The Guardian is reporting that Tony Blair will throw his weight behind one of the candidates for the leader leadership – and it is most likely to be David Miliband. From the Guardian:
The former prime minister was reported today to have remarked that Ed Miliband, who is making a pitch for traditional Labour voters, would be a “disaster”…..
….the former prime minister, who is recording an interview with Andrew Marr to be aired on BBC2 on Wednesday night to coincide with publication of his memoirs, knows he will face questions about the Miliband brothers, who are the frontrunners for the Labour leadership.
Apparently, Blair was no fan of David while he was a member of his government but has since changed his tune as the elder of the Miliband brothers has cast himself as the ‘New’ Labour candidate (as opposed to his more leftish brother).There is a theme running in the contest that Labour must remain in the centre to have a chance of defeating the Tory/Lib Dem coalition. I recently picked up the ghastly Peter Mandelson’s auto biography, a Blairite to the core and an ardent believer that swinging to the Left will ruin the party, and I expect Blair to repeat the same in his upcoming interview.
Given New Labour followed a very conservative agenda while in power, I find it difficult to believe that backing the most Right wing candidate is the way to go. New Labour destroyed itself because it mixed the overbearing statist social policies the country had grown tired of in the 1970’s with the worst elements of conservative economic policy that had created massive wealth inequality and unstable financial markets. Labour must rethink its platform on civil liberties and central planning, but most importantly, it must move far away from the radical neoliberalism that the Tory/Lib Dem coalition has embraced, even in the face of its colossal failure. The new government got in because Labour messed up, not because there was great hunger for conservative rule. After a couple of years of David Cameron’s ‘shock therapy’, there will be huge hunger for a saner economic model. And if David Miliband is leader, there won’t be much to choose from.
Labour must provide a real alternative to the extremist Tory Party and the now completely pointless Liberals who have given up everything they stood for now they are in power. David Cameron is a poor man’s Tony Blair, and David Miliband looks increasingly like a poor man’s David Cameron. Ed Miliband has sought to distance himself from the man who led Britain into two illegal wars and helped ruin the economy, and he should be given huge credit for this. The younger Miliband wants to put social and economic justice at the forefront of the Labour Party plaform, and he wants to provide a real alternative to the Right Wing coalition currently in power. The notion that Ed Miliband would be a ‘disaster’ is pretty laughable given the source.
This much we can be sure of: Whoever Tony Blair backs to be Labour leader will end up consigning the party to many more years in the political wilderness. Why? Because Blair was the man who led them there in the first place.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.