Writing in the Observer magazine alongside shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, Ed Milband is warned against swinging too far to the left, advising him to court the middle classes in the same way Obama has.
Both Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama presented Barack as a president for the middle classes during the Democratic Convention.
Michelle Obama recalled her husband’s middle-class roots, telling the convention “Barack knows the American dream because he’s lived it.” Clinton echoed her description of Obama as a president for ‘ordinary people’ attacking Republican Mitt Romney’s policies, claiming they encourage prosperity only for the very wealthy.
A new advert for the Democrats attacks Romney in the same vein, claiming he wants to extend tax cuts for millionaires at the expense of middle-income earners.
However Ed Miliband is cautioned against relying on Cameron’s unpopularity to win Labour the next election.
“It helps the Democrats that the Republicans are so aggressively wrong on issues of gay rights, women’s rights and minority rights” Miliband and Alexander argue.
“We won’t have that luxury in the same way here – unless the Tories really lose it culturally as well as economically – so we have to find new ways to connect our politics with the small businesswoman in Ipswich, the GP in Fleetwood, the personal trainer in Gloucester,” they add.
He is urged to adopt a stance that acknowledges the party’s New Labour past. The unity between Democratic past and future was cinched in a hug between Bill Clinton and Obama on Wednesday, an embrace made more powerful because of their past rivalry.
Ahead of party conference season, the two Labour politicians said that the party should move away from funding and instead “reach out” to the liberal democrats “with the aim of working together to get big money out of politics. ”
Their letter came as Ed Balls issued a fresh appeal to Business Secretary Vince Cable to work with Labour on a Plan B for the economy as he sought to exploit coalition tensions.
Alexander and Miliband urged labour to not just focus on economic reform, but a whole raft of government reforms, writing “there is another truth after the financial crisis: that government is on trial as well as the markets.”
Huffington Post UK