Brother David enters the fray: Labour needs a cultural change
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 26 September 2011
Labour must undergo a cultural change to ensure that Ed Miliband becomes prime minister, his brother David Miliband said last night.
The former Foreign Secretary told a fringe meeting at the conference: "We need to understand the changes in our country, broaden our coalition, and set out to govern in a new way... The truth is we need a different kind of politics. These are not normal times and normal politics will not do."
A year after his younger brother pipped him at the post in Labour's leadership election, David is not staying at the conference to hear his brother's speech tomorrow. Instead, he will attend a conference in the United States about China's rise as a superpower. But last night, David dismissed speculation about tensions between them as "hooey and nonsense". Asked why Labour is not doing better, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's year one of a Tory government and year one of a Labour opposition and this is... a five-year drive. And my best advice [after] being in politics for 15 or 20 years, is that one year into a parliament don't look at the opinion polls. What counts is how you're rebuilding yourself and reaching out to the public and how you're engaging the biggest issues facing the country and that's what we're doing."
Later he told a fringe meeting organised by the Movement for Change group, which he has set up to help Labour reach out to the community, that his brother had led the party "with strong purpose and conviction."
He went on: "People say Labour needs more policy. And we certainly need to re-think, come up with new ideas, understand the future, learn from the past. But I think he is also right to recognise that more or new policy is not the place to start."
He said outrage is important for opposition but it must be combined with insight and imagination to turn opposition into government.
He said Labour's future depends on a coalition of the people, not coalitions of convenience. The prize would be for Labour to "become a national interest not a sectional interest."
He warned: "It was the old politics that got us into opposition. Narrow conversation. Conducted in code. Trapped by the past. It will only be a different kind of politics that gets us into government."
Urging Labour to "take on" David Cameron over his "big society", he said the party should not be shy of taking responsibility and decisions, and must focus on the future not the past.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
The ten coldest places on Earth
Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >
£22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Junior/Grad C# .NET Wi...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer (VB6,.NET, SQL, Winforms) Wokin...
£35999 - £44001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top Tier practi...
£41000 - £46000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Academically Exce...