Tag Archives: david miliband

David Miliband backs referendum on the deal and argues for social and political benefits of EU – how we can build on the growing anti Brexit consensus

It’s one of the great what -ifs of our time. Would we still be in the same mess if David Miliband had won the Labour leadership in 2010? We’ll never know and there are arguments on both sides. His Blairist approach might have propelled a bigger drift of Labour supporters to populist UKIP but he might also have had a big enough impact on the arguments to shift us away from Brexit or even having a referendum on the EU in the first place. Of course, his leadership might well have stopped Cameron from getting a majority at all in 2015 and we would certainly not have been in this mess.

Today, Miliband makes a new intervention in the Brexit debate with an article in the Observer in which he becomes the latest big name to back calls for a referendum on the deal.

The case against the EU depends on avoiding a discussion of the alternative. It is the equivalent of voting to repeal Obamacare without knowing the replacement. It is a stitch-up. That is one reason it is essential that parliament or the public are given the chance to have a straight vote between EU membership and the negotiated alternative. That is a democratic demand, not just a prudent one.

People say we must respect the referendum. We should. But democracy did not end on 23 June 2016. The referendum will be no excuse if the country is driven off a cliff. MPs are there to exercise judgment. Delegating to Theresa May and David Davis, never mind Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, the settlement of a workable alternative to EU membership is a delusion, not just an abdication.

Brexit is an unparalleled act of economic self-harm. But it was a big mistake to reduce the referendum to this question. The EU represents a vision of society and politics, not just economics. We need to fight on this ground too.

The Europe of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel stands for pluralism, minority rights, the rule of law, international co-operation – and not just a single market. In fact, the real truth about the single market has been lost in translation.

He goes on to make the very valid point that the EU’s institutions protect our rights as individuals and as workers against exploitation from large commercial organisations and governments. As he puts it, the EU has actually done more to shield us from the effects of globalisation than to harm us:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

Brexit as political arson by David Miliband

It isn’t the done thing here to link to opinion pieces in the newspapers by Labour politicians. So much that I’m not even sure what category to use. We have LibLink for links to articles by Liberal Democrats, and we have the slightly oddly named “Independent View” for articles by non-members.

But sometimes, hang the taxonomy, this is important enough to link to anyway.

David Miliband steps away from arguments over the costs of membership and Brexit, of whether we could get back the agreements on trade, policing, etc, that Brexit would tear up, the implications, if any, on immigration. Instead he looks at the bigger picture.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

So. Farewell then, David Miliband

So.david miliband
Farewell then
David Miliband.

You did not
Win the
Labour leadership.

Though you got more votes
Than Brother Ed

The trade unions
Did not
like you.

They liked
him instead.

That was
your tragedy.
And it will be
His.

EJ Thribb

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 36 Comments

Lord Tyler writes: Don’t listen to the doomsayers

Since the publication of the Government’s White Paper and Draft Bill on House of Lords reform, the old guard have lined up to cavil about its detail, to deride its democratic principles and to defend – in the last ditch – the status quo.

This has augmented the popular media’s predisposition towards arch cynicism and trenchant pessimism. Yet there is firm evidence to contradict their lazy assumptions. Just because Labour engaged in over a decade of dither and delay does not mean that a determined government, with the resolve of the House of Commons behind it, cannot succeed.

The …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: Why Labour members should defect to the Liberal Democrats

If you’re Labour, and want to be an MP in a safe seat, switching to the Lib Dems would be a bad move. Perhaps you like authoritarian policies on law and order, and prefer to avoid difficult decisions on the deficit. If so, the Lib Dems isn’t the party for you.

But maybe you think politics isn’t black and white, that there is good and bad in all the parties, and so working together is a good thing. Perhaps you think that the government should do what will work on law and order, rather than pander to the tabloid press, and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 74 Comments

Opinion: return to your trattoria and prepare for tagliatelle

Well, it’s been quite a week. We know Clegg called Ed Miliband to congratulate him on his victory at the weekend. Quite right too. Ed then strolled around telling everyone how he and David Miliband were, to quote Mark Knopfler, “Brothers in arms”.

Ed then unveiled his road to Damascus moment – on civil liberties, Iraq, banks, AV and justice reform. Spot on, Ed. His keynote speech said cuts were bad in general, but some were needed. But not which ones.

Or when. He implied he now thought the Lib Dems not quite as bad as when he campaigned for …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

What would you do if you were David Miliband?

Let’s leave to one side, at least for the purposes of this post, David Miliband’s record as foreign secretary in the last Labour government. It would take a heart of stone not to feel sympathy for him over the events of the last week.

To lose the Labour leadership for which he fought long and hard is a tough thing. To lose it by a wafer-thin majority having won over, pretty convincingly, majorities of the party’s membership and his parliamentary colleagues is a tough thing. To lose it to his younger brother is a tough thing. To lose it and know …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 17 Comments
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