There is a common misconception by some David Miliband supporters, such as Dennis Skinner, and David Miliband himself (as shown by his text before QT asking a leading question of “who do you think is the best to beat David Cameron” – well something along those lines) that the support David Miliband has received from the right-wing press and the Tories in general is a good thing – and that it makes him the most electable and appealing candidate.
This is a major misconception, as papers such as The Times know what they are doing. There is a growing level of support and interest in the alternative direction to the current ConDem slash and burn economic approach. David Miliband has committed himself to Labour’s previous, less but still fundamentally, damaging cut approach. David is much less likely to support Ed Balls as chancellor, unlike Ed Miliband – and the Tories know this. Ed Balls, we must remember, is one of the few politicians to make a very competent argument for an alternative approach to the economy.
Labour’s chance to reform to become a much more progressive socialist party – their roots – will be undermined and potentially destroyed for a long time, if David Miliband is elected! And the Tories know this. They can vindicate their approach a lot more efficiently if they have an oppositional leader, the main one, largely agreeing with them.
Now this brings me onto an argument that some lefty parties such as the Greens may be thinking – if David Miliband is elected it will crumble away some of Labour’s voters to us, as the lefty side of parties’ becomes vacuous. But in the spirit of Caroline Lucas’s pluralism – there is nothing good about fractional politics of this kind. We need a movement, a bloc, to fight against the current regressive policies. This is about people’s lives after all, we shouldn’t be playing party politics over it – we need a progressive leader, who might not be as progressive as we hope, but one who can help push the alternative agenda to the ConDems. For a good piece about why the Labour leader matters – see Jay Baker’s article at Broad Left Blogging.
You see, what David Miliband wants you to think here is that he is the only one who can beat David Cameron because the right-wing press is behind him. But if you consider an alternative, as I hopefully have made you think about, the Tories don’t want a progressive Labour party to return – they want the terrain of debate to remain very much on the New Labour playing field. Let’s hope, for us progressives – that Labour have elected Ed (either would be good – but more likely to be Miliband) and not David, if Labour wants to again become a real progressive political force!