After my experience at Manchester last year, where the queue to get into the auditorium to hear Ed Miliband speak started at 13:00, I got to the Brighton Centre early, and got one of the last seats in the balcony. By the time I publish this, many others will have commented, and I didn’t take any notes so my perceptions may be influenced by others comments. If you want the transcript, it’s available on Labour List here and the Labour Party have published a web video avaialble on you tube, or there’s a hyperlink in this article.
Many will have heard the best sound bites,
Britain can do better than this!
An appeal to people’s sense of fair play.
They used to say a rising tide lifts all boats, now the rising tide just seems to lift the yachts.
The counter point to “we are in this together”.
…to make Britain better we have got to win a race to the top, not a race to the bottom
The counterpoint to the supply side economists
You see here is the thing about David Cameron. He may be strong at standing up to the weak, but he is always weak when it comes to standing up against the strong.
This may be a killer! There’s something insubstantial about Cameron; he lacks courage and this line has resonance, as Miliband said in his speech, he supports Murdoch over phone hacking, tobacco companies over cancer charities, rich donors over the mansion and income taxes, and hedge funds over hospitals and patients. (Stop, this list could go on.)
The speech also made promises on policy; in the room it seemed hard to pick out the headlines with promises on energy prices and market regulation, house building and rental market reform, repeal of the Bedroom Tax, and end to NHS privatisation, votes for 16 year olds, fair employment laws, increases of the minimum wage and repealing the disability reviews.
There’s a section in the speech where he states the fault of market failure is Government’s not that of the companies, not sure I agree, but we are finally seeing in policy terms what pre-distribution means and the difference between Miliband’s Labour and the old New Labour. This is beyond planning for economic growth so that a Labour Government can spend the tax yield on good causes.
It’s possible that the biggest Impact of the speech will be on the Labour Party, now we can see what policies the insights that predatory capitalism and pre-distribution mean we can answer the big question that I get asked, “Would we do better?”
This may be the first election since 1997 that Britain will have a choice and this speech reinforces the fact that Ed Miliband has moved on from New Labour.