Attacking Brown in this way is bad form…..
I was warming to David Miliband a bit and then all the good work has to come undone almost in a stroke. His Keir Hardie lecture has become notable for its attacks on Gordon Brown. Miliband said:
“I supported and voted for him. I agreed that we needed greater moral seriousness and less indifference to the excesses of a celebrity-drenched culture. I agreed with him when he said that we needed greater coherence as a government, particularly in relation to child poverty and equality.
“I agreed with him on the importance of party reform and a meaningful internationalism … I agreed that we needed a civic morality to champion civility when confronting a widespread indifference to others. But it didn’t happen.”
Miliband may well be right but it has to be said right here and right now his comments lack grace, elegance and dignity purely because as a member of Gordon Brown’s Cabinet he is collectively responsible for the failings of Brown and the leadership.This is something the Ed Miliband recognises and deals with more gracefully as does Andy Burnham although Ed Balls seems to similarly lack grace and humility when it comes to these things. Probably one of the reasons I dislike the comments is it reminded me that during the Newsnight hustings when asked why he hadn’t tried to depose Brown he answered ‘Because I wasn’t ready to be Prime Minister’ as if this is the only factor that mattered in that equation. Whatever his intent, it came across as a personal and a shade on the presumptuous side; unconcerned with Party and country and aloof from those concerns.
Brown had failings; as much of policy as of personality, however, the former ones are not entirely those of Brown alone. The latter ones were excruciatingly exploited by a hostile and downright nasty press; something that probably lends something to my vague feelings of warm sympathy for Brown as a person. David Miliband would do well to display some humility as somebody who shares part of the collective responsibility for our electoral failure. If he wants to be as significant as John Cruddas has tonight claimed his speech was then this is an essential quality for himself as our leader and Labour as a Party.