Sunday, 26 September 2010

Red Ed finishes ahead

Well, I might have declared Ed Miliband's leadership challenge dead back in June (1), but obviously no-one listen to me and they've now gone an elected him as the leader of the Labour Party.

Probably, given the calibre of the candidates he was running against, this was a good thing. Of the other two, Dianne Abbott and Andy Burnham were never serious contenders. Ed Balls - who has managed to completely win me over - was also a long shot, with Ed Miliband soaking up the leftwing votes and the union backing. That left David Miliband, who was so closely associated with the worst aspects of the last Labour government, so unapologetically Blairite and simply looked too much like the class sneak on a power trip.

Previously, Ed Miliband had alienated me with his vague waffle about 'values' and fluffy crap like that. I have to say that his acceptance speech sounded far more promising:
He said that a "new generation that understands the call to change" had taken charge of Labour today.

Ed Miliband said: "I am proud of the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown but we lost the election and lost it badly.

"My message to the country is this - I know we lost trust, I know we lost touch, I know we need to change.

"Today, a new generation has taken charge of Labour - a new generation that understands the call to change."
In a clear indication of his determination to lead Labour back into power, Ed Miliband told delegates: "I believe in Britain. Today's election turns the page, because a new generation has stepped forward to serve our party, and in time I hope to serve our country.
"Today the work of the new generation begins." (2)
Okay, nothing of actual substance in there, but he sounds far better than previous outings. This 'new generation' meme might be worth sticking with. It acknowledges debt to the past while moving away from it, echoes the 'New Labour' brand while not simply repeating it, suggests regeneration and re-invigoration, and a cleaning out of the old and tired.

Do you think he might have jotted down some notes before the result was announced?
1 - As described previously on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2010/06/ed-is-dead.html
2 - "Ed Miliband elected new leader of Labour Party," by Andrew Woodcock and Joe Churcher, PA. Published in The Independent, 25th of September, 2010. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ed-miliband-elected-new-leader-of-labour-party-2089668.html)

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