Britain’s foreign secretary is touted by many as a future prime minister and the saviour of his party—questions that the current torments of the Labour party have made especially urgent. In the unlikely event of a coup against Gordon Brown, David Miliband probably won’t be among either the ringleaders or the chief beneficiaries. But it is increasingly clear that this ambitious, intellectual and articulate politician has a central role to play in the future of British politics.
In our cover story this month, Miliband spoke to a panel of interviewers—Robert Cooper, Kishwer Falkner, David Goodhart, Dominic Lawson and Richard Reeves—in the fullest and frankest public exposition to date of his thinking as both a foreign secretary and Labour politician. It’s a confident, informed performance, and one which moves between the inevitable blandness of pre-prepared lines and some engagingly impassioned discourses on policy, the history of Labour thought, and the larger problems besetting modern politics.
Among other topics, Miliband discusses the nature and future of liberal intervention, great power rivalries in a globalised world, climate change, British politics, the future of Labour and the left—and why and how social inequalities need to be attacked. The scene is certainly set for a convincing post-election leadership challenge, if Labour lose and Miliband decides to stake his claim. How might the mantle of prime minister-in-waiting sit on him then, with a Cameron-led Conservative party in power?
As ever, please let us know your thoughts and share your comments below.