David Miliband attacks Blair, Brown . . . and his brother, Ed?

Some so-far unreported extracts from tonight’s speech.

Below are some extracts that haven't been trailed from David Miliband's major leadership campaign speech this evening.

On Blair and Brown:

Tony and Gordon did great things. Really great things. But I know that in Tony's time, he did not focus on income inequalities, stopped devolution at Scotland and Wales when we should have carried it on and too often defined himself against the party, not against the Tories.

Gordon was wrong about the 10p rate and wrong-footed in debates about the role of the state and the importance of crime and security as Labour issues. Both of them underestimated the extent to which the problems of the British economy had not been resolved by the 1980s.

Interpretation: this is a significant break from Blair -- though some who want David to go further will be disappointed that he does not mention Iraq -- but it is worth noting that the line about Blair defining himself against Labour is the same as that which Ed Miliband has been saying for some time.

On why Miliband is standing and why doing so "requires clarity about the conditions for success and a reconciliation with the chance of failure", as well as his "absolute determination to protect those that you do love":

This is the sense of responsibility that motivates me. It brought me into the Labour Party 27 years ago, idealistic and open-minded, when our prospects seemed bleak. It made me support John Smith in the search for new ideas after 1992. It made me run for parliament in 2001. It made me turn down a big job in world politics last November. And it has made me stand for the leadership of our party today.

Still idealistic and open-minded about what we can achieve together.

It is a big decision to stand for the leadership. It requires clarity about the conditions for success and a reconciliation with the chance of failure. It asks a lot of the people you love; and an absolute determination to protect those that you do love.

For me, it is about understanding the time and place to take responsibility. Now is such a time.

Interpretation: David is emphasising that he is ready in a way he hasn't been before (when he was urged to challenge Brown), but this could be seen as questioning whether Ed is ready, and the passage about the impact of standing -- including on the people you love -- could also be seen, rightly or wrongly, as a dig at Ed.

On why his politics are about so much more than "dinner parties":

I was born in 1965.

It was a time of recovery but also vulnerability. For my family, the shadow of the Holocaust was still much, much stronger than it seems today.

London, that "Mansion House of Liberty", to quote John Milton, this great city, did not give us dinner parties; it gave us life.

Leeds, where I spent a formative part of my childhood and my dad was a teacher of politics, did not give us political theory; it gave us the middle-class Middle Britain security that comes from being part of a strong community, where you put in but you got out, too.

Labour helped shape that postwar period of security and opportunity. And a strong, renewed, reorganised Labour Party is vital to the future of our country today.

Interpretation: perhaps the most powerful passage, this totally rebuts the slur from the Milibands' rivals that they are merely "dinner-party" politicians.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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One Day Without Us reveals the spectre of Britain without immigration

Imagine a country without its NHS workers, its artists and even its consumers. That's why immigrants are striking today. 

What’s the best way of making yourself heard in politics? Protesting in the street, or contacting the media? Writing to politicians? A badge?

One option, of course, is to walk out - and give people a chance to recognise what they’d be missing if you weren’t there. In the labour movement, that’s long been an option – a last-case option, but an option nevertheless – when your contribution isn't being recognised.

A strike is a tit-for-tat negotiation and a warning shot. “I’ll work properly when you employ me properly”, it says, but simultaneously: “Here’s what you’d lose if I stopped”. Done right, the worker’s absence can shift the power balance in their favour.

Normally, people strike according to their role, in pursuit of certain conditions – the tube strikes, or last year’s teacher's strike.

Yet there is also a long and rich history of walk-outs whose terms are broader and boundaries hazier. One of the most famous is surely the 1975 Women's Strike, in Iceland, during which 90 per cent of the country's women refused to participate in either paid or unpaid work.

In 2016, the formula was repeated in Poland, where women went on strike to protest against a draconian change being proposed to the country's already-strict abortion laws. (It worked.)

Immigrant strikes, too, have a history. In 2006, for instance, a coalition of Los Angeles Catholic groups, unions and immigration reform groups proposed a boycott in opposition to a bill which, among other things, called for new border security fences to be built between America and Mexico. (Ahem.)

The action grew to become a national event, and on May 1, the “Great American Boycott” took place, with immigrants from Latin America and elsewhere leaving work, skipping school and refusing to buy or sell goods.

Now, with Donald Trump in the White House and Brexit looming, some have decided it’s time for another strike. Enter “One Day Without Us”.

Today, immigrants here in Britain will strike not for pay conditions or holiday allowances, but for basic recognition and respect. Across the country, businesses will close and immigrants will leave work, many of them to take place in alternative actions like rallies or letter-writing campaigns.

The name of the protest pulls no punches. This, it says, is what it would be like if we all went away. (Subtext: “like some of you want”.)

Because – and let’s be honest here – it’d be bad. In hospital this summer, I was treated by migrants. After 24 hours in NHS, I took a count, and found that only about one in five of the staff who had treated me were identifiably English. Around 4.6 per cent of NHS staff nationally are from the EU, including 9 per cent of doctors. Immigrants clean buildings, make our food, and provide a whole host of other vital services.

One Day Without Us, then, could do Britain a huge favour - it provides us with a quick preview function before anyone ups and leaves for good, taking the heart of our health service, or our food supplies, with them.

In recognition of this, some businesses are actively giving their workers the day off. One 36-year-old owner of a support services company, for instance, is giving her staff a paid holiday.

“Not all my colleagues are taking up the offer not to come in”, she explained. “Some, both British and foreign-born, would prefer to work. That’s fine, I wanted to give colleagues the freedom to choose.

 “It will cause some inconvenience and I’ve had to explain to clients why we aren’t offering all our services for one day, but I feel doing this is the only way to show how much this country relies on migrants. I may be a businesswoman, but I’m a human being first, and it hurts my heart to see how foreign-born colleagues are being treated by some people in the current political climate."

The woman, whose staff is 65 per cent foreign born, has asked her company not to be identified. She’s heard her staff being abused for speaking Polish.

Of course, not everyone is able to walk out of work. I write this from Chicago, Illinois, where last week activists participated in an American predecessor to One Day Without Us called “Day Without Immigrants”. Type “Day Without Immigrants" into Google followed by the word "Chicago" and you will find reports of restaurants closing down and citizens marching together through the city.

But search for just "Day Without Immigrants", and the top stories are all about participants being fired.

One Day Without Us, then, encourages any form of engagement. From human chains to sessions during which participants can write to their MP, these events allow immigrants, and supporters, to make themselves known across the country.

Businesses and museums, too, are involved. The Tate, for instance, is offering free tours showing visitors artworks created or influenced by migrants, showing Londoners which of the paintings that they’ve seen a dozen times only exist because of immigration.

Because paintings, like people, come from everywhere, whether or not you remember. Britain is a mongrel country, and so its art and culture are as mongrel as its workforce: a persistent thread through the country’s history.

We risk a lot forgetting this. At its best, assimilation provides a way of integrating without forgetting one’s own unique identity. In a world where immigrants risk threats or violence, however, invisibility can be the best option. For some, it is better not to be recognized as an immigrant than be abused as one.

Those of us who don’t risk threats have a duty to recognise this. I dislike the glibness of “we are all migrants” – maybe, technically, but we’re not all getting slurs shouted at us in the high street, are we? Still, I also don’t like anyone forgetting the fact that their existence, in all probably, is contingent on someone once being given clemency in a place that was their own. The movement of people is woven into the fabric of society.

Of course, it is impossible to say how successful One Day Without Us will be, or how many people’s lives will be directly affected. But I hope that, even as a gesture, it works: that people think of what would be missing from their lives without immigration.

We ignore it at our peril.

You can view all the One Day Without Us events on the organisers’ website, or contribute to a fund to support businesses which are closing for the day here.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland