Sat. May 21st, 2022

Asked what he misses most about being a Labor leader, Ed Miliband replies: “The pulpit … the chance to talk to the country and shape the national debate.”

Perhaps surprisingly, what he least misses is “the intrusion into your family life. The feeling that you are never able to turn off. ”

Oh, and he’s not looking for the bear hole in the Prime Minister’s question “et iota”.

“It was just a pig. “It holds the prime minister to account, but it never wins the leader of the opposition any favor,” he told the Ham & High Podcast.

Perhaps North Londoner Keir Starmer should take note of a man whose devastating election defeat in 2015 reaped such a personal and political downfall. So how do Ed’s wife Justine and sons Samuel and Daniel feel about returning to the shadow closet? A grayer Miliband gestures by hand to denote ambivalence.

“I’m glad I came back, it’s a lot less stressful than being a leader, but they would say I work too hard. I do not find relaxing and do not work very easily to be honest. ”

When he does not see the Boston Red Sox or Unforgotten box-sets, the Darmouth Park resident has become a swimmer — after reading a New York Times list of the best swimming spots and realizing he had never been near him .

“I’m definitely a convert,” he says, revealing that the disadvantage crosses paths with former Labor spin doctors on their morning workouts.

“I ran into Alastair Campbell at the lido the other day because the ponds were closed. When I arrived at 7 with many people, Alistair welcomed me with: ‘Ladies – we have to stand in line because of you.’

“Thank you and good morning to you!”

Although he has written a book Go Big: How To Fix Our World, Ed offers no tips to Starmer.

“Everyone always has an overview of what to do, you get so much advice.”

It’s inspired by his podcast Reasons to be Cheerful, where he and Geoff Lloyd interview the world’s doers and fixers who tackle big issues. But it is also a manifesto of the power of ideas.

“People confuse winning on the first try with the belief that it can never happen, but good ideas if you fight for them tend not to die. Change seems impossible before it happens. Part of the DNA “In politics, you have to be optimistic. My father used to say ‘history is on our side’. Things are getting better. The struggle is creating positive change.”

Left to right: Sir Keir Starmer, Tristram Hunt and Ed Miliband at Haverstock School.  Photo: Nigel

Left to right: Sir Keir Starmer, Tristram Hunt and Ed Miliband at Haverstock School. Photo: Nigel Sutton.
– Credit: Nigel Sutton

Marxist academic Ralph Miliband and human rights activist Marion Kozak, who both survived the Holocaust, raised their sons David and Ed in Primrose Hill.

“My first political memory is Harold Wilson resigning. The playschool was canceled and I was extremely sad, ”he laughs.

Ed grew up under Thatcherism, attended inner London extensive Haverstock School, when he did not sneak out to see Dallas, Ed participated in the debate in his “very political household”.

“There are two choices; to rebel or come up with the program. Our parents encouraged us to have opinions and invited us into the conversation, it gave me a thrill about politics. My father was very egalitarian. People would come to dinner, me or David would whistle up, and if there was a feeling that the guest was patronizing us, he would step in to defend us. ”

His most vivid memory met with the anti-apartheid campaigns Joe Slovo and Ruth First, who were later assassinated by the South African government.

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband
– Credit: Jenny Smith

“It made me feel like politics was about big things. That was really important. ”

And although their Holocaust experience “was not really talked about”, Ed felt it “must be quite defining”.

“I think of the shift it caused them, it made them almost quasi-religious in their belief that you have a responsibility to make the world a better place, which if I am completely honest, is a huge burden.”

He has fond memories of Primrose Hill Primary as a “nice, safe place,” but Haverstock, which he left with four A-levels and a spot in Oxford, was a whole edgier view.

“The teaching was of high quality – but it had its rough elements. I remember feeling a little anxious at times. I see from my son that security and bullying are being taken much more seriously today than it was then. ”

If the podcast and the book have helped humanize Miliband, they have also been a platform for discussing major issues.

“Politics, the daily yah-boo stuff can feel very daunting. We saw that there was a desire to cover big ideas in an accessible non-biased way. We would get people to say, ‘I’m a conservative and would never dream of voting for you, but I like some of your ideas.’ “

Miliband believes Britain is at a crossroads. “We are in injury time for the Thatcherite settlement, which was adapted by Tony Blair, and people across the political spectrum are looking for the new solution. My constituency voted 70% for Brexit, they wanted something else. The question is, what does the new contract look like? ”

He says he tried to “move the debate further” during his election campaign, reflecting that he “could and should have been bolder” because small changes will not solve huge threats such as climate change and inequality.

“Many things I said were controversial back then – ‘Red Ed’ and all that. You can now not find anyone who disagrees with them. It takes time to move a debate. I am on a mission to convince people that it is not hopeless and if I can say that it has been something about having lost a general election! ”

Amazingly, he remains optimistic about the political process, but adds: “It is not politicians who make changes, it is people, but the role of politics is to try to make sense of our collective experience and what the future looks like.”

Will his children follow him into politics?

“I do not think so, which I am probably quite happy about. They care about the world, but without too much of an overwhelming responsibility for it. ”

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Go Big is released by the Vintage Prize £ 18.99

Go Big is released by the Vintage Prize £ 18.99
– Credit: Delivered

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