The departure of David Miliband for the USA is a wise move for the Labour party. As David is said to believe, his continued presence would add to speculation against his brother and allow all sorts of stories to run about disagreements, splits, and fraternal unhappiness, whatever the truth of it all.
I never thought Labour elected the wrong Miliband as their Leader. For all his abilities and charms, David Miliband had one fatal flaw in someone wishing to lead the UK. He remains a convinced Europhile. I like to think that the UK is now such a Eurosceptic country that anyone serious about leading it has to show a willingness to challenge the current EU orthodoxies, and talk about a new relationship for the UK as Euroland hurtles towards greater union. David Miliband is stuck in the past over the EU vision.
Rumour has it that Ed Balls has had to battle against David Miliband over Labour’s stance on the EU. More pragmatic and hungrier for power than David Miliband, Ed Balls has sought to move Labour away from unthinking support for all things European. Ed Balls after all wanted Labour to join Conservative rebels to vote for a smaller EU budget, an argument he won. There could also be pressures from within Labour to match Mr Cameron’s offer of a referendum on our membership of the EU in the next Parliament.
The pound was only safe and the Euro defeated in the UK when those of us pressing to keep the pound secured a pledge of a referendum before joining from both Conservative and Labour leaderships. It was the cross party support for such a move that made the pound safe. Mr David Miliband’s withdrawal from the fray is an important loss for the out of date Europhiles, unwilling to see that the new Euro government emerging is something the UK cannot be part of. Now Mr Ed Miliband has the chance to offer a new deal with the EU to reflect the growing impatience with the curreent EU here in England. Is he able to take that chance? Does he now see he is liberated to take his Europhile party nearer to the healthy and sensible scepticism of most UK voters?