I sent my supporting nomination for David Miliband to the Labour Party yesterday afternoon. Catching up with my blog surfing later in the day, I came across this excellent blog post from Tom Harris MP on why David Miliband is the only Labour leadership candidate the Tories fear.
Tom’s main argument is:
“This isn’t about which candidate we, as party members, feel most comfortable with. It’s not even about which candidate has the best policies; there are processes in place for deciding the party’s programme.
It is not about making us feel good as party members. And it’s certainly not about being comfortable about, or even remotely acquiescent in, choosing someone who will lead us to a noble defeat. That would be a betrayal of our party and our country.
It’s about winning the next election.”
David is the only one of the five candidates who has the credibilty to lead us to victory. Unlike my younger readers, I remember the 1980s and have very strong memories of opposition. Not only is opposition, ie not being in power, extremely frustrating as we cannot put our values into practice, it also has the potential to be extremely divisive.
Labour was out of power from 1979 to 1997 to a large extent because we all fell out with each other. We had the soft left, the Trotskyist left, the Militant Tendency, the Labour Co-ordinating Committee, the right wing, etcetera. More damaging than the plethora of labels was the poisonous atmosphere of hate, destruction and general lack of trust.
Since my involvement in London Labour politics began in 1976 I was there when all of this took place. And I never want to go through it again.
It’s for these powerful reasons that I am grateful that this leadership contest has so far been good natured, constructive and conducted in a fair and reasonable fashion. Let’s keep it that way. We want to be back in govenment not in 18 years time but at the next general election with David Miliband as our Prime Minister.