The rather raucous article by Matthew d’Ancona in the Evening Standard, comparing Ed Miliband to Neil Kinnock, is quite right – but not in the way it was intended. Ed M is going to have to spend a great deal of time distancing himself from the Left and is doomed to spend the rest of his leadership desperately holding the reins as Right and Left fight it out.
That much is good for the Lib Dems. Most of the cleverest Labour Party members I know backed David Miliband, but my sense is that leading Lib Dems feared Ed more. Why? Because he is a thinker, a great collector of ideas, and he is already fishing in the same pool as most thinking Liberals.
So he poses a major challenge to the Lib Dems, whether we like it or not. We have to articulate the future better, more excitingly and more distinctively, in territory that is so obviously Liberal that Ed can’t drag his party after him. He may be a Neil Kinnock, but the danger is that he will also be a Jo Grimond.
Oh yes, and come to hear me at the Eminent Corporations lecture at the National Maritime Museum on 30 Sept at 7pm: http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/events/eminent-corporations
Speedrail to the South (1967)
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