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At last! Somebody does something on the record

July 30th, 2008

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    Is this the start of a bid to oust Brown and become leader??

After days of speculation based on unattributable sources there has been a move in Labour’s leadership crisis by one of the main players and favourite to replace Brown – David Miliband.

For the main story on the BBC website overnight, is a report of a feature he’s written for the Guardian setting out what can be seen as a vision on how Labour can turn itself round with some not so hidden comments about Brown’s advocacy for Labour.

In the highly charged atmosphere that has dominated UK politics since the party’s loss of Glasgow East such an initiative will only be interpreted in only one way – this is the Foreign Secretary getting ready to fight.

The whole language he uses and his approach, in the words of Patrick Wintour in the Guardian, as “can be read as an implicit criticism of the current leadership’s political style” How else could you describe this from Miliband?

To get our message across we must be more humble about our shortcomings, but more compelling about our achievements…When people hear exaggerated claims either about failure or success, then they switch off.”

This goes to the heart, surely, of Gordon Brown’s whole rhetorical style and his apparent inability to make a case for Labour in way that resonates with the public and stops the seepage of party support.

The overnight Ladbrokes price on Miliband for Labour leader was 5/2. That looks like value though the big question is how long your money would be tied up? My guess is that this might be getting closer.

Today on PB I’m off on a 24 hour trip to France and won’t be able to put up a new thread until this evening – assuming my Vodafone modem works. If this discussion gets very long, as I expect, then I’ll either publish a continuation piece from my mobile phone – or else our guest editors Morus and Double Carpet will put something up.

Mike Smithson






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