Miliband seeks to emulate Obama

David Miliband launched his official leadership campaign website today, vowing to bring Labour together and lead Labour to power.

David Miliband launched his official leadership campaign website today, vowing to bring Labour together and lead Labour to power. The shadow foreign secretary, who has already secured his place on the ballot paper, stressed his campaign experience and spoke of his desire for Labour to re-engage with members of the party, trade unionists and the wider public at the launch in Westminster today.

Echoing President Obama’s “movement for change” rhetoric, Mr Miliband said he hoped the website would be “a place for debate and discussion”, and that supporters would use it as a resource to “build relationships and coalitions for political change”.

He spoke of “devolving power over organising events, word of mouth, spreading information” as the best way not just for his supporters but all Labour supporters to spread the message, and that “by broadening the base” of activists “you are likely to strenghten” the whole structure.

On the leadership race generally, he said “the more the merrier”, and believed Gordon Brown “would have benefited” from a contest – though he stopped short of acceding to John McDonnell’s request for him to advise his supporters to stop nominating him now he’d received sufficient numbers to make the ballot.

Speaking of his experience as one of the first ministers to blog, he said:

“When I was at the ODPM, I would engage in dialogue with some of the commenters, one of them was about shared equity, and I had the same dialogue at the foreign office; let’s be honest, we weren’t re-writing foreign policy because of it, but it was important.

Responding to a question from Left Foot Forward about his own campaigning experience, he recalled:

“I’ve been a member of the party for 27 years, since 1983. I remember first going out campaigning with my dad in Pudsey in the 1974 election.

When further asked about some of the campaigns he’d worked on in his South Shields constituency, he added:

“I’ve been involved with many campaigns in South Shields, we’ve had tenants groups we’ve helped out, we’ve worked with church groups. I have regular all-member meetings in South Shields, to which trade unionists and members of the public can come along.

“It is very important to be open; I’ve never subscribed to the Leninist theory.

Though he has undoubtedly done much to highlight his record as a campaigner and a local activist, his experience is not quite the same as Obama’s, with his history of community organising, even though he has adopted the “movement for change” mantra.

19 Responses to “Miliband seeks to emulate Obama”

  1. Claire

    RT @leftfootfwd: Miliband seeks to emulate Obama: http://bit.ly/bnNfEy

  2. Claire

    Sorry, that was from David's new 'Obama' campaign site, http://bit.ly/bnNfEy. Sheesh.

  3. Ben Cooper

    RT @leftfootfwd: Miliband seeks to emulate Obama: http://bit.ly/bnNfEy < mmmm!

  4. Jessica Asato

    Coverage from @leftfootfwd of today's @dmiliband website launch http://bit.ly/aCbBOM #david4leader

  5. Dominic Campbell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Miliband seeks to emulate Obama: http://bit.ly/bnNfEy

  6. Ben Lyons

    RT @leftfootfwd: Miliband seeks to emulate Obama http://bit.ly/bnNfEy

  7. Guido Fawkes

    Bangs head against keyboard.

  8. trevmax

    what’s the Leninist theory he didn’t subscribe to?

  9. geekparent

    Movement for change? We’ve just had change – it doesn’t happen every day you know!

  10. Andy Ray

    OK, David wants an honest debate, and hopefully he’s honest about it. Despite the existence of the Party/team, a leader stands out as a leader because he’s singled out as an individual. So let’s start with his personal balance sheet. No doubt academically he’s highly qualified. And, whatever the reason for him to be catapulted into the job of our Foreign Secretary, at the end of the day, now he surely has gained significant exposure, perspective and name-recognition in the political world. But in terms of his relevant and adequate qualification/experience to lead the Party, and one day the government and the country, as he didn’t seem to rise through the customary ranks of being a branch official or a social/public sector worker or a councillor, this may remain an Achilles Heel for him. Also his youthful exuberance/inexperience led him to make a cultural faux pas during his Indian trip, and rushing to side with Cameron to disproportionately accuse Russia for “invading” Georgia — as compared with the more circumspect/wise Obama, or even Sarkozy, simply holding their horses! And, once again acknowledging his superior academic qualifications, one might question his intellectual, not to speak of moral, judgement on Iraq (though he’s wishing it to go away — even though our kids are still there, dying!).One would wonder how come, based on the same facts which Robin Cook saw (and even Joe Public like us could guess!), David opted to unleash (with neocon Bush-Blair) deliberately and disproportionately “shocking and awe-inspiring” carpet bombing campaign on Baghdad’s sleeping civilian population? And even his latest stance on Iraq, that we had to invade in order to establish the UN’s authority because Iraq was openly ignoring UN’s resolutions, may not be intellectually that tenable — and we are ruling out an attempted subterfuge on his part — because we didn’t have the UN’s authority either and acted as a bunch of international vigilante. And worse if we remember the perspective : ironically, nuclear-armed Israel has been flouting (with American backing) UN resolutions some 71 times, whereas Saddam flouted them 17 times!

  11. Anon E Mouse

    trexmax – You need to realign your satellite dish – check the strength in “Services” – “Signal” to ensure it is around 75% and “Locked”… if not you need to get an installer out…

    David Miliband is surely the frontrunner in this leadership challenge – I would have liked Cruddas to give the electorate a real choice ideologically but it’s not going to happen.

    Go for it David Miliband I say!

  12. Billy Blofeld

    So Miliband is the new Obama is he?!

    Obama and O’Banana striding the world stage together – they really are the international dream ticket…….

    …..people all round the world will be holding their breath, hoping, just hoping that Labour elect the right man.

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Billy Blofeld – Very good on the O’Banana but would you rather his brother, Ed Balls, Liam Byrne or Harriet Harman?

    He’s the best of a bad bunch and remember the only reason the banana got to the press was Browns’ thugs and bullies in Downing Street leaking stories to the press. That was worse…

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Billy Blofeld – “The bad bunch” was a pun…

  15. trevmax

    anon. thanks. the direction is ok put it points through a rather tall and bushy bush. when it rains, the bush fills with water and absorbs the signal.

    i need to cut the bush before the world cup but don’t have an NVQ in “exterior ladder climbing and shears operation”. I would have thought that with 5.5 million on benefits I’d have had lots of ‘man with van/shears’, ‘odd jobs done for food’, ‘hedges trimmed for booze’ type flyers through the letter box. Nada. Maybe they’re all at home watching Discover on SKY – or Jeremy Kyle 😉

  16. Anon E Mouse

    Andy Ray – Your comment “nuclear-armed Israel has been flouting (with American backing) UN resolutions some 71 times” is a typical anti Israel comment.

    Saddam breached UN *Security Council* Resolutions. That’s the difference.

    Perhaps you’d like to enlighten this blog as to the number of UN Resolutions Palestine has breached before you start ranting and go off on one. Well?

  17. Anon E Mouse

    trevmax – Nice one. You’re too witty to be a Socialist dude! They are all too serious normally. What gives?

  18. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] David Miliband, meanwhile, launched his official campaign website on Wednesday, with the strapline “bringing Labour together, leading Labour to power”. […]

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