"We face a new resource crunch, with spiraling energy and food prices as well as water shortages. (...) And the best way to set a new global course, in fact the only real means at our disposal, is through leadership from the European Union - the largest single market in the world, with the clout to set global standards."

David Wright Miliband - public speech at the London School of Economics, 7thMay 2008
Illustration by Laura Hempel
David Wright Miliband with walkman

Quite an unusual statement for an Englishman! Even more so, when he also happens to be the UK's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Bearing in mind how infrequent such pro-European statements are among British politicians, even more attention should be given to the person making them. David Miliband is quite an interesting character: son of a distinguished socialist intellectual, Britain's second youngest Foreign Secretary and a pronounced climate change activist. His grandfather fought as a Warsaw Jew for the Red Army in the Polish-Soviet War and his famous Belgian-born father escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to England, where he married a Polish lady. Stemming from a family so heavily experienced by the issues of nationalism and the pities of the Second World War, David Miliband seems to be particularly well suited to bringing forward the vision of a united Europe.

David must have inherited his ambition and political flair from his father. Whilst pursuing his BA (Hons) at Oxford, he was already actively involved in politics. Gossip among students at the time was that he had received a Walkman from Ken Livingstone for his work for the Greater London Council while still in his teens. Whilst still in his 20s he joined Tony Blair's government, was nicknamed "Brains" by Alastair Campbell and has been pushing forward an ambitious political agenda with a strong EU focus ever since. In his position as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Miliband actively engaged in the European climate change debate, pronouncing the need for more proactive EU environmental leadership and calling for unilateral EU carbon emissions cuts to boost the EU's credibility. From his current position as a Foreign Secretary, he continues to insist that the EU is the only power capable of changing the current global resources crunch trend and as such, has a responsibility to act, not only for environmental, but also for economic and geopolitical reasons.

Today we nominate Mr. Miliband as "Top European" - MP for an EU-skeptical constituency in an area of rich coal reserves, who is forcibly and publicly pushing a Green agenda, looking to the EU for a solution. Keep an eye on Mr. Miliband, as he rarely gives up and might be pushing his agenda further in the future - as Gordon Brown's successor....if you believe everything you read....!

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