David Miliband: forget our history, we’re middle class warriors now!

I was reading in The Independent that E. Miliband has been criticized by his brother for “preaching to Labour’s traditional supporters rather than reaching out to middle-class voters”. More proof if proof were needed that D. Miliband is happy to continue as Blair Mk II should he become leader.

As the brothers’ battle for the Labour leadership becomes increasingly bitter, the Shadow Climate Change Secretary will reject David Miliband’s suggestion that he would shift the party back towards Old Labour if he wins the contest.

So what is so bad about reaching out to traditional Labour supporters?  Is it because they find the working class embarrassing? Is it because Labour really has become a sort of Tory-lite and are more interested in appeasing middle class anxieties than those of the working class? Perhaps it’s too many summers spent in Tuscany and living in Islington that’s affected D. Miliband’s thinking. No wonder parties like the BNP are appealing to working class voters: Labour doesn’t care about them and nor does the Tory Party (Hon Gid made that clear with his budget).

It looks as though Miliband Junior has changed his tack because of his brother’s harsh words.

“We must have the courage to change, the confidence to know that our values, when applied to the challenges of Britain in the modern world, can reconnect with those who have turned their backs on New Labour.”

Ah, it’s all about ‘change’….anyone would think the word carried any real meaning these days. If Blair II is bad, just have a think about Ed Balls for a moment; he looks like a man possessed. Seriously, there is something wrong with the man. I wonder if he’s collegiate?

The Daily Mirror has an altogether different take. Apparently the two bothers haven’t seen each other for weeks.

Banging the desk, he all but accused David of being trapped by the right-wing press into thinking only a move to the right would see Labour back in power.

“I don’t think that will work,” he said. “I don’t think the Blair formula will work for the future. Of course we have to appeal to the middle class and the working class but if we think reheating the formulas of the 90s will get us back in power then we are completely wrong.

“Trapped by the right wing press” is very telling, since most of the country’s newspapers are in the hands of Tory-supporting proprietors and Blair II wants to follow his mentor by sucking up to them. As for Miliband the Elder, The Honorable Tobes thinks he’s great,

In his speech on Wednesday, David Miliband put clear blue water between him and the other candidates, tacitly admitting that the state grew too large under his New Labour predecessors and acknowledging the need to cut the deficit. He invoked the spirit of Rab Butler, the Conservative politician who was instrumental in persuading his party to embrace the reforms of the Attlee government, suggesting that Labour should not oppose the Coalition’s radical overhaul of public services. He even hinted that he wouldn’t try and reverse Michael Gove’s education reforms, saying he was in favour of “a diversity of schools that drives innovation and improvements”.

He’s practically wetting himself here. He continues,

That’s clinched it for me, obviously. Free Schools will only survive in the long term if they’re embraced by the Labour Party. But even if I wasn’t trying to set up a parent-sponsored Academy, this speech would still have won me round. The quality I admire most in politics is courage and it took guts for David Miliband to reject the sentimental attachment to the state that is still such a core characteristic of his party.

It’s all  me, me, me with Hon Tobes.  If Labour members vote Blair II as their leader, they can kiss their core support goodbye. In fact, I would urge core Labour voters to abandon Labour and vote for a proper left wing party. The only problem with that idea is that under the current electoral system there is no choice:  the electorate has a limited menu to choose from and none of the parties on the menu are worth voting for – especially if you happen to be working class.

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Filed under Government & politics, Labour leadership contest

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