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Ed Miliband needs David Miliband if he’s to make proper headway

30 July 2011

1:08 PM

30 July 2011

1:08 PM

Are the seeping knife wounds healing at last? This morning’s Guardian reveals that Ed
Miliband has offered his older brother a role as Labour’s "unofficial ambassador on
university and college campuses", and that David Miliband has accepted. Although party sources tell the paper that "this should not be seen as a sign that [MiliD] is being lined up for an
early shadow cabinet return," it surely is a sign that the two brothers are repairing their damaged relationship. From barely speaking to each other to mutually preaching the Labour gospel to
a bunch of students. It’s progress.  

Putting aside the fraternal aspects of the story, it is also an encouraging political development for Ed Miliband. CoffeeHousers may baulk at the idea that any party needs more David Miliband in
it, but that is precisely what MiliE’s Labour needs right now. The longer the elder brother remained in the shadows of the backbenches, the more cause for his supporters’ frustrations to fester and
spread. If instead he completes the journey back to the Labour frontbenches, then it might calm those who are concerned at the influence wielded by former Brownites at the top of the party. A
persistent and potentially destructive friction might have been eased.
 
Besides, there’s the fact I’ve mentioned before: that David Miliband
appears to be one of the few prominent Labour politicians with genuine policy ideas. You can agree with those ideas or no’, as you see fit. But in everything from his response to the Big Society to his thinking on the deficit, the former Foreign Secretary has something to
offer other than empty space. And who knows? Some of those ideas might now filter across into Ed’s copybook.


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