David Miliband

We learn by history, we don’t live in it

First published in Progress magazine

Richard Angell talks to the former foreign secretary and Labour leadership contender about New Labour, ‘Next Labour’, and building a movement.

It’s the first weekend of David Miliband’s much-anticipated leadership campaign and the candidate is in buoyant mood. ‘I think the resilience of the Labour party, the determination of our voters to see through the money and the media that was being thrown at them, the power of real conversations that were happening in constituencies all around the country are encouraging and a source of pride to each of us’ says the former foreign secretary of this month’s general election results.

But Miliband is hardly sanguine about the scale of Labour’s losses on May 6: ‘It was a bad defeat and we lost more than 95 MPs. In the three southern regions of England we have got 12 MPs out of 209 MPs outside London. We were below 30 per cent of the vote and all this against a Conservative party that was fundamentally unconvincing and not particularly credible nor attractive to the voters.’ In short, he says, the party received ‘a kicking’ and there’s only one response to that: ‘The most important thing when you have been given a kicking, is to respect it, to feel it, recognise it and reflect on it.’ (more…)