David Miliband: Labour giant

The party will be poorer without him

If, as seems likely, David Miliband steps down from front-bench politics this afternoon, it will be a tragedy for the Labour party, if an entirely understandable thing to do. He has conceded that he arrived in Manchester "planning a slightly different week" to the one he had to endure, and yet his speech to the conference paying tribute to Ed shows what a giant man as well as politician he is.

His alleged comment to Harriet Harman, too, about clapping Ed over Iraq having voted for the invasion shows, at least, consistency and conviction. It also shows why perhaps he would be right to step down.

But that does not take away from the fact that doing so brings a rather dark side to this leadership contest. It feels a wrong and premature ending to his British political career. There is no doubt that it would have been better if, somehow, we could have had both Milibands on the front bench rather than one.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
New Statesman
Show Hide image

Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.