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Ed versus David Miliband on Syria

John Rentoul

milibands 1639532c 300x187 Ed versus David Miliband on SyriaA paragraph of exquisite dryness from Janan Ganesh in his column in the Financial Times today, in which he notes the resilience of the doctrine of intervention promulgated in his Chicago 1999 speech by Tony Blair:

Perhaps his greatest victory has been in influencing the British politicians who have succeeded him. True, Ed Miliband, the Labour leader who helped to see off the proposed mission in Syria, shows an almost neurotic keenness to distinguish himself from Mr Blair. (Their respective electoral records may end up doing that for him.) When he urges the government to heed the “lessons of Iraq”, it is obvious he thinks that war discredited an entire approach to foreign policy.

The Labour leader’s brother David, who starts his new job in New York today and who writes elsewhere in the FT, makes it bluntly clear which side he is on:

While international engagement is decreasingly popular in the advanced democracies, a multipolar world makes it increasingly necessary.

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  • reformist lickspittle

    So Ed is right, and David wrong. Yet again.

    It is becoming rather a common occurrence now.

  • Hill244

    No. John. I was actually on the Syrian border – ZaNuLabour sent Tarquin and Fiona to get a soundbite via somewhere in London. Ok Ja?

  • Mombasa69

    Ed is so out classed by his brother, I can’t blame David for sitting this one out quietly in the background while his insidious brother makes enemy after enemy.

  • aardvark10

    As an alternative view of Blair than that held by Jana Ganesh and John Rentoul, read Jessie Norman on Conservative home. Article concludes with

    His actions have created an Aeschylean tragedy of hubris and nemesis—of individual blindness and arrogance, and collective retribution. We are still paying the price. But he has yet to answer for it.

    Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • bugedone

    David Miliband’s contribution is sufficiently weasley worded to mean almost anything frankly. “International engagement” can cover anything from sounding off at the UN to carpet-bombing Damascus. Have our standards of public discourse plumbed such depths that this dross now passes for profundity?

  • greggf

    “While international engagement is decreasingly popular in the advanced democracies, a multipolar world makes it increasingly necessary.”

    What a vacuous statement!
    It’s the sort of couplet one might expect from Joseph Goebbels; from someone looking for an excuse to do something.

  • JohnJustice

    Sorry JR but there is an “almost neurotic keenness” here ( to use Janan Ganash’s own words) to polarise the Miliband brothers. In fact, as I have repeatedly shown at this site Ed’s conditions for supporting military action in Syria were perfectly reasonable and very close to Tony Blair’s conditions for supporting action against Saddam.

    Ed is NOT against the international engagement referred to by his brother. He is only against rushing into action before proper evidence has been obtained and before due process has been followed. Now present your evidence that David does not agree with this approach.

  • greggf

    “…..Tony Blair’s conditions for supporting action against Saddam.”

    However David Miliband seems to think “it’s the same script as Afghanistan”.
    Although with the incursion into Syria of CIA trained help for certain rebel groups it’s actually more like Kennedy’s “advisers” for the South Vietnamese Army.
    Perhaps David is too young to remember that……!

  • Peter Porcupine

    That photo showing the two Milibands between the slogan ‘Don’t let him take Britain back to the 1980s’ is particularly apposite, given the news that the GMB has decided to punish Ed for his effrontery in reforming the party’s links to the trade unionists by slashing party affiliation funds from £1.2m to £150,000.

    The Labour party was unelectible in the 1980s, at least in part because of domination by trade union barons. Like the Bourbons, the petulant, posturing Stalinists of the GMB Executive have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

  • reformist lickspittle

    If by “outclassed” you mean “spouting meaningless wonkspeak”, then I agree ;)


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