Miliband advices Brown on ‘economic challenge’, cites Indian middle class

July 30th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, July 30 (IANS) British Foreign Secretary David Miliband Wednesday offered his government urgent words of advice ahead of general elections in what commentators called a challenge to the leadership of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “The economic challenge is new. People want protection from a downturn made in Wall Street,” Miliband wrote in an article in The Guardian, a newspaper that is sympathetic to the ruling Labour party.

“The country needs to prepare for an upturn when new service industries - insurance, education, care, creative industries - are growing at home but also among the new Chinese and Indian middle classes,” he added.

The Guardian’s main frontpage article was based on Miliband’s opinion piece, and was headlined ‘Miliband intervenes: Labour needs to change and change now.’

The Times, which ran an article with the headline ‘Miliband positions himself for leadership,’ said: “…the timing and content [of his piece] will ensure that the intervention is interpreted as an assault on Mr Brown’s leadership.”

Miliband, 43, is seen as a youthful and energetic contender for Labour leadership after the party suffered a string of electoral reverses, most recently to the regional Scottish National Party in one of Labour’s safest seats in the city of Glasgow.

Although Miliband did not name Brown in his article, he wrote: “Let’s stop feeling sorry for ourselves, enjoy a break, and then find the confidence to make our case afresh.”

The British premier is currently on holiday in the seaside town of Southwold, northeast England.

Miliband added, “To get our message across we must be more humble about our shortcomings, but more compelling about our achievements.”

“When people hear exaggerated claims either about failure or success, they switch off. That is why politicians across all parties fail to connect.”

Brown’s supporters say the prime minister remains the best equipped to deal with the current economic downturn, citing his record as one of post-war Britain’s finest finance ministers.

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