The Thick of It


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#Lab 11 Ed Miliband's speech

Four years from an election the polls don't really matter but they do consistently show that Ed Miliband's leadership is yet to make a breakthrough. In today's speech Labour supporters like me were looking for a breakthrough from Ed. 

Winning back voters trust is central to Labour winning again. Miliband was calm and clear, his delivery has improved and he shows that he understands the issues that worry most ordinary people at the moment. There was a great deal from Ed about what is wrong in Britain at the moment. He cited the likes of Fred Goodwin of RBS as the wrong face of Britain. 

A new bargain for our economy, the something for something deal. "Producers versus predators". Suggested changing tax and regulation of the economy. A system that incentivises those that produce sounds great. Ed made great play of being on the side of business. That is crucial and it was clear that Ed wanted to talk more about business than unions. He then went on to hit the energy companies, moments after hitting bankers. He spoke of wanting to open the "closed circles" of opportunity. 

His delivery was calm and methodical and gave the feeling that he cared. There were lots of promising signs and he has clearly grown into the job. 

A great line was hidden in the middle of his speech. Contrasting the VAT rise with Tory attempts to cut the 50% top tax rate, he said that only David Cameron would make "ordinary people work harder by making them poorer and richest work harder by making them richer."

I can't help feeling that there wasn't enough. Delegates applauded loudly when he said you can't trust the Tories with the NHS. Fine. But this speech needed to be about what the Tories are doing wrong and how Ed's Labour will be better. 

He closed by saying he wanted to fulfil the promise of Britain. Today's speech showed me he knows what is wrong and has some ideas of how to change this. For me this wasn't a breakthrough moment. It was a steady and promising speech, one of potential rather than that of a star who is already there. 

Next for the media reaction...

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