Published on 29 Sep 2010

As Mili D quits, Mili E gets on with leading

While David Miliband was preparing his announcement that he would leave frontline politics, his brother was seeing some of those who’d like to stay in the Shadow Cabinet and introducing himself to them on the new terms: leader and led. Even very big hitters like Alan Johnson were given fairly stern reminders that loyalty was expected and required and they should be quite sure they could manage that.

Ed Miliband drew the curtains on another frontbench career today, not just his brother’s. He called in long-serving party whip Nick Brown for a chat and told him it would be better for the party if he stood aside. Nick Brown has long been a very divisive figure on the Labour benches, seen by Blairites as a Brownite viper in the nest. He had intended to run for the post of Chief Whip in the Shadow Cabinet elections and if he’d won, under the rules he helped to write, he would’ve had the job for the whole of this Parliament.

It will be noted as a credit by many on Ed Miliband’s decisiveness meter, his ruthlessness meter too. It will be seen as an attempt to break out from the battles of the past and could also help to give Ed Miliband the political space to make Ed Balls his Shadow Chancellor. Internal discussions continue on exactly who will get that critical post.

In Nick Brown’s place Ed Miliband would like, and is getting, Rosie Winterton, who had been standing in for Harriet Harman as Shadow Leader of the House and is a popular figure not seen as divisive. She is the only nomination for Chief Whip. No whiff of parliamentary democracy here … Ed M looks like he has decided who he wants and anyone thinking of challenging for the post has been firmly told to think again.

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5 reader comments

  1. Stuart says:

    David was never suited to the needs of Labour (if it wants to get elected again). Just look at his recent reaction when Ed said the Iraq War was wrong – David got angry and could not admit he had been part of a mistake (even though he could have argued it was Blair’s fault for lying, etc.). that David cannot look at the past and admit mistakes and see where he might have made errors makes him unsuited to government – put’s him in the same character group as Brown.

    1. Tom Wright says:

      Just don’t agree with this. That the Iraq war was wrong is a given. Admitting Labour was wrong to lead us into war however is a high risk strategy. Ed wants to draw a line under Iraq and move on. But our troops are still there, Labour put them there, lots of people are dead: dragging up Iraq can do nothing but damage to Labour and hands a PR victory to Nick Clegg who can remind Ed the LibDems were right all along – even on the new front bench there are plenty of people who’s voting record on the wars will be a complete embarassment.

  2. Michael says:

    The Oscar nominations are coming up soon…if David Milibands name is not on it, then want an injustice.

    One thing you can be sure about is the David Miliband will do what is best for David Miliband political, he just can’t help himself!. He’s playing the long political game, just buying his time, waiting for his brother’s leadership to start failing or waiting for serious internal splits to start, then if his brother steps down or is forced out. There will be David Miliband riding in on this white horse… preaching “don’t worry, here I come to save the day…told you! You should have picked me”. He can’t do that if he is in his bothers team because if Labour fails, then if will be seen as the Miliband’s failure not Ed Miliband’s failure.

    His totally arrogance and self belief that the leadership should have been his is quite nauseating. That the Labour party has made the wrong choice in his eyes. I am however impressed on how he keeps that all bottled up and how his face must ache from all the smiling.

  3. Tom Wright says:

    Loving the bizarre logic of this. David is not acting – he’s genuinely gutted – losing a leadership election to your little brother who twice persuaded you not to stand would have that effect whatever your motivation.

    Do I detect one of those Socialists who hated ‘New’ Labour and are ecstatic to have a proper Lefty at the helm?

  4. James says:

    Having heard Ed’s dreamy eyed story of his Ma and Pa searching for a new land to escape the Nazi’s (as toddlers), I believe Ed and Dave’s parents spent most of their life knocking successive English governments and our way of life, by promoting Marxism. Today it appears he was a 9 to 5 marxist. Marxism promotes equality and opposes capitalism, so I am amused at Milliband senior organising ownership of his mothers home in a tax friendly way, denying the state its rightful share of the proceeds of any capital gain and inheritance tax and providing his wife and sons *Dave and ED) with a scheme that would (and did) set them up financially, endowing sufficient cash to be relatively wealthy in their own right without working a single day. Hardly a marxist! So, what Ed really learnt from his father is the fact that (in England) you can spout bullshit all day under the cover of politics, regardless of what you believe or how you live your life, and earn a good living doing it!

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