Just a few words about Ed’s Q&A session that took place in Small Heath, Birmingham last night along with Jack Dromey and Shabana Mahmood. I think I can speak for the majority of the large crowd who attended when I say just how inspirational Ed’s speech was. It has been clear to me for quite a while now that out of all the Labour Party leadership candidates, Ed is best placed to take the party forwards; not only to make us the effective opposition that the country needs, but also into government at the next general election.
Only by moving away from the spectre of ‘New Labour’ can we hope to reconnect with the four million voters who have turned away from Labour since the heady days of 1997. Let’s not forget; only a million of those votes went to the Tories. It is therefore essential that as a party we re-engage with the hearts and minds of those, who, for various reasons have walked away from the party, and in some cases, from politics altogether.
I am convinced that not only can Ed Miliband lead a united party against the savage, hard times that the coalition are about to inflict upon this country, but that he can also reach out to the disenfranchised. Those members of the public who show a general disgust for politicians and politics, but also those previous Labour supporters and voters who feel that the party has left them behind. There are those who consider that a vote for Ed is, in the words of one David Miliband supporter on Twitter, ‘pandering to the left’, or even worse, a ‘left wing sop’. These people are not only wrong, they also serve as a timely reminder as to what was so bad about New Labour; we must learn from these errors and move on.
If you are a Labour Party member, I would urge you to make Ed your first preference on your ballot paper. Our parties future, and the secure future of this country depend upon it.