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David Miliband hurtles back into orbit

8 March 2011

3:21 PM

8 March 2011

3:21 PM

Ah, there it is, in the final sentence of the fourth paragraph: a flattering reference
to Ed Miliband. Phew. Good job David Miliband squeezed his brother’s name into his article on Labour’s future
(£)
for the Times today, otherwise it might have been July 2008 all over again. As it is, MiliD’s
third newspaper article in as many days is enough to suggest that he’s keen to remain a prominent
figure, if not yet an actual rival for his brother’s crown.

In some respects, though, the recommendations made by MiliD are a challenge to his brother’s Way of Doing Things. His suggestion that the left be "an ally of wealth creation," for
instance, reads something like: "enough with the banker bashing, already." But there are also signs that the brothers’ orbits are not too unaligned, after all. Both of them have now urged
Labour to seize the Big Society as its own (or, as MiliD writes, "We shouldn’t be afraid of the Big Society; we should claim
it for our own and show how we can build it better"). Both of them have spoken sceptically about New Labour’s adventures in the
welfare state.

The left’s shift towards the Big Society – as chronicled by Martin Bright of this parish
– is particularly striking, perhaps even ironic. Apart from people such as Jon Cruddas and, yes, David Miliband, few Labour figures took it seriously until recently. Now, in broad terms, the
idea is achieving some sort of consensus status. Seems that if both Milibands get their way, this agenda will not utterly disappear should Labour win the next election.


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