Biography 2008 Wilberforce Lecturer David Miliband

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David Miliband has been at the heart of the longest-serving U.K. Labour government since its achievement of office in 1997, working as the head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit prior to his election to Parliament.

Currently Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, he is one of the youngest holders of that office in modern times. He serves in the Government along with his younger brother, both scions of a left wing family, their father Ralph Miliband a Marxist theoretician. The family has strong experience of the vicissitudes of twentieth century European politics having left Warsaw for Belgium before the Second World War and then travelling to the U.K. to avoid the Nazi occupation of their adopted country.

Tonight’s Lecture focuses on Russia and its future relations with the rest of the world. With little experience of Democracy and much of Autocracy in its long history Russia is undoubtedly at a turning point. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent embrace of the wildest forms of free-market capitalism undoubtedly left a population traumatised at their loss of security and great power status.

The re-emergence of an autocratic state with considerable control over the media and public discussion and concerns in the wider world over the quality of democratic standards in Russia has become a matter of discussion for many.

The recent conflict in Georgia brought Russia’s future direction to the forefront of International debate.

David Miliband has been at the heart of such discussion and in a recent speech in Kiev in Ukraine, following the cessation of hostilities in Georgia, he questioned and criticised the more assertive recent stance of the Government of the Russian Federation towards its neighbours.