Saturday, 25 September 2010

Now Ed must show real leadership

I didn't vote for Ed Miliband as leader. But now that he has been elected, I congratulate him and will join other party members in giving him my support. But he must also show the country that he has what it takes to win their votes. That means a rather more outward-looking agenda than has been apparent during the leadership campaign. It means a selective and coherent critique of the coalition, which starts from an acceptance of what we would have cut and an indication of what we can support - some welfare and education reforms, for example - followed by a strong and clear critique of those coalition cuts and policies that are bad for Britain. It means a recognition of the issues that matter to those voters who elected us under Tony Blair three elections in a row, and a conscious abandonment of those parts of the Brown approach that contributed to our defeat. I don't share the silly characterisation of Ed Miliband as 'Red Ed', but the challenge for our new leader is to show the voters that it is just that. We need surprising, innovative and vote-winning ideas in Tuesday's leader's speech and in the months ahead. Not least because we have had precious few of them during the long leadership campaign.

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