David miliband

David Miliband is the gift that keeps on giving for the Tories

David Miliband just can’t leave his brother’s election defeat alone. After several brutally honest post-election interviews, Miliband Sr. popped up again on CNN last night to offer his harshest analysis yet on his brother’s leadership. Under Ed, David said, Labour actually went backwards: ‘What I think is important for all the candidates [to replace Ed Miliband] is to reflect on the very clear lessons of two devastating electoral defeats for the Labour party in the last five years, which have come for a very clear reason. ‘And the reason is that the public have concluded that instead of building on the strengths and remedying the weaknesses of the Blair years, the

David Miliband doesn’t rule out running in future Labour leadership contest

Is David Miliband Labour’s prince across the water? The elder Miliband brother appears to be watching the leadership contest closely avidly from afar, without backing any particular candidate. Speaking to his friend Fareed Zakaria on CNN this weekend, he was keen to stress that he has no plans to return to British politics in the immediate future: ‘We don’t have a presidential system as you know well and I am leading the International Rescue Committee in New York. Already three candidates have declared in the UK and it’s obviously vital that Labour is able to provide the kind of modern progressive alternative that is essential in democratic politics. As in

Podcast special: the Cabinet reshuffle, David Miliband’s interview and Farage returns

In this View from 22 podcast special, James Forsyth, Isabel Hardman and I discuss the final appointments in David Cameron’s new Cabinet and what they show about Cameron’s approach to party management. We also discuss David Miliband’s brutal interview about his brother’s term as Labour leader and why Nigel Farage has decided to hang on as leader of Ukip. You can subscribe to the View from 22 through iTunes and have it delivered to your computer or iPhone every week, or you can use the player below:

Isabel Hardman

Will Ed and David’s relationship put off potential Labour leaders?

David Miliband has just given a brutal interview to BBC News in which he took a few more words to say ‘I told you so’ about the way his brother led the Labour party. Some of the worst lines were about their relationship, with David saying of Ed that ‘we remain in touch’, as someone might talk of a former colleague who they occasionally email, and that the two ‘remain brothers for life and that’s something that has to be kept’. It’s one step away from saying ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’. Politics aside, there is something horrible about watching the often beautiful relationship

Jenni Russell comes to Ed’s defence. Will she mention the second functional brother?

After Jenni Russell kicked off the ‘Two kitchen’ Miliband drama when she tweeted about his kitchenette, Mr S would have thought she might be keeping her mouth firmly closed when it came to the Labour leader. Ed Miliband’s kitchen is lovely. Daily Mail pix: the functional kitchenette by sitting room for tea and quick snacks. — Jenni Russell (@jennirsl) March 12, 2015 So Steerpike was surprised to see that the Times columnist is due to go on Sky news to defend Ed: About to go on @SkyNewsPolitics to criticise Fallon’s disgraceful and untrue attack on Miliband — Jenni Russell (@jennirsl) April 9, 2015 While this is presumably a gesture of goodwill,

Ed Miliband’s brother bother is back

Miliband finally got some good media coverage this weekend. Alas, it was David rather than Ed who was on the receiving end. The Labour leader’s brother was branded ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in a glowing profile in the Sunday Times. According to well sourced ‘friends’, the former Foreign Secretary turned Labour leadership loser has conquered America and is ready to ride back as a white knight. ‘David wants Ed to be prime minister. End of story’, says a spokesman. Yet reading between the lines, things are obviously still a little bit tense. On Budget Day, David failed to mention his sibling once despite tweeting all the way through his brother’s scatty response to Osborne’s budget.

David Miliband: I might be back

David Miliband has refused to rule out a return to British politics in an interview with Vogue. Ed’s departed brother has not had much of an impact in New York, and is coy about his future: ‘I don’t know, is the answer.’ Intriguingly he also refuses to praise his brother’s performance as Labour leader: ‘I can’t say anything, because anything I say plays into the whole narrative. And I made an absolute commitment to myself not to play into the story … It’s not good for him and it’s not good for me for this to become a story.’ That would be true if David said something negative. Mr S

Farewell to Afghanistan (for now)

Britain has ended combat operations in Afghanistan. The war did topple the Taleban, but it hasn’t got rid of them. It has improved some things in Afghanistan – better roads, better education, better newspapers – but the country is still corrupt, bankrupt and dangerous. When Britain and America decided to go into Afghanistan in 2001, The Spectator ran an editorial entitled Why We Must Win. This is not a war against Islam, but against terrorists who espouse a virulent strain of that religion, a fundamentalism that most moderate Arabs themselves regard as a menace. This is not even a war against Afghanistan, but an attempt to topple a vile regime.

Cameron must reunite the Tories or lose the next election

[audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_25_Sept_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Freddy Gray, Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth on Cameron’s radicalism” startat=70] Listen [/audioplayer]No one goes to Birmingham to revive a marriage. But that is what David Cameron and the Conservative party must do next week at conference. They must find a way to put the passion back into their relationship, to learn to trust each other again ahead of the general election. For neither can win without the other next May. That election is there to be won. The Labour gathering in Manchester this week was not one of a party convinced that it is going to surge to victory in a few months. The atmosphere was subdued,

You can’t spin yourself into authenticity – as Ed Miliband is finding out

For a politician to draw attention to his own deficiencies is a desperate attempt to curry favour with the electorate that has been tried before with dismal consequences. The most famous case is that of the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith who, at his 2002 party conference, addressed the problem of his dullness as a political performer by saying that no one should ‘underestimate the determination of a quiet man’. One result was that Labour backbenchers would raise a finger to their lips and say ‘shush’ whenever this croaky-voiced man was speaking in the House of Commons. He tried to sound tougher at the next year’s Conservative conference by

Jeremy Clarke: Why has Ed Miliband hidden his comic genius from the world?

Theresa May must have been a little disappointed. Her government limousine rolled silently to a halt at the rear entrance to the Savoy hotel, she got out, and the only people around to witness her latest fashion statement were a top-hatted doorman and your Low life correspondent having a fag. She was again wearing what the Daily Mail describes as her ‘zany, patterned’ coat. I confided to the doorman how upset I was that she wasn’t wearing those shiny, over-the-knee S&M boots. Something about the doorman suggested a vast and perhaps dangerous hinterland that only a top hat and Regency-style coat could keep from spilling out into everyday life. He

5 lessons for David Miliband to learn in New York

I have the impression that David Miliband’s valedictory essay in the latest issue of the New Statesman contains some really corking ideas; but I can’t see them through the words. David Miliband’s tragedy is not that he lost to his brother. It’s that he can’t express himself in plain English. He has five things to work on in New York: 1). Stop using conspicuously odd vocabulary: ‘Presidential elections are different from parliamentary systems, but there is read-across nonetheless.’ ‘Read-across’…? The only thing to be said for that word is that it distracts from the platitude at the beginning of the sentence: ‘Presidential elections are different from parliamentary systems’. Well blow me. 2). Resist the urge to

David Miliband’s Marr interview reminds Labour that they chose the right brother

Andrew Marr was back on the Marr show this morning, doing a great public service by reminding Britain why we’re not missing David Miliband. The ex-Blair adviser formerly nicknamed ‘Brains’ is off to join International Rescue next week – and even Marr couldn’t resist a Thunderbirds reference. Miliband wasn’t amused. He’d come to give a message: I’m not ruling out a comeback. But after watching his performance, I rather doubt that Labour members will be begging him to attempt one. listen to ‘David Miliband on the Andrew Marr show, 14 July 2013’ on Audioboo

At home with the Balls family

Do you recall The Politician’s Wife by Paula Milne? It was a TV drama that aired in the dying days of the Major government. Milne recognised that Major’s government was more Basic Instinct than ‘Back to Basics’, emphasising the toxicity, hypocrisy and general sordidness of the era. It was tremendous stuff. So praise the Lord: Milne is back with a sequel. The Politician’s Husband gets underway this week on BBC2. The subject has set tongues wagging. Of whom was Milne thinking when setting her drama in the court of a grumpy and doomed prime minister, with leadership rumours swirling and one family destroyed by lust for power? ‘I would be disingenuous if said that

David Miliband has proved he was the wrong man for Labour and Britain

David Miliband’s decision to give up on British politics and take up the post of chief executive of the International Rescue Committee is an intriguing one. The former Foreign Secretary and once future Prime Minister said he was hoping to put a definitive end to the soap opera surrounding his rivalry with his more successful and ruthless younger brother. As his friend Philip Collins wrote in his Times column this week (£), the older Miliband has made a series of poor decisions. He chose not to stand against Gordon Brown in 2007, and he chose not to resign when James Purnell stood down from Gordon Brown’s Cabinet in June 2009.

The View from 22 — the pickpocket state and Trenton Oldfield vs Douglas Murray

Did the protestor at last year’s the Oxford and Cambridge boat race last year achieve anything? In this week’s Spectator, Trenton Oldfield files a prison notebook describing his experience before, during and after the stunt. He considers his protest a success, raising the profile of elitism and inequality concerns. Douglas Murray thinks otherwise. They go head-to-head in spectacular fashion on this week’s View from 22 podcast, debating whether the politics of protest are changing, the scale of poverty and elitism in Britain and whether the country is on the cusp of a huge shift towards ‘direct democracy’ (14:40) Fraser Nelson is joined by Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute

David Miliband resignation: political and press reaction

Here is a selection of what various Labour big wigs, political commentators and media figures have made of Miliband’s decision and his parliamentary career. And we’re interested to hear your thoughts on Miliband’s career and departure. Please leave a comment in the box below. Ed Miliband: Having spoken to him a lot over the past few months, I know how long and hard he thought about this before deciding to take up the offer. I also know how enthusiastic he is about the potential this job provides… As for us, we went through a difficult leadership contest but time has helped to heal that. I will miss him. But although

David Miliband’s careful resignation letter reveals some of his frustration

David Miliband has confirmed that he is resigning as an MP to become President and Chief Executive of the International Rescue Committee in New York. A copy of his resignation letter can be read here. Those expecting a Geoffrey Howe-style confession will be disappointed; Miliband is restrained, except when describing his enthusiasm for his new job and his pride in having served South Shields, the Labour Party and the country. He does, however, say that he is leaving politics to give ‘full vent to my ideas and ideals’, which reveals a degree of frustration hitherto only assumed to exist. He believes that a Labour victory in 2015 is ‘achievable’. This

David Miliband quitting UK politics

David Miliband is quitting the House of Commons to go and work for the International Rescue Committee in the United States, the Daily Mirror has revealed this evening. Friends of both Miliband brothers have long thought that David, who expected to win the Labour leadership contest in 2010, was not really prepared to serve under Ed. David’s departure confirms that. I also suspect, as John Rentoul points out, that David had realised that he was never going to be Labour leader. Ed Miliband’s position is so secure that it is pretty much a certainty that he’ll lead Labour into the election. It was also always highly unlikely that Labour would

David Miliband is out of exile: but what happens next?

Reports of his return to frontline politics certainly seem to have woken up David Miliband. He has given a very energetic speech in the Commons this afternoon in the Welfare Uprating Bill: so energetic, in fact, that he managed to steal poor Sarah Teather’s rebellious thunder, speaking directly after the former Lib Dem minister. Shortly afterwards, he was spotted at the top of the Portcullis House escalators shaking the hand of admiring Labour MPs who passed by. As Dan Hodges points out on his blog, the Blairite MP was perfectly happy to attack the Welfare Uprating Bill from the Left, calling it ‘rancid’, and arguing that it undermined the Tories’