BBC BLOGS - Nick Robinson's Newslog
« Previous | Main | Next »

David's future

Nick Robinson | 22:40 UK time, Sunday, 26 September 2010

A friend of David Miliband has told me that he is contemplating not running for the shadow cabinet - a decision he must make by this Wednesday.

David Miliband and Louise Shackleton

 

Both privately and publicly the man who was defeated for the Labour leadership has refused to answer journalists' questions about what he will do next. Colleagues insist that he has yet to make up his mind.

David spent most of today away from the conference with his wife Louise contemplating his defeat.

After reports that he'd left Manchester altogether, he returned to the bar of the main conference hotel insisting that he wanted to do nothing to distract from his brother Ed's first full day as party leader and joking that he'd had a nice day - enjoying a sleep-in and not having to write a speech.

His friend says that if David chooses not to stay in front-line politics - and at this stage nobody knows, perhaps not even the man himself - it will not be because he is sulking but because he wishes to give his brother the space he needs and to bring the Miliband pyschodrama to an end.

The news that David Miliband is even contemplating stepping aside from front-line politics is likely to lead to both his friends and his recent opponents urging him to stay the course.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Who cares? It's just deck chairs on the Titanic...

  • Comment number 2.

    David Milliband has fired one blank too many and lost the route to the job (PM) that we read he was being lined up for since he was a teen-ager.

    He seems to have forgotten a key rule of politics - trust nobody.

  • Comment number 3.

    Meanwhile ex-bro Ed believes he can leave the baggage of the Blair/Brown era behind.

    And being politics, it is just possible that he can.

    Unfortunately, for us the general public, we can't ... we will have to spend years, maybe a decade paying off the £400 billion debt that Gordon Brown and Ed Balls have bequeathed to the ungrateful nation.

  • Comment number 4.

    Why are politicians sometimes described in terms such as:

    b) yachts - as in 'tacking to the left'
    c) charabancs - as in 'lurching to the left'

    It would seem that a) describes a considered manoeuvre made by a politician of some standing whereas b) describes a politician who might have had one too many at the Commons Bar.

  • Comment number 5.

    InModeration @ 1

    You say 'Who cares'?

    We should care because the Titanic is not, as you assume, the Labour Party.

    It is this country.

  • Comment number 6.

    David is over 16 Years of Age, so let him make his own decisions about his own future.

  • Comment number 7.

    This blog entry starts with 'A friend of David Miliband ' whoa .. hold it right there!

    What is the worst sin in journalism?

    Well, I do not know but non-attributable quotes must be very near the top of the list.

    We should either discount the 'friend' and assume that it is actually David Miliband himself that our Nick is speaking with or alternatively we must assume that Nick simply dreamt this piece up.

    The Times got ripped to pieces recently by a reader and rightly so because the whole front lead (political) story was chock-full of non-attributable quotes. As the reader complained, The Times might just as well have made the whole story up.

    On might hope that the the BBC aspires to higher standards, even on an informal political blog.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is tragic news and I hope David re-considers. What a formidible team the Miliband brothers would make. There could be no return to the Blair/Brown fueds - they are clearly close brothers and very decent people.

    If David think this is better for Ed I hope he considers that Ed would be blamed for his departure. The majority of Labour MPs wanted David as leader so this would be a huge burden for Ed to bear.

    Very saddened to read this.

  • Comment number 9.

    It's a horrendous situation for both of them. If David stays, he can hardly accept anything less than Shadow Chancellor. But if he does, there is bound to be public unease at a party so dominated by a single family. And at the same time, both brothers must know that the media will never let the 'brother vs brother' story rest. They will chase down the tiniest differences in policy and style and magnify those into major disagreements. And disagreements there are bound to be. Will David really be able to put aside his acute disappointment and give his brother 100% support, especially when things get tough. Can he honestly promise to put duty to party and country ahead of his personal feelings? If so he is a saint, rather than a politician. No, the Milibands will become the story, rather than the Labour Party and its revival. And that's not good for democracy. The most dignified thing David Miliband can do for the moment is to withdraw from the shadow cabinet contest, become the best constituency and back bench MP anyone has ever seen and wait for the plum job and the new direction which will surely come. I must say, although I depised his lack of courage during the last parliament, he has paid a high price for it now and I feel desperately sorry for him.

  • Comment number 10.

    Back in the late 1990s, Labour shamelessly pretended it had changed from its bad old ways by re-branding itself 'New Labour'. As we know to our cost, many gullible voters fell for it. It was all spin.

    David Miliband, tainted by his loyal support for discredited Blair and Brown, is now the victim of the same ploy.

    Ed is 'New Miliband'. This is the age where shallow people are obsessed by the cult of 'newness' and 'youth'.

    Ironically, David had more support from Labour MPs - but of course, being Labour, the Union paymasters have the final say.

  • Comment number 11.

    Do you know, I've just had two smashing rounds of toast, with just the right amount of butter on them...

  • Comment number 12.

    I'am afraid time is a Classic-Case of the Old Story that - "You Can't Pick Your Family, but You Can Pick Your Friends".

    For should David Miliband stay in Government and expect to be awarded with a high profile Ministerial Post, then he [ David ] will always be seen as a Right - Wing figure by some as a second - rate Blairite which will become over time a pain in the neck to faster progress in the Labour Party driving a wedge between the Miliband Brothers, for Ed doe's not need the type of attraction which will forever be hyped - up by Murdoch sinking Sun and Blue Sky Media.

    If I was Ed, I would NOT award David with any Front-Bench Post, if only too distance the direct possibility of any REAL permanent Riff between the Brothers, since like Capitalism, Politics takes NO Prisoners, but it can cause a Family break-down.

  • Comment number 13.



    A friend of David Miliband has told me that he is contemplating not running for the shadow cabinet - a decision he must make by this Wednesday.



    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    He wouldn't happen to have an account with paddypower by any chance?


    I'm sure that the next time David looks in the mirror he will go week at the knees after a few kissypoos and decide to go on on the basis of he owing it to the party .......of the first part and anyway the sky will have stopped falling by next wednesday.


    The only person that would trust an ex politician is a banker anyway and they still have queues from the last election to deal with....so frontline politics it will have to be

  • Comment number 14.

    9. At 00:19am on 27 Sep 2010, wharfgirl wrote:

    It's a horrendous situation for both of them.



    -----------------------------------------------------


    You can't be serious surely?

  • Comment number 15.

    Perhaps it is just good old sour grapes.

    He wanted the "top job" or its no job at all. The second best job, just isn't good enough for some...as noted with Brown too!

  • Comment number 16.

    Personally speaking, if I'd been shafted and my career broken for me in front of millions of people by a Brother who then had the bare-faced gall to profess his love for me having climbed over my back, and sweet-talked all of the people I'd done my best to avoid then I'd thump him! Then I'd buy myself and my family a ticket to somewhere else in the world where I'd not have to see said Brother again and let him rot. Ed Milliband in my view doesn't deserve the love of a Brother - he has acted with neither honour nor love for family.

    David did not go for the throat as Ed did for him. This in my view makes him more of a man and one with decent values. As for Ed? Well, he could have done it all so differently; after all his Brother was already in the Cabinet and a considerable politician before Ed was even elected to Parliament. He could have shown real love and loyalty for him and his family by supporting David's campaign instead of putting his own blatant ambition first. What he has done to his Brother is many things but loving it is not.

    So, my advice would be don't stay David - you've been humiliated enough. Wherever you go and whatever you choose to do you will do well. Leave and begin again and take your honour with you, your Brother has none.

  • Comment number 17.

    Does what is happening in the Westminster village actually matter when we are governed from Brussels?

  • Comment number 18.

    i agree with last post stay away david anyone with half a brain knows labour is now going way way left as ed won with union votes and they know their man is there. strikes strikes strikes is what we can expect. he wouldnt condeme strikers on the a. marr show yesterday just kept saying last resort, when we all know especially with crow it is forst option. hope this government has the thatcher balls to tame them befor ed gets in to 10, or maybe with a bit of luck he never will.

  • Comment number 19.

    Does David Milliband has more than ONE Friend? ....

    The news that David Miliband is even contemplating stepping aside from front line politics is likely to lead to **both** his friends...

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    If David has the interests of the party at his heart, he'll realise that it's better to have a wide range of views reflected in the shadow cabinet - as this manages internal party disagreement far more effectively than with opponents/malcontents being on the outside (& able to freely cricise because they have no shadow-cabinet collective responsibility). Lets hope that David, if offered a shadow post, accepts.

  • Comment number 22.

    One millionaire champagne socialist beats his champagne socialist brother to a nice taxpayer funded easy life style and the media think the public give a damn!

    "A friend of mine told me" Pregnant women dread labour, in fact most women who've had kids hate labour.

    Nick, please move on perhaps to what labour would do to sort out the mess they've made of the economy.
    How many public sector employees would labour throw out of work? would be a good start.

  • Comment number 23.

    The main thing is that if David does stay, he does not allow himself to be pushed into becoming the figurehead of a large section of the party. We need an opposition which is not divided.(I would be saying the same thing if Brown had won the election and the Tories were going through choosing a new leader.)

    If you have a formidable opponent you raise your game. Public services need to be restructured to reflect poorer national finanaces. A strong opposition can play an important part in ensuring that the restructuring is done properly. A divided opposition will not be up to this task.

    As for these 'left', 'right', 'red' labels - I just see them as lazy shorthand similar to the ones used by those whose lives are dominated by racial, sexual or some other bigotry. If you like or dislike someone, please explain the policies you don't like and avoid labels which have lost their usefulnessand are subjective anyway.

  • Comment number 24.

    DM - go and get a real job in the real world, and come back in 10 years or so and give the party the leadership that it will most certainly need.

  • Comment number 25.

    After 13 years of New Labour preachings about fairness and equality... we now have what may be the the worst case of parliamentary nepotism about to unfold ... in about 200 years.

    We don'd need any nepotism from Goondog Trillionaire boot-licking failures!

  • Comment number 26.

    Agree with comments meade about the reporting of this story. "A close friend said" can be interpreted as not really having spoke to anyone. Lazy journalism. I think David will go or else he is always going to be the big brother in the background, the man backed more by MPs and party members.

  • Comment number 27.

    What should we believe and what are we supposed to believe? The label suggests one thing but the garment tells another story. I am becoming hacked off with the whole thing now. David run while u can.

  • Comment number 28.

    It all depends on DM's goals for life.

    It's his life after all.

    He's not OWNED by the Labour Party.

    He's worked extremely hard for them for years. And they benefitted from his work too.

    There's no debts of honour so far as I can see.

    He should stay in Shadow Cabinet only if his life's course benefits from doing it.

    And the Labour Party should be big enough to accept his decision, no matter what he decides to do.

    IMHO.

  • Comment number 29.

    '7. At 11:35pm on 26 Sep 2010, JohnConstable wrote:

    On might hope that the the BBC aspires to higher standards, even on an informal political blog.


    That all (well) said, Helen 'It's in Our Genes' Boaden must be applying a nice big tick in Nic's box as we speak.

    Who needs facts when views are so much juicier... and can be seasoned to taste in a trice.

    I believe the BBC are going to start a new political slot with our hero's anonymous sources and those of Michael Crick as Balinese shadow puppets.

    Next we'll find the headlines news driven by a vox pop solicited by Sian and Bill and carefully selected in the edit suite to frame the daily narrative. Oh... too late.

  • Comment number 30.

    Perhaps the best thing is for David to take a prestigious HM government job overseas? After all, he was Foreign Secretary not long back! Ambassador to the UN, or perhaps the man to front up against the Quai d'Orsay? In short, any job outside UK politics central where the influence that goes with having a bro who is the PM (if ever that happens) is a positive strength. Incidentally, EM probably won because he was the only candidate willing to confront the old leftist nonsense that immigration is great for working class brits. If we have to stay with an outdated and lazy left/right analysis, he has a 'right-wing' policy on an issue many voters rate as the most important of all.

  • Comment number 31.

    Disaster. Media candidate fails to win. If only political pundits had the votes then David Milliband would be in. After Blair the media lost its familiar narrative of personality politics and power.

    I am devastated for the journalists. It's a tragedy. There is now the real danger the media may have to discuss policy. Now thats hard work in the 2 minutes and 30 seconds of "in depth" analysis provided on the 6 o'clock news. What they really need is to explain why the man the media have been promoting since 2007 failed at the ballot.

    The easy route to explain the unexplained loss is to bring in a well-worn media stereotype like - the unions. Your average viewer can understand the failure of the media pundit to get it right by wheeling on an old character from the past.

    No media stories will appear about D Milliband having outrageous donations from rich Blairite supporters out-leafletting all other candidates 3 to 1.

    Under the hood the failure of David Milliband is rooted not in union conspiracy but in the strategy for the STV ballot. When you ballot by STV via an electoral college you cant just count on first preferences. The Milliband campaign team didn't consider the type of Leadership ballot that hit the Deputy Leadership.

    All this added up to David Milliband's campaign playing for first preference votes only. Other candidates were clear that voters in the ballot needed to consider their preferences carefully. The impression given by the media is that party and union members only had on 'x'. In fact their were 5 preferences.

    So if you wanted the return of Blair you put D Milliband as number one. But if you wanted something else you could vote for all other candidates. In practice this meant that Ed Milliband was probably your number 1, 2 or 3 choice.

    Everyone says the unions voted Ed. Well the MPs voted David. The same MPs that stopped a G Brown having a ballot. The MPs were probably not right in 2007 and may not have been right in 2010. No one talks about D Milliband being a slave to MPs on the backbenchers.

    Bringing the unions back is worst kind of stereotypical journalism. Instead of explaining the ballot process the average journalist says the election is complex.

    Ed Milliband has now had the shortest media honeymoon. It lasted about 5 seconds. It was the time between the announcement and the BBC voiceover explaining, in authoratative subtext, it was the unions that won it.

    At least he knows where he stands. The war against the Labour Party from the media is in full swing.

  • Comment number 32.

    QED.

    BBCLauraKDavid Miliband tells me anyone who says they know what he s going to do isn't telling the truth-really appears not to have decided what ...

    Nick... back to you in the studio...:)

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    I think that David Milliband would be well advised to sit on the back benches for a wee while. To my mind he is the only Shadow Cabinet credible alternative as Prime Minister (with the possible exception of Harriet Harman) and I could have seen myself voting for a party led by him. But, brother Ed? No way - the perpetual appearance of a nasty smell under his nose, and its verbal equivalent, are enough to put anybody off. And I guess that millions of voters will see it the same. So, hang on in the back rows and be prepared to step in when Labour lose the next election (or are forced into a coalition without Ed as a leader).

  • Comment number 35.

    24. At 08:18am on 27 Sep 2010, Bango Twinkletoes wrote:
    DM - go and get a real job in the real world, and come back in 10 years or so and give the party the leadership that it will most certainly need.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I can't agree more. Nu Old Labour have nothing at the top now but career politicans. Mind you they have not had much else for a while now. They need someone who has been there, done it and got the "T" shirt. All these Political academics only have theories to bring to the party. They have little if any street cred as far a business is concerned.

    What about the party I hear being asked around Whitehall? Not much hope for a long lived love in if candidates don't even rally around the new leader for the first few days at least. The knives aren't out yet but they are being sharpened. And what of the unions, they have been conspicuous by their absence.

    So come the revolution "Brother" we will all be leaders. Who you calling "Brother" ..........

    Round one to Ed the Left. I bet the coalition can't wait to hear the bell go for round two and I don't think they will have to wait too long. Just until the Nu Labour contingent decide on fight or flight. What may be most amusing are the ones who decide neither of these options are for them and so they try to re branding. May be a programme in this for the Beeb, Political Makeovers.... What not to say.... Changing policies.... Just for laughs.... Politicians do the funniest things.... One thing for sure is that it will not be alright on the night!

  • Comment number 36.

    Can't say it will be any loss to Britain if he departs the political scene : this though is unlikely to happen, since being a politician is all he has ever done, and all he is capable of doing , and there is no way he will jump off the Westminster gravy train. He will hang around in one way or another knowing that when Labour lose the next election, he will step into the breach, get rid of ED , and save the Labour party from oblivion.

  • Comment number 37.

    If Ed is genuinely not for a lurch to the left,then are there any or many ideological differences between the brothers?If there are not, then his candidacy was not one motivated by principle but by naked ambition,in effect he stepped on his own brother's throat in order to ascend the proverbial staircase.
    The sight of Union bosses grinning from ear to ear was ominous ,these people probably thought that the 1983 manifesto was spot on!
    The Tories have been given a huge boost.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think it's good for the country that Ed has been elected as it shows the Labour party's true face. Funded by the unions and now a leader elected that the unions wanted. The MPs and members voted for David but the Unions wanted the closest thing they could find to some throw back to the 1960s and 1970s chuntering on about equality and fairness as if simply saying the words achieved something.

    I look forward to Ed starting every sentence with "our members deserve...." before suggesting some idiotic policy totally divorced from the real world.

  • Comment number 39.

    I guess we all wish Ed Miliband good luck in his new job - it would be churlish not to. I doubt he will take the party to the left, he is politically too sophisticated to consider that a smart move.

    There are defeated rivals after every leadership election, and invariably there is also a load of over-blown speculation about how they are coping with defeat, and how much the fact that they are not actually dead will undermine the winner's efforts to lead the party and become a catalyst for future dissent and so on and so forth. It never happens.

  • Comment number 40.

    Not quite all in it together then:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11415870

    Good to know his family are well provided for though. And why should the deputy chairman of the Prime Minister's own party aspire beyond that?

  • Comment number 41.

    No38Andy,
    The leader, apparently, was elected by 175,000 individuals in a secret ballot. You are showing your politically thick Tory credentials in a rather predictable manner.
    How many votes did 'Del Boy' Dave receive when he became leader of his party?

  • Comment number 42.

    Am sure I speak for millions when I say "who cares"? They had a spectacular defeat at the General Election. Nobody thought much of the front team they had in that election and the whole thing was lost by Brown.

    Any of the Brown team will not be popular with the general electorate and that's what matters. Milliband and Milliband - a couple of Wallace and Gromit figures - can go into orbit for all most people care.

    I guess there is not much news at present or the Beeb wouldn't keep going on about it and speculating all the time.

    The trades unions are well out of favour with the country, their membership plummeting.

    This is all a non news story and we turn off or over when it comes on tv.

  • Comment number 43.

    I agree with Jamie. It does seem quite selfish of Ed to do what he did with David, particularly in the closeness of the result and the fact that Ed only won due to unions. David must have helped Ed massively get where he is, and then Ed steals victory from David. And at 40, there will be an opportunity for Ed to have led the Labour party in the future - don't think I can say the same thing for David, who will be 50 after the next election. If my younger brother did that to me, I probably wouldn't talk to him for months!

    Anyway, back on point, if I were David, I would take a back-seat role. For one thing, Ed may find this VERY difficult, because not only did he not have the majority of MPs support, but the majority of senior names in the Labour party supported David - Darling, Alan Johnson, Straw as well as a majority of the shadow cabinet. I think David should just let Ed do as he wants to do, stop giving him the advice and help that he has been giving for the last 40 years of Ed's life, and simply see whether Ed has the ability to take on Cameron, Clegg et al.

    I don't think Ed has that ability to take on Cameron - Cameron gave it to Brown every week at PMQs, and though Harman was much better, Cameron still won most of the PMQs - you can just see how Cameron will keep on saying "Union's candidate" when there is industrial unrest or some witty "Ed claims that most people want blah blah blah, but doesn't he know that most Labour members didn't want him as Labour leader" or something to that effect. After a while it WILL stick, and when it does, Ed and the Labour party's 2015 defeat will be well and truly sewn. Moreover, what on earth will Ed do when unions strike? At the next TUC conference, he will have to give a real "well done - we support you speech" and David (Cameron) will seize on that just like he did with Harman's TUC speech. And if Ed does try to distance himself from the unions and if the unions are not happy with Ed's direction (thinking he would be more sympathetic to their cause), David's supporters may well urge him to challenge his little brother, where the unions may not be as active in supporting Ed. Either way, Ed is going to have trouble, and he may have become leader of the Labour Party but he won't be visiting Downing Street again.

    Oh one final thing, Clegg may just feel Ed's victory is a good thing. He obviously doesn't like the left-wingers in his party, and this will give him the opportunity to satisfactorly purge his party of the left-wingers, but at the same time, he may well be able to fill the void left by Labour by Ed's move to the left, for there is space for a centre to centre-left party that the Lib Dems will be able to move into. The Lib Dems may not be dead yet

  • Comment number 44.

    I think the best thing for David would be to step back, lay low and leave the Labour Party to drift to the left, lose horrendously and then re-invent itself with a new, more centre-ist leader and leave behind the unions. In the meantime, surely he would be well-placed to get a good and interesting job and start doing some real work to rebuild the country that he helped to mess up so drastically. Maybe that would then give him a more grown-up understanding of politics rather than the sixth-form common room Marxist rhetoric he has got used to.

  • Comment number 45.

    Flame @ 42 wrote:
    They had a spectacular defeat at the General Election.


    >>

    Did they? I thought it was a hung parliament. Oh well, it just shows how memory can fail you sometimes.

  • Comment number 46.

    Stephen Townsley @31
    Thankyou for writing the sort of piece that should have been at the head of this blog. The split of Ed M's vote was roughly 40% unions, 30% MPs and 30% party members. Ideal for giving him maximum room for manoeuvre when pressured by any of them since any two outnumber the other one. To mount significant pressure the unions would have to get the support of either MPs or members. But never mind, we wouldn't want to let reality get in the way of a tasty/lazy story.

  • Comment number 47.

    #41 IBGAPB1

    The factual answer to your question is that David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, receiving 134,446 votes in a secret ballot of the Party membership. This represented 67.6% of those voting, in a turnout of 77%.

    Remind us all, what point were you trying to make?

  • Comment number 48.

    David Milliband should quite politics - he had several opportunities to go for the Labour Leadership - Tony Blair would have backed him - instead he dithered each time and let down his friends - Purnell for one - We have no room for ditherers - had enough of those- if he didn't have enough courage then, he wont have it in the future and he has got what he deserves. Now he has left us with Red Ed - God help the future of the labour party .... if it has one now.

  • Comment number 49.

    I would be entirely happy to see David step down from politics. We need to get away from the failed politics of New Labour as much as we need to get away from the Tory/Poodle alliance. One of the biggest mistakes of British politics and the British voting public in particular is their insistence on changing the label rather than changing the politics. Admittedly, they have not really had much of a choice, with only the strange world of Planet UKIP able to satisfy a need for something different in politics.

    Hopefully, Ed Milliband will be able to create a real difference between Labour and the Conservatives and my recommendation to him is to make the Tories' friends in the banks pay for the deficit that they, not Labour caused. At a stroke nailing both the lie and one of the fundamental problems in British society.

  • Comment number 50.

    #45 Pduk65

    I agree that in terms of number of seats won the 2010 election was not a spectacular defeat. It seems reasonable to say that it was a defeat though, since Labour lost office.

    The vote share, 29%, could be described as spectacularly bad, by historical standards. However, the total votes cast for the Labour Party declined less between 2010 and 2005 (8,609,527 against 9,552,953) than it did between 2005 and 2010 (10,724,953 against 9,552,953).

    So Blair lost the Labour Party more votes than Brown. Probably an abuse of statistics on my part, but something I didn't know until I checked the figures.

  • Comment number 51.

    I can't help but feel sorry for David Milliband.

    In some ways he is of such loyalty that he seems too nice to be in politics.

    I do think that he should stay in the front bench and help unite the party. I do not accept that Ed is "Red Ed", and I know that the brothers are both very similar although Ed is more cut and thrust.
    Ed must follow through on what he was saying yesterday about being his own man and not allowing the unions to run the party. He must also remember hte middle and those with asperations. If he can do that he will win. It is a tough call but I am sure he can do it.

    David's situation though is very sad. What a loyal brother and what a loyal polition not to have knifed Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 52.

    Tough decision for David, and only until Wednesday to make it - hardly seems long enough for him. Bet he wishes he had tried to topple Gordon when the opportunity arose.

    However one choice that has been made easier I suspect is the selection of Brother Ed's Xmas present this year - a donkey jacket.

  • Comment number 53.

    Nick Robinson.

    "A friend of David Miliband has told me that he is contemplating not running for the shadow cabinet.."

    phew, what a stroke of luck. I thought David Miliband a very mediocre Foreign Secretary (politest I could think of), clearly lacking independence (and since this blog is moderated, I won't comment on ethics or morals). just looked at his Wikipedia entry and dicovered that he'd been Environment Secretary before. to be honest, I hadn't even remember that -- clearly, he's a milquetoast.

    oh, and I agree with JohnConstable's #7, hearsay which cannot be attributed ought not be published, we have a right to expect the BBC to do better than tabloid journalism.

  • Comment number 54.

    "Am sure I speak for millions when I say 'who cares'? "

    It's amazing how often those who speak for no-one and nothing other than their own prejudices claim this.

  • Comment number 55.

    and Ed's to David: a year's vouchers redeemable on bananas...

  • Comment number 56.

    JH66 @ 50

    Well I wasn't claiming Labour won it!

    Interesting, though, these election stats. In 1992, the Tories polled 14,093,007; the following election, they got 9,600,943.

    Now that's what I call spectacular.


  • Comment number 57.

    Look at the events since Tony Blair retired. David M allowed himself to be used as a figurehead in the Labour party infighting in government. There were the highly publicised rebellions which didn't happen.

    So, David M appeared to be both disloyal and indecisive. I'm sure this contributed to his leadership defeat, (as well as his being associated with Blair and Mandelson, both of whom are now widely loathed in the Labour movement.)

    Like Michael Portillo after he lost his seat, I think David M needs some time out, to think, reflect and decide who he really is and what he would like to stand for. As a human being this would do him good! Never mind the Party for the moment. If he can lose the baggage of the infighting days, then he may well come back and be a positive force in the Labour Party and in British politics.

  • Comment number 58.

    UKHamlet @ 49: "...in the banks pay for the deficit that they, not Labour caused."
    Tosh. The deficit is unambiguously down to New Labour's persistence in spending more of our money than it had in tax receipts, not helped by being unwilling or unable to differentiate between "spending" and "investment". The banks were responsible for the credit crunch, which is something else altogether. FWIW I am not in any way trying to exonerate the banks, but a wilful failure to correctly identify who caused what will inevitably be followed by the application of inappropriate and incorrect solutions.
    Not good enough; see me.

  • Comment number 59.

    Oops, all the tories are out, crowing about failing labour.

    What I see is the polls showing labour neck and neck with our tory overlords.

    ... and that's before the cuts have even started.

  • Comment number 60.

    I agree with PD65

    Good luck to Ed, I think he will need a lot of it. I didn't see a great deal of difference between the two brothers when it came to the direction they wanted to take the Labour party towards so it does look like basically they both wanted the top job, and in that case one brother has to lose

    I think that David would be better taking a step back - the Conservatives will constantly try to drive a wedge between them if he takes a shadow cabinet post, and they will probably succeed. I think that David will support Ed publicly and I don't think he would try to depose him - but I think there has to be some resentment simmering below the surface; it's only natural after these events

    He should take some time off and go back to being a back bencher for a while. I think it would do him some good

  • Comment number 61.

    No51 Jeremy,
    If he is 'Red Ed' he must be a member of the Toy Town branch. A real 'Red' would have plans ready to sweep away the pampered parasites in the House of Lords.The majority of our parliamentarians, all unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative, are to found in an abundance picking up their £300-400 a day many doing little more than lounging about the sumptuous benches like butchers'dogs.

  • Comment number 62.

    Both privately and publicly the man who was defeated for the Labour leadership has refused to answer journalists' questions about what he will do next. Colleagues insist that he has yet to make up his mind.


    Surely you mean, ONE OF the defeated contenders...

    As for not answering journalists' questions, WHY SHOULD HE?

    Journalists may like to think that they have investigative powers to rival the police, but they do not. They are nothing more or less than members of the general public, and their collective conduct could be construed as harrassment of a private individual.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am devastated with the result. I am angry that the main unions met in the summer to select a candidate to keep out David Miliband. I am angry at the Unite union's blatent disregard of rules in sending out literature related to their man too. I am also angry that Charlie Whelan attempted to persuade twelve MPs who receive funding from the Unite Union to ensure that Ed Miliband was their second choice if they had voted for another colleague.

    The unions won it for Ed Miliband. Sorry, this is not something that I will forget. I abandoned the party at the last election after many years because of poor leadership. I will not vote for a leader who was put in place by the Unions. The country matters more and whether he likes it or not Ed Miliband won because the Trade Unionists feel he is more sympathetic to their cause.

    The less able candidate won...........

  • Comment number 64.

    Rather hypocritical of some on here to claim Ed is funded by the unions. I note that Lord Ashcroft - Tory treasurer and chief donor has reneged on his promise to pay a bit of tax. After all, why should he? He doesn't live here. He does his utmost to secure a Tory win for the rest of us to suffer, whilst he clears off abroad and pays nothing. You chaps stay here and sort things out, I'm just off for a spot of sunbathing in Malibu. Cameron and Hague are silent.
    So let's have no lectures from Tories about funding. No, actually, carry on - it's a great time to laugh at Tories.

  • Comment number 65.

    Nick Robinson says "Both privately and publicly the man who was defeated for the Labour leadership has refused to answer journalists' questions about what he will do next. "

    I am puzzled. How does someone answer journalists questions "privately"? Besides, NR quotes private comments from a friend of David Milliband so we have a report on what he is saying privately.

    DM obviously wants some time to think. That's hardly surprising. Why don't we just wait to see what he has to say instead of generating all this pointless journalist noise in the meantime. Our media channels of communication are getting clogged up with this pointless stuff.

  • Comment number 66.

    Hi IPGABP1, no 61.

    Yep Ed is just Ed, and not red Ed.

    On the subject of the highly estemed House of Lords, did you see that the Chariman of HSBC is leaving to join the government and sit there. Just what the country needs hey! An unelected banker to run our ecenomy and inflict cuts on all those outside of the industry who did not cause this present situation.

    If Ed (and colour will do me) can rally opposition and bring the pain to the Tory millionairs who run this butcher's shop (called the coalition) then he gets my vote.

  • Comment number 67.

    Yes Laughatthetories (number 64)

    Do you ever get the feeling that politics in the UK is never on an even plyingfield and that hypocrasy is always permitted, but only when by the Conservatives?

    While you are at the issue of taking the money and running, what about the fact that Cameron and Osborne are both far too loaded to ever feel any effect of any of thier actions.

  • Comment number 68.

    #53.

    oops, somehow the link got mangled.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milquetoast

  • Comment number 69.

    #14. OK 'horrendous' was maybe over emotive. 'Personally difficult for both parties' might have been a better way of putting it. By which I mean they are both damned if they do and damned if they don't. I still think the better outcome is for David to stand aside completely. If he doesn't then, you have the Blair Brown drama replicated, with the intellectually powerful and dangerously ambitious pretender overshadowing and potentially undermining the leader. And even if DM doesn't mean to do this, the media will make it look as if he is. And on top of that I persist in thinking the public will be uneasy about the concentration of a single family in such key positions of power. And on a calculating personal level, better to leave his brother to flounder alone than be implicated if he suffers a defeat.

  • Comment number 70.

    No63 Jane,
    Are you not aware that the leadership election was conducted on the basis of a secret ballot by those qualified to vote? To what extent do you think you may have been influenced by ex Murdock hacks now infesting Downing Street? becoming increasingly referred to as, a 'hackers haven'

  • Comment number 71.

    #66 The Chair of HSBC run a well run bank that those of NR,BOS and RBS did not, shame their HQ's were in labour heartlands other wise they would have been allowed to go to the wall.

    Were as Ed BAlls was along with Brown were part of the team that did not provide oversight of the banks and also went on their own reckless spending spree in labour heartland seat sovietising the UK and Balls wants to be a shadow chancellor I too like that team as the country will finally wake upto the mess that Gordon Left behind.

    if Gordon has started to make even very mild cuts from 2007 the cut would not have been as deep as they need to be today and as a result will at best end up with stagnation while DEBT is reduced across the economic peist of HMG,Buisness and private debt.

  • Comment number 72.

    A friend of Nick Robinson told me (Me) that a friend of David Miliband told him (Nick Robinson) that he (David Miliband) is contemplating not running for the shadow cabinet (Shadow Cabinet).

  • Comment number 73.

    Ed Milliband. Labour's Iain Duncan-Smith?

  • Comment number 74.

    #49 where did you think the money came from for gordens spending splurrges then.

    banks lending to individuals to buy stuff on the never never and then
    business and the banks paying tax on the profits with both acting as a positive feedback system then it collapsed as the fuel run out.

    Do the calculations if the banks had not lent , nor consumer had not borrowed at the rate they did post 1997 , and I think then that labour would have only had 2 terms in power but with the elction being around late 2003.

    It was quite clear to me that the housing market was overheating in 2000


    NR,BOS,RBS could have all be contructively shutdown with the directors losing it all but keeping the deposits safe but because jobs would go in labour heartlands they had to be supported

  • Comment number 75.

    No74 IR35,
    If you describe the last government's spending plans as reckless, how would you describe 'Del Boy' Dave's plan, a short time ago, to spend more?. Are you in danger of being unduly influenced by tabloid trash?

  • Comment number 76.

    Well, David can choose whatever future he wants. As stated, I'm sure he's been focused on the contest and had high expectations of winning so I doubt he was planning to be beaten by his brother. Now the reality of the situation has got to sink in, he's not the leader and he probably has some personal questions to ask of himself before deciding what steps to take next.

    My personal opinion is that Labour should have distanced themselves from the people who had high level involvement during the Blair/Brown years because I wasn't convinced by Ed M, David, Andy or Ed B (and no way did Diane have the punching power to fight in the big leagues with these other candidates so there wasn't much point in her being there at all) during their time under Blair & Brown and I still remain unconvinced. Ed can talk all the talk he wants but all I find myself seeing is nothing more than a new face put on to the same body. Labour needed radical reform of their party and their principles and I just don't really see this happening, which is why Labour will not be getting a vote from me as things currently stand.

    However, as Ed is the new leader, I think it would be unwise for David to take a prominent role in the shadow cabinet but he can still perform a function in rallying troops from the back benches and keeping the campaigns more focused on the grass roots level while Ed leads from the front.

    However, as I have absolutely no trust or faith in Labour or what they stand for then whatever will be will be and I hope I don't have to see Labour back in government for a long time.

  • Comment number 77.

    No 70

    I am fully aware of the rules for the election of the labour leader. I was member of the party for some 35 years. I stated above that the Unions met in the summer to decide which candidate to support to keep David Miliband out. This is well recognised by many in the Labour Party - not just "hacks" although Kevin Maguire and Charlie Whelan have both confirmed this fact.

    As to secrecy. Of course the election commission counted the votes etc etc. I think I have a genuine complaint that the Unite union circumvented the rules led down for the election by sending out literature (albeit in a separate envelope) supporting Ed Miliband. On the radio this morning too, a woman reported receiving some 36 phone calls from a union convenor trying to persuade her to vote for Ed Miliband. I am not saying this action was illegal - I am trying to point up that the larger trade unions were determined to have Ed Miliband and they brought out their resources to the full. Charlie Whelan is open in saying that he persuaded labour MPs who are sponsored by Unite to place Ed Miliband in second spot on the ballot paper.

    Further, I did not say that the voters were influenced by journalists or "hacks" as you call them. (Strange though that Kevin Maguire has been reporting a lot of this activity yet you blame the Murdoch press????) I am saying that the vote that gave Ed Miliband the leadership was influenced by the leaders of the four large trade unions with Unite making the running by their electioneering in breach of the spirit of the rules led down by the general secretary. They also allowed their political officer to arm twist MPs who receive union funds.

    I have a right to be concerned as I am left with the feeling that the unions have got their man in place. The Labour Party is in financial ruin and needs union funding. All very disturbing..........

  • Comment number 78.

    "75. At 2:11pm on 27 Sep 2010, IPGABP1 wrote:
    No74 IR35,
    If you describe the last government's spending plans as reckless, how would you describe 'Del Boy' Dave's plan, a short time ago, to spend more?. Are you in danger of being unduly influenced by tabloid trash?"

    How about you try and mount a defence of what labour DID do rather than pathetically scrabbling around trying to create a smokescreen of excuse about what other people might have done?

    No? Too difficult?

  • Comment number 79.

    #75 pure arithmetic mate 2+2=4 and if I earn 100 I can only spend 100
    basic stuff like that ,

    Would like to see DC unring fence the NHS there are area of massive saving WITHOUT harming patient and maybe also improving the situation too

  • Comment number 80.

    Am I the only one who has a problem with the very idea of families, relatives getting into politics together? It absolutely reeks of nepotism, favouritism. It's just wrong. That at least, is my perception, and as we all know, in politics perception is everything. But remember back during the Expenses row? There was a case of someone giving jobs to one of their relatives...I rest my case m'lud.

    Blair and Brown weren't brothers, but there was still rampant competition between them, and we all saw how that ended. I can only imagine how much worse it would get between the Miliband brothers. regardless of their "white than white" projected image.

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.