Home Politics David Miliband is going to the Back Benches #lab10 #labour

David Miliband is going to the Back Benches #lab10 #labour

by Barry

Thankfully, David Miliband has told us all what his intentions are.  The press has succeeded in making the past few days uncomfortable as they pushed speculation about if he would stay in the front line, or go to the back benches.  In many ways, it is the media who are pushing to make it a big deal, but it has also been on the minds of Labour Members.  While I think he would have been great in the Shadow Cabinet, but I also think he has shown a great understanding of what is good for the future of the party and it takes a big man to make such a selfless move.  As he points out, he will still be there, but the episode with Harriet yesterday is a good example of what could have been and what would have been damaging.

I think we have a lot to thank David for, as a party and a country, and this decision is part of that.  Thank you.

He, and we, can now properly move on.  Ed Miliband has again urged members to get by the New Generation of Labour.  A lady on the Podium at the Leaders Q&A highlighted what this really means, she told us she was 77, but part of the new generation and I think she is absolutely right. Its not about age, but a new way of thinking and a rebirth of the Labour Party that can learn from the past, and work for the people of Britain to a better future.

Apparently we have had 2000 new members of the Labour Party since Saturday and 35,000 since the general election.  These are the people who have been bold and stepped forward, however, there are many others who are thinking about it and it is time for us to go to them and help them realise that joining a political party is not a scary thing to do, and that everybody can make a difference.


bazkirby September 29, 2010 - 4:45 pm

His letter in full

For nine years South Shields and the South Shields Labour Party have given me great support. I look forward to that continuing for many years to come. The extraordinary efforts of party members – from Shields and across the country – during my leadership campaign made me feel very proud indeed of our shared values and shared vision.

As I said at party conference on Monday, we now have a great responsibility to unite behind Ed’s leadership. With his strong speech yesterday, Ed has already started the fightback. On the day that nominations close for the Shadow Cabinet, I think it right to explain to you and party members why I think I can best support him from the backbenches. The party needs a fresh start from its new leader, and I think that is more likely to be achieved if I make a fresh start. This has not been an easy decision but having thought it through and discussed it with family and friends I am absolutely confident it is the right decision for Ed, for the party and for me and the family. There are three reasons for this.

First, this is now Ed’s party to lead and he needs to be able to do so as free as possible from distraction. Any new leader needs time and space to set his or her own direction, priorities and policies. I believe this will be harder if there is constant comparison with my comments and position as a member of the Shadow Cabinet. This is because of the simple fact that Ed is my brother who has just defeated me for the leadership. I genuinely fear perpetual, distracting and destructive attempts to find division where there is none and splits where they don’t exist, all to the detriment of the party’s cause. Ed needs a free hand but also an open field.

Second, I want to recharge my political and intellectual batteries to be of greater service to the party and the country. I have spent 16 years in or around the top of politics in one capacity or another. There’s a world out there that I have touched but about which I want to know more – from education to the environment to foreign policy. I think I can best make a contribution to the election and success of the next Labour government under Ed’s leadership by devoting myself to understanding better the new challenges and new ideas that will dominate the next couple of decades, and figuring out how to put our values into practice. There is also the new politics of community organising that we started with the Movement for Change in the leadership campaign and which has enormous potential that I want to develop for the good of the party.

Third, there is a personal dimension. I have essentially been a Cabinet Minister for the whole of Isaac and Jacob’s lives. That is tough for me and tough for them. One happy consequence of the leadership election will be more time with Louise and the boys.

You know how important are public service and politics are to me. My job as MP for South Shields is precious. So is my commitment to the Labour Party – the greatest reforming force in British life in the past, and I hope so again in the future. I have been touched by how many party members came up to me at Conference asking me to campaign for them in the upcoming Scottish, Welsh and local council elections, and I look forward to doing so. But I genuinely believe that I can best serve Ed, the party and the country from a new position, and I look forward to working with you to make a success of the decision.

It is a great privilege to represent South Shields in Parliament. There is much to be done to defend the town from the decisions of the new Government, and to put in place firm foundations for the resurgence of Labour as a leading force in British life under Ed’s leadership. That is what I intend to do.

Yours ever,


Joe K September 30, 2010 - 12:14 pm

Was it not Karl Marx himself who said,’I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member’?

Eddie September 30, 2010 - 1:20 pm

That was Groucho
From his autobiography Groucho and Me

trollhunterx September 30, 2010 - 2:00 pm

Well, I wasn’t being entirely, or at all, serious Eddie, and Karl Marx sounded funnier than Voltaire…

I have to say that I’m beginning to think you were right about one thing, though, and that’s that the Barton Fayre did not take place this year, since people are referring to a ‘community fair’ or even ‘community day’, instead. Next year, Ramadan ends at the end of August, not the 9th of September, so we should be able to have the Fayre at the usual time and, with a bit of effort, the usual place. Widden Field just wasn’t the same.

antiphonsgarden October 2, 2010 - 10:28 am

Nor the other bunches.
Direct democracy instead of new party aparchichi carrerists promising heaven on earth BEFORE and serving hell on the nepotist petit fours plate after!
They HAD time to make a difference, did they?
Little Thatcher boys in pink are only a nouveau riche selfserving middle class promising more gobetween fingerpointing blah!Booming prosperity haha,another war, maybe?


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