We can’t afford to get the choice of party leader wrong. As the Tories discovered after 1997, leaders without vision, experience, and popular appeal can throw their parties on the electoral scrap heap for a generation.
It seems to me that David Miliband’s vision for the country is grounded in the fight against inequality, which is at the heart of what drives the Labour Party. It’s arguably the reason for the creation of the party in the first place.
I think there was a public perception over the last 13 years that the Government had stopped seeing their job in those terms, and that the focus had narrowed just to economic and public service management.
But David Miliband has now put tackling inequality back at the centre in his leadership campaign.
He is fighting for equality of opportunity, with proposals to transform education in this country, giving all children an equal opportunity to succeed.
He is fighting income inequality with a vision to rebuild the economy with a return to full employment, a living wage, a High Commission to look at top pay in the private sector, and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new green jobs
And he is fighting for equality of outcome with a progressive taxation system, and a strong welfare state.
David has the experience to lead the party, and the country. In his 9 years as an MP, he spent 5 as a minister. He was behind the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme, which rebuilt or refurbished every school in the country, he secured the Climate Change Act, and was a major contributor to the 1997 manifesto.
Finally, David is popular with the electorate. He is well known and liked all over the country, and in a Newsnight focus group of undecided voters, the entire panel judged that David was the best of the leadership candidates.
I think it’s essential that we elect David Miliband as the next leader of the party. He is the candidate with the vision, experience and popular appeal to lead Labour to victory.