One challenge facing Miliband is that many would like him to back more radical solutions to the problems the party is highlighting than he is prepared to support.
Just as only Nixon could go to China, so only a leftist can sell Labour's new position on welfare to a sceptical PLP.
A promise to cancel the project, which could cost up to £80bn, and invest the savings in more electorally popular policies is just the kind of gamechanger that Miliband needs for the conference season.
The pressure is now on Miliband to deliver policies that, as Andy Burnham put it, "knock the others off the pitch".
History shows that parties can win despite the unpopularity of their leaders, but to do so Labour needs to offer policy substance.
The former election co-ordinator's call for an early EU referendum highlights the danger of Labour replicating Tory divisions over Europe.
News of the "cost of living crisis" is spreading beyond these shores.
While big energy companies are reaping billions in profits, millions of vulnerable households are being pushed deeper into fuel poverty.
The shadow London minister attacks Boris Johnson's "abysmal record of hiking fares year on year".
The story of the Conservatives’ shrivelled membership is potentially as significant as the story of Labour’s presentational shambles.