Outlining some of the tough choices the party faces, the former foreign secretary says Labour must look at public services reform as well the reform of markets in the wake of the banking crash, and that a core issue in British politics will be the level of public spending and its distribution.
He goes further than some front-rank Labour politicians in highlighting possible specific switches in spending by praising a plan to freeze child benefit for 10 years to pay for better childcare.
It represents his first assessment of British politics in the wake of the conference season, and without contradicting the strategy of his brother Ed, the party leader, represents a different emphasis.
It has been argued that Ed Miliband has focused more on the failure of markets, especially financial markets, than seeking to spell out precisely what tough spending choices will have to be made, or how public services will have to change.
David Miliband left the Labour conference in Manchester early to give his brother the full limelight, but his potential future role in Labour politics remains a subject of intense speculation.
In his article David praises his brother for his One Nation speech, but tries to suggest where the party might need to do more.
The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, has already promised that an incoming Labour government will conduct a review of every departmental budget. But David Miliband chooses to map out what some of these tough choices might mean, including hinting that Labour might need to think of decentralising some services down from Whitehall to metropolitan areas.
He writes: "The fiscal crunch requires a different kind of state. The failure of the government's economic policy makes how much less we spend, and how and where we spend it, a core issue. We cannot meet our goals on jobs, health, education, long-term care and tackling poverty without changing the way government goes about its business."
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