David Miliband cuts a dashing figure.
As he strode into Manchester Town Hall yesterday, he looked purposeful and determined.
All eyes were on him.
A couple of carefully placed features in the weekend papers about his personality and home life and Alan Johnson’s endorsement of him in an interview had raised temperatures.
Everyone was waiting to see what he would say about the leadership.
Addressing an audience of Fabian members, the Foreign Secretary of course disappointed us. He stuck rigidly to the topic: “Foreign Policy as a Labour Strength.”
He discussed everything from Iraq to Europe to Africa to climate change.
He sounded knowledgeable and serious and although it took him a while to get going, by the end the audience had really warmed to him.
Miliband pointed out that power in international relations is shifting.
From West to East.
From states to multilateral organisations.
From government to civil society.
The Labour Party had to recognise all three and develop policies which matched those changes.
A clever question from an audience member about how the Labour Party with its motions and committees and laborious processes could cope with the fast moving world of foreign relations, temporarily flawed the Foreign Secretary.
He didn’t have the answer.
But his mind quickly recovered and he instantly launched into a discussion about Labour values.
It was a good performance.
I came out of the meeting thinking that Mr. Miliband looked and acted the part of a leader.
Only time will tell whether he actually makes it.
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