New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Spotlight on Policy
  2. Elections
18 June 2010updated 12 Oct 2023 10:15am

David Miliband shows that he’s no Blairite

Labour leadership front-runner backs a series of left-wing policies in Guardian article.

By George Eaton

David Miliband has a noteworthy piece in today’s Guardian, arguing for a series of left-wing, progressive policies as an alternative to drastic spending cuts. It should lay to rest the misleading and unfair claim that Miliband is a “Blairite”.

Here is a breakdown of the policies he advocates:

– Ending charitable status for private schools.

– Extending the bankers’ bonus tax rather than raising VAT.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

– Supporting the mansion tax on £2m houses.

The introduction of a international transaction tax — the so-called Robin Hood tax.

Reducing the deficit through a 2:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax rises. The Tories propose a 4:1 split.

Diane Abbott’s presence in the Labour leadership race has shifted the contest to the left and Miliband’s piece must be interpreted as a response to that. He is keenly aware that in order to win and to unite the party he must win over many of the centre-left members who at present favour alternative candidates, not least his brother.

Then again, the description of Miliband as a “Blairite” has always been a lazy journalistic shorthand. Many know that he served as head of the No 10 Policy Unit during the Blair years, far fewer that he left because he was considered insufficiently reformist. In an interview with the NS editor, Jason Cowley, he memorably spoke of the “red thread” that should run through Labour policy.

It was also Miliband, as my colleague James Macintyre recalls this week, who led cabinet opposition to Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon.

I doubt that Miliband’s left-wing pitch will assuage figures such as Derek Simpson who, with typical eloquence, described Miliband as “thick” and a “Tory”. But it may lead some members to think again. If he is to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Miliband must hope as much.

Special subscription offer: Get 12 issues for £12 plus a free copy of Andy Beckett’s “When the Lights Went Out”.

Content from our partners
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty – with British Gas Energy Trust