Wasn’t sure how to title this post: “Congratulations to Ed Miliband”, “Introducing Labour’s new Leader” (NB words in that order with no variation) or even “All hail the chief” but in the end the announcement of Ed Miliband as new Labour leader is great news for the party and country. This means that we can move on from the stagnation of four-and-a-half months (feels like nearly 5 years) of leaderlessness and get on with the business of opposition. Now that the LibDums have slung their lot in with the Tories, Labour are this county’s only major opposition party. Omens are good: we are drawing level with the Conservatives in the polls despite only having an acting leader, the by-elections of actual votes cast in council by-elections are swinging our way and we are winning numerous new councillors from defected LibDems as the last post on this blog showed.
It may have been a close nailbiter of an affair but the selection was won fair and square. Ed needs to get on with the job of opposing and focus on the election to make sure that we don’t face another repeat of history. It is incumbent on all Labour members to unite behind the leadership and ensure this next period does not turn into another wilderness years for Labour, like 1979 – 1997 when I first came into political consciousness. Ed Miliband has shone with his thoughtful and powerful speeches to many a Labour gathering over the years (Fabians/ Progress/ Compass etc). He now needs to take his message to the country. Just a thought though. Like Hestletine v Major, Hilary Clinton v Obama heck David Cameron v David Davis: we have here another case of succession based on seniority (favouring the valiant David) being overturned by the youthful challenger. As Ed M said himself on tv this morning it’s more about the future business and a new generation rather than the sterility of debates on the legacy of New Labour. It may be a bumpy ride but as the scale of the Tory cuts unfold, the fightback/ path to power starts here.