter four explains how a leader can be challenged: ‘Where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by potential challengers each year prior to the annual session of Party conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the Commons members of

John McTernan: if Corbyn wins the Labour leadership, he should be deposed immediately

John McTernan is a Blairite who is not afraid to speak his mind. On this week’s View from 22 podcast, the former Labour special advisor discusses the state of Labour’s leadership contest with Isabel and me. He believes the right of the party is struggling as it failed to put forward a suitably experienced candidate ‘because David Miliband left the Commons in the last Parliament’: ‘If David had stayed and served in Ed’s shadow cabinet, David would have been the candidate wouldn’t he? There wouldn’t have really been a contest and I think the vagaries of people’s personal career choices has a big impact on where we are.’ McTernan describes the nomination of

Coffee Shots: David Miliband bids Britain farewell

Last week David Miliband flew all the way from America to Britain to celebrate his birthday. However, the former New Labour sweetheart made sure not to invite his brother Ed Miliband to the celebrations that just happened to be being held close to where his sibling resided. With the party over and his brotherly snub widely noted by the media, it’s time for David to bid Britain farewell. A snapper has spied Miliband sitting comfortably on a plane out of the country. That seat doesn’t look like economy to Mr S.

Labour’s response to #ToriesForCorbyn shows they really have lost the plot

There’s a lot to admire about Jeremy Corbyn. For one, you can’t fault his conviction. While his entire party falls over itself to adopt as many Tory policies as possible, Corbyn remains a stalwart voice of the left. The ideological antithesis of Kendall and the Blairites, Corbyn appears to want to finish the job that Ed Miliband started: bringing Labour back to the left. It’s no wonder, then, that Toby Young and a cadre of other Conservatives want to see Corbyn win. After all, Miliband led Labour to its worst defeat since 1983; he achieved the seemingly insurmountable by appealing to the electorate less than Gordon Brown. To witness that

The missing candidates in the Labour leadership contest

This Labour leadership contest is almost as notable for who isn’t standing as for who is. First, there is the former paratrooper turned MP Dan Jarvis who declined to stand despite many on the Labour side’s belief that he is the answer to the party’s problems. Then, there is Chuka Umunna who initially did enter the race but then pulled out almost immediately, depriving the contest of the one current Labour politician with undoubted star power. But, perhaps, even more telling by their absence are those Labour figures who aren’t even in parliament now. The most discussed of these is David Miliband, who quit the Commons after losing to his

Lesley Garrett: Labour chose the wrong Miliband brother

As a Doncaster resident, Lesley Garrett is well acquainted with her local MP Ed Miliband. However, the soprano was left disappointed by Labour’s effort in the general election. In an interview ahead of her performance in Garsington Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, Garrett — who is a loyal Labour supporter — blamed their election defeat in part on the party choosing the wrong Miliband brother to lead the party: ‘Yes. I think most people do. I think his brother had more experience, and a more authoritative voice. I think Ed was very good at what he did, and I think the two of them together would have been unstoppable. My big sorrow is that they

The Canadian Ed Miliband

I’ve been reading Fire and Ashes, Michael Ignatieff’s account of his disastrous foray into politics, in an attempt to understand where it all went wrong for Ed Miliband. In combination with the election postmortems and interviews with the people in Miliband’s inner circle, it’s extremely illuminating. For those unfamiliar with his story, Ignatieff is a left-wing Harvard professor who in 2004 received a surprise visit by three ‘men in black’ — high-ups in the Liberal party of Canada who sounded him out about making a run for the leadership. Beyond working on Pierre Trudeau’s campaign as a student in 1968, Ignatieff was a political virgin, but the three fixers thought

John Prescott: David Miliband should ‘shut up’

David Miliband is falling rapidly out of favour with his former colleagues, thanks to his constant critique of Labour. John Prescott spoke for many in the party on the Daily Politics today, where he described Miliband’s interjections on Labour’s future as ‘terrible’: ‘He should shut up. We’ve gone through that period. The Miliband period is now gone. We’re not looking to a period where he now emerges now as another Miliband interpretation; I don’t think that’s possible. ‘He did shut up during the elections though there was enough hints to say that he wasn’t happy. I’m not happy! He’s now become a Blairite, but when he was with me he didn’t want