“We can take this lot apart and it is time we did” – full text of Ed Miliband’s Senate House speech

13th November, 2014 1:10 pm

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband spoke at the Senate House, University of London today – here’s the full text of his speech:

You know there is a saying which goes: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Being Leader of the Opposition, particularly in the last few days, I know what it means.

You need resilience in this job.

You need thick skin.

But above all, you need belief in what you are doing.

Not belief based on a longing to have a picture on the wall in Downing Street.

Not belief driven by a sense of entitlement, that it is somehow Labour’s turn.

Instead, belief driven by how we must change the country.

That is why I am in this job.

That is why it matters to me.

That is what drives me on.

And it is through our beliefs that we’re going to win this election.

And if ever my job seems pretty hard, to you or to me, just pause for a minute.

And think about the people doing really hard jobs.

Shift work.

Night work.

Zero hours contracts.

Sixty hours a week.

Two jobs, even three jobs, to make ends meet.

For me, this election is about them.

And let me just say this:

I am willing to put up with whatever is thrown at me, in order to fight for you.

That’s my duty, that’s my responsibility.

That’s our duty, that’s our responsibility.

Not to shrink from the fight.

Not to buckle under the pressure.

But to win.

And remember:

We’re in a fight not because our opponents think we’re destined to lose the election.

But because they fear we can win.

And between now and the election they are going to use every tactic to try to destabilise, distract us and throw us off course.

Our task, the task for every person in this party, is simple:

To focus our eyes on the prize of changing this country.

Now I have heard some people say they don’t know what we stand for.

So let me take the opportunity today to spell it out in the simplest of terms.

It is what I stood for when I won the leadership of this party.

And it is what I stand for today.

This country is too unequal.

And we need to change it.

This inequality doesn’t just affect a few.

But it is about a country that increasingly doesn’t work for the many.

So it starts with one core belief.

Our country only works for the privileged few today, not for most people.

And when I say, “Britain only works for the privileged few”, it is not just a slogan or some theoretical idea, it is rooted in the lives of people in every part of our country.

This is what I stand for.

It is about:

People asking why are they being told there is a recovery when they aren’t feeling the benefits.

People working so hard but not being rewarded.

Young people who fear that they are going to have a worse life than their parents.

People making a decent living but who can’t afford to buy a home of their own.

People who worry that one of the foundation stones of their security – the NHS – is under threat.

People asking why they are on zero hours contracts while some of those at the top get away with paying zero tax.

The zero zero economy we need to change.

And we will be saying more about tax avoidance and how we tackle it later today.

And it is about all those people who feel that there is something just not right about the values of a country when they see Chief Executives get a 21 per cent pay rise last year, as everyone else’s wages have fallen.

These are the symptoms of a deeply unequal, deeply unfair, deeply unjust country.

That’s why I want to be Prime Minister.

To change it.

And this inequality is not some accident.

It is driven by beliefs about how you run countries and how we should run Britain.

Wrong beliefs.

Beliefs that have had their time.

The belief that insecurity is the way you make working people work harder.

The view that low pay is the only way we can compete in the world.

The idea that markets will always get the right outcome, even if that means powerful interests have all the power.

The notion that we cannot afford decent public services when money is tight.

And above all, the most mistaken view of all, that the success of the country depends just on a few at the top.

And when they do well, everyone in Britain does well.

These are the failed ideas of the past.

These are the failed ideas that have landed us with the problems we have as a country.

These are the failed ideas I will consign to history if we are the next government.

And this Conservative government can never change these ideas because they believe all these things and more.

Because they have a core belief, just like we do, but its content couldn’t be more different.

They think that Britain does best when the most powerful do best.

That’s why, when they twist and turn to try to pretend that really, truly, they are on the side of working people, don’t believe it.

They won’t act on zero hours contracts because they think they are good enough for working people.

They won’t do anything about low pay or the living wage, because they think that’s how we compete.

They won’t stand up to the banks or the energy companies, because they are in hock to the vested interests.

They won’t stand up for all our young people because they think we can succeed with only a few doing well.

They won’t raise taxes on the very richest for the NHS, because their donors and lobbyists won’t wear it.

And they simply don’t get why it would matter that we see such unequal rewards in our country.

In fact they make it worse with tax cuts for millionaires and a recovery skewed to the top.

They don’t understand the problem and they can’t stand up for you.

So what do we replace these failed ideas with?

Here’s what I believe.

Basic security at work is the foundation of a successful economy.

That’s how Britain has succeeded in the past and that’s how we will succeed in the future.

Everyone who works hard should be rewarded.

And we cannot put up with an economy based on low pay and low skills.

No vested interest, whoever they are and however powerful they are, from banks to energy companies, should ever be able to hold our country back.

Decent public services are the foundation of who we are as a country.

And above all Britain only succeeds when working people succeed.

Basic British values.


Hard work rewarded.

Vested interests made to work in the public interest.

Public services there when you need them.

And a country succeeding together, not ripped apart.

Labour values.

The values of the British people.

The values that will win us the general election.

And this isn’t just what I believe, it is who I am.

Let me say directly to the British people, here’s what I think matters in a Prime Minister.

When I hear the stories of people who say this country isn’t working for them and they don’t see a future, I don’t shrug my shoulders and say there’s nothing we can do.

Because I was brought up to believe that it matters and we can change things.

When powerful forces try to tell me “no way”, I answer: “who says?”

Because I’ve always believed that no force in our country should be too powerful to be held to account.

And I am proud to believe that we need big ideas to change our country.

Decency, determination and ideas to change Britain – that’s what matters to me.

Big ideas, not the old ideas.

That’s the journey we’ve been on since 2010.

The old ideas won’t work anymore.

There was a global financial crash only a few years ago and there is a deficit that still has to be paid down.

And we will pay the deficit down in a fair way.

That’s why change has to be about big reform, not about big spending.

And in fact, big spending can’t change the fundamentals of an economy that doesn’t work for working people.

And we won’t have the money to do it anyway.

This is about our character as a party.

The wealth creators, not just the wealth distributors.

Because we need to make possible good, private sector jobs at decent wages.

The devolvers of power, not the centralisers.

Because we believe in giving power away so people can change their own lives and communities.

And the reformers of the state, not the defenders of the status quo.

Because we can’t just make decisions in Westminster.

Just as tackling economic inequality is Labour’s mission, so too tackling inequalities of power must be our mission too.

And we’ve changed in other ways as well.

Like on immigration.

It isn’t prejudiced to worry about the effects of immigration.

It is because of the real impacts it has.

I am the son of immigrants.

It is 70 years next year since my grandfather was killed by the Nazis.

And I know the contribution my family has made to this country.

But I also know that it is not enough to say immigration benefits our country as a whole.

So just as we should apply the values of the British people in the way our country is run, so too on immigration.

A sense of fairness means that we can’t simply allow wages to be undercut.

A sense of fairness means that entitlement to benefits should be earned, so you contribute for longer before you claim.

And belief in community means that people should learn English and be part of our society.

We should be proud to stand up for those values.

We will be talking more about immigration as a party.

But always on the basis of Labour values, not UKIP values.

We know that the deep discontent with the country gives rise to those who suggest false solutions.

But unlike the Tories, what we will never do is try to out-UKIP UKIP.

I think it is time we levelled with people about UKIP.

They’ve got away with it for too long.

It is time we had a debate about where they really stand.

They do have a vision of the past.

But I say to working people in this country, let’s really examine their vision.

Because when you stop and look at it, it is not really very attractive.

And it is rooted in the same failed ideas that have let our country down.

Piece together the different statements from Mr Farage and his gang and think about what it says:

That working mothers aren’t worth as much as men.

Life was easier when there wasn’t equality for gay and lesbian people.

You feel safer when you don’t have someone who is foreign living next door.

The NHS would be better off privatised.

Rights at work, whether they come from Europe or from here, are simply a barrier to economic success.

And let’s get out of the European Union.

Is that really the country we want to be?

I don’t believe that.

I don’t believe that’s the kind of country people want.

Of course, people rightly feel a sense of loss about the past.

Jobs that have gone.

Communities that have changed.

Prospects for your kids that are diminished.

But the answer is not to return to a more unequal, more unjust past.

Mr Farage, you may want to live in that world.

But come the general election, I don’t believe the people of Britain will follow.

We’re Britain, we’re better than this.

Surely the better thing is to construct a vision of the future, which does work for everyday people.

And here’s the thing: you can’t construct a vision of the future if you don’t think working women are as valuable as men.

You can’t build a vision of the future if you don’t believe in equal rights.

You can’t succeed as a country if you try to close yourself off from the rest of the world.

You can’t make a fairer Britain if you try to destroy our National Health Service.

The Tories have no answers to the discontent people feel.

UKIP have wildly wrong answers to that discontent.

And who knows what one can say about the Liberal Democrats?

Friends, I say we can take this lot apart and it is time we did.

And we know how we will do it.

Door by door.

Street by street.

Town by town.

And just in case you find people who still believe that there is no difference between the parties, just tell them what we are fighting for:

An £8 minimum wage.

An end to the exploitation of zero hours contracts.

Freezing energy bills until 2017.

Putting our young people back to work.

Paying down the deficit and doing it fairly.

Reforming our banks so that they work for small businesses.

Cutting business rates.

Apprenticeships alongside every government contract.

Building 200,000 homes a year.

Abolishing the bedroom tax.

Tackling tax avoidance.

Hiring more doctors, nurses, midwives and careworkers, and putting the right values back at the heart of the NHS and repealing the Health and Social Care Act.

That’s a plan to build a country that works for everyday people, and not just a privileged few.

A recovery that works for you and your family.

The next generation doing better than the last.

The NHS there when you need it.

We’re less than six months from the general election.

We’re in a fight but it is our fight to win.

Millions of people in this country are resting their hopes on us.

We can’t let them down.

We must not let them down.

We will not let them down.

Let’s fight for a fairer, more just, more equal Britain.

That’s what I am going to do.

That’s what you do, day in, day out.

That’s what every person in this Party must do.

That’s the way we’re going to fight and win this general election.

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  • RWP

    Good to see him coming out fighting – but the polls suggested the last 4.5 years have mostly been wasted as we are still where were in 2010…IDS (one to speak from experience) said that as opposition leader you only have a narrow window to define yourself in the public mind, before you get defined by others … that window is long-past for EdM.

    • Autonomousvoice

      Doesn’t matter about the last 4 and a half years. It only matters about the next 6 months.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Rot. You’ve positioned to the right and now need to finish shadow-boxing with the Tories. The time to appeal to the left is done and gone…anything else you try now is going to be seen (and bluntly, rightly so in all probability) as smoke and mirrors.

        Why would I believe Labour if they pretended to move left at this late, late stage? No, conference was it – and you lead with a benefit freeze and refusal to allow borrowing for council houses.

        • Ian Robathan

          pretend to move left, we have already announced a whole raft of policies. Some of them won’t appeal to those on the left but they are far lefter than we have done in a generation.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Modern Labour is to the right of Thatcher in many areas…you’re neoliberals committed to austerity, tinkering around the edges won’t help.

            And let’s see… “rafts” of policies like freezing child benefit and refusing to allow councils to borrow to build council housing. A low cap on what you’ll increase the minimum wage to…over years…

            So, pull the other one.

    • treborc1

      He could if he wanted make a dam good fight of it though, win or lose, other wise his opposition will be like many in the past nearly men.

  • Olly

    Oh my god. Really? Who writes this stuff? These awful rule-of-three phrases that some fool speechwriter has learned creates memorable phrases – they don’t work with Ed! He just sounds stilted. Those short sentences one after the other that aim for gravitas and just end up sounding robotic. The poor guy does not stand a chance with speeches like this. This is appalling, appalling writing.

    I actually feel sorry for him today. Whoever is making him read this inept, clumsy, fourth-rate-Sam-Seaborn crap needs to take a long, hard look at him or herself.

    • Danny

      Let’s be honest though, he could have wrote something Wordsworth and Keats would have been proud of and you’d have probably said the something similar.

      To be fair, and I only skim-read it, there weren’t that many rule-of-three phrases in the speech. I wouldn’t be surprised if you wrote your post this morning.

      I didn’t watch the speech so can’t comment on the delivery, but from a brief look at the above, its content isn’t that bad.

      Still, haters gonna hate.

      • Olly

        I’m not attacking Ed in my post. I’m arguing he’s poorly served by this sort of speechwriter’s boilerplate. If you think it’s gonna penetrate effectively then fair enough – time will tell all. Let’s see where the numbers are in a month or two.

        Also, isn’t it coming to something when an Ed loyalist defends him by stating that the speech’s content ‘isn’t that bad’. Praise indeed.

        • Danny

          An Ed loyalist? I’ve never been called that before.

          Today’s speech could have been the best he’s ever done and it would not have penetrated all that effectively (as a dirty-minded individual the phrasing makes me feel a little queasy) and where the numbers are in a month or two will have nothing to do with this relatively insignificant speech.

          The speech is relatively well-written against what is admittedly a low bar when it come to recent political speeches across the spectrum.

          What I’m arguing is that you would have typed something negative regardless of the speech’s content and/or delivery. I could be wrong and I’m sure you’ll tell me I am. However, it won’t alter the fact that I get the impression that certain individuals on the right of the party, those deluded few that still have hard-ons for Tony “busted-flush” Blair, could contract kidney failure and have Ed Miliband offer them one of his as a replacement and they’d still think he’s a nobhead who can’t eat a sandwich properly.

          But fortunately, such individuals are rare. He doesn’t need to win over people like that to win. There is a march of voters to the Green Party who are in far superior numbers than the dwindling band of Blairite supporters who see odious cocks like Simon Danczuk as their ideal image of a Labour MPs. And the millions of won’t voters, some of those can be encouraged to the ballot box by ideas highlighted in today’s speech.

        • Nick London

          I tend to agree. The speechs are so repetitive and formulaic, falling back always on cliched tropes. Is there anyone left who doesn’t know ed is the son of immigrants and really loved his mum and dad, or gives a toss about it? The problem is he only sounds like he has conviction when he talks about himself. When he talks about people it sounds like empty rhetoric. Disconnected. He needs to use plain English. Even Cameron’s writers are better at making him seem one of the people for gods sake (over the eu surcharge). Ed does not connect and if he hasn’t learned how to now, he is done.

    • paul oxley

      Perhaps he should just say “Education” three times or “Labours coming home” or finish.his speech by raising his arm to reveal his underarm soaked in sweat from his guilt at lying his head off through his speeches like that other guy did

      You know the one…the regular kind of guy..He was popular once but is now despised and living in fear of Peter Tatchell making a Citizens Arrest on him

      • Olly

        Kinnock would be able to deliver today’s Milband speech and make it sound good. Ed can’t. So why the hell don’t his people write something that suits his vocal style? Less rhetorical, more conversational. Ed is not an orator. That’s fine – oratory is not essential to leadership. But the ability to use language persuasively IS. So someone write something that suits him for f***’s sake.

        • paul oxley

          But he did what you suggest at the Conference and got slated (rightly so for once as it was undeniably average at best)

          The line about taking this lot apart is what most Labour supporters think and was delivered well according to ITV who praised the speech

          Sky of course covered it by not showing the speech.on.their news clips but instead showing a montage of Headlines.from last weeks papers and discussing how unpopular Ed is with Michael Thrasher…but hey its not like they have an agenda..all you Blairites say so

    • I tend to agree. Call me old fashioned, but, I’d say three consecutive sentences without single verb, like:

      “Door by door. Street by street. Town by town” is very poor use of the English language!

  • treborc1

    “And think about the people doing really hard jobs.

    Shift work.

    Night work.

    Zero hours contracts.

    Sixty hours a week.

    Two jobs, even three jobs, to make ends meet.

    For me, this election is about them.”

    I do not get this all people in work do this type of work, this is what we do for god sake we are happy to be doing this, the problem is Ed you have not done any of it.

    What you should be in power for is ensuring everyone has the chance of doing this and sadly over the year labour and the Tories have failed miserably to help us get jobs, you all saw the banks and the bankers and the financial sector at making the jobs.

    • Theoderic Braun

      It also tickles me that whenever working-age benefits are to be frozen or cut people in the media and elsewhere immediately point out that “many of the people affected are in work” implying obliquely that cuts and freezes to working-age benefits aren’t really a problem provided only the non-working were the ones to suffer.

    • paul oxley

      So according to you people are “happy” to be working 60 hours a week, be on zero hours or working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet

      According to Ed they arent

      Im with Ed on that one..and so I think are most people in the country.Think its you who is out of touch by the sound of it more than he is

      A healthy work life balance and one job with a proper contract is what most people want

      • Leon Wolfeson

        But Ed is a neoliberal. So he’s trying to have his cake and eat it, and people are not buying it. Rightly so.

        We’ve moved from one-income families to two-income families, and yet the poor and middle class are still being squeezed.

        Thanks to Neoliberalism. Like Labour’s.
        Labour can’t get round that basic issue.

      • Michelle

        Absolutely. Most people just want a secure job that pays the bills, a secure home, with a bit left over for a holiday once a year. They also want to spend time with their families and friends. For most people, this is becoming a pipe dream.

  • mouthOfTheUmber

    The ‘monstering’ by the right-wing press,
    no doubt orchestrated by the two Aussies, Lynton Crosby & Rupert Murdoch,
    can only lead people to one conclusion.

    The Tory Party are absolutely petrified
    that Ed Miliband will become Prime Minister on 7 May 2015.

    They’re scared the; NHS will be saved from privatization
    by stealth, honest hard working families will get a fair deal and the
    Conservative Party will get a “kicking” from the British public.

    • treborc1

      Will they really. well we will see.,

    • Hugh

      Good stuff. By that logic when Ed attacks Cameron and the Tories (as in his speech) that means he’s scared of them, right?

      • Mukkinese

        Doesn’t it make sense to be scared of another Tory government?

    • leslie48

      But unfortunately our lowest ratings for 4 years yesterday at 29%. We will pay a price for not removing Ed and I can only hope that price will not be the Tories till 2020. Voters are king in this business not misguided loyalty. I will support Ed of course but where I work ( & their all very educated folk) he is not rated as a PM candidate.

      • Ian Robathan

        I could quote YG polls that has show a 1% increase in share for us over the past three days … We can pick any one of any poll to prove a point eh ? Who is the better choice then ?

        Ed ‘freeze child benefit’ Balls
        Yvette ‘do I have a policy stance’ cooper
        Chuka ‘ I am the UK Obama and supported by progress’ Umana
        Andy Burnham – who I actually like but Stafford hospital would be thrown at him time and time again.

        In my view the highest % we can get in May is 35

        • leslie48

          I am not trying to prove a point just that as UK Polling reports this is the lowest percentage Labour have had for four long years since 2010- its emblematic, worth noting not ignoring. i just hope Ed is not a lost leader like the three the Tories had under TB; ‘this is the lowest labour score for years’. They state.

          • Ian Robathan

            but the difference was then no UKIP and no alternatives as LD were not the aggressive sods they were after Iraq.

            Times have changed, the old political rule book in this situation with FPTP can be thrown out and ripped up. We have never seen such a concerted effort by the right wing to get rid of our leader as now. They wanted Kinnock and Foot to stay in but the right are begging us to get rid of Ed now, why do you think that is if he is such a loser ?

          • leslie48

            I think that’s an interesting question. The media love a story like that but for the Tory Media it’s now a big victory because we as a party are too much like the Rabbit frozen in the headlights to do anything . So we continue despite the voters saying no way. The Tory press will now have a 6 month run to denigrate him further and the losers will be all those who will suffer until 2020 in another Cameron/Osborne domination.

          • Ian Robathan

            do you really think the Tories can get any more seats off us, not likely … With UKIP hanging around that effects them far more than us, most say 3 to 1 that has an impact even if we do not increase our vote share one bit and we will

      • Mukkinese

        One poll means little. Remember the yougov poll showing the Yes camp winning in Scotland that got so much press attention?

  • Gafto

    “We will be talking more about immigration as a party. But always on the basis of Labour values, not UKIP values”.

    Ahh, Labour values, with regards to immigration. Forced enrichment and diversity. That will bring the voters streaming back Ed. We will just keep accepting the equivalent population of Liverpool every four years then.

    Immigration is the number one issue for the British electorate. Do the electorate want to hear the wooden communist dork promise more talking, or do the vast majority of people want something done now, about loss of sovereignty, loss of control over borders, dilution of British culture and competition for jobs, homes, school places and services such as the NHS?

    People are sick of politicians talking but doing zilch.

    • Guest

      So you’re a “wooden communist dork”? Erm…

      As you demand policies on ending democracy, preventing the British from fleeing, imposing far-right politics of hate on everything, smashing the job market and lowering wages, building less homes, shutting down free schooling and the NHS as unaffordable in your Isolated Kingdom…

      You’re determined to get cheaper labour, no matter the cost, but you’re one person no matter how many personalities you have.

      Go home, Anglo-Saxon (no doubt to a 95%+ White British area of the UK)

      • Gafto

        I didn’t call myself a wooden communist dork, I didn’t demand an end to democracy, I don’t hate, I don’t want to smash the job market or lower wages, I didn’t mention building less homes or shutting down free schooling and the NHS, nor did I talk about national isolation.

        You really need to get an adult to read your gibberish before you embarrass yourself further with your lack of ability to read, digest and formulate responses to posts, that actually read coherently and make sense.

        You really are a joke Leon or guest or whatever you are called. Like I said before, take some time, maybe seek some help, but try to learn the process of digesting information, make notes of points made/raised, try to encapsulate the conclusions you have drawn from what you have read, formulate these into a sensible, easy to read response which other readers can follow. It isn’t too tricky, have a go.

        Maybe one day you might even develop a style or even introduce concepts such as sarcasm and irony. Don’t however think you can spout your current gibberish without making yourself look like a fool.

        By the way I am an Anglo Saxon and I do live in a largely white indigeonous area, but I also understand the racist hatred you and your Labour ilk have for me and those like me. Your socialist totalitarian policy of forced enrichment and multi culturalism and diversity was thankfully not fully enforced where I live, we still have a sense of community, belonging and identity, thankfully.

      • Gafto

        You accuse me of ‘imposing far right policies of hate’. It is obvious from your childish response to my initial post that you have a hatred for indigeonous British people. You let your fascism show when you suggested that I am an Anglo saxon who should ‘go home’. What is wrong with a 95% white area?

    • Mukkinese

      Really? Yet so many support UKIP a party that is all talk, much of it nonsense, and no hope of any real power…

  • Ian Robathan

    Finally some passion and a vision. Lucy Powell has already had a good impact and I am very grateful for that. Yesterday I called for some radicalism and the words showed this. We are promised new tax policy later, lets see what that brings.

  • MrSauce

    Who was he even talking to?

  • Richard Cahill

    Christ, Miliband’s speechwriter is awful. It’s like he’s trying to make every single line a soundbite. What vapid, disjointed crap.

  • Leslie Bailey

    Around 30,000 dead (starvation and suicide) as a result of DWP/ATOS finding the clearly disabled “fit for work” and taking their benefits from them, and not a bleep out of the official opposition or it’s shadow ministers on this. This is the stuff Labour was set up to fight.
    If Labour care so little about those poor dead who should not be, what makes them fit for Government.

    • Ian

      They can still vote by post, can’t they?

  • Tomleslie

    I watched the speech. It was ok – a bit repetitive of previous speeches. There’s no meat on the bones, no policies as to how Ed’s going to change our country for the better. How much will it cost? Will the 1% hang around long enough to be taxed to the hilt to pay for this predistribution? Or will they move as they did under Hollande?

    Plus somebody has got to stop him doing those long blinks when he makes a point – it’s not a good look..

    • leslie48

      Yes he needs not just passion which was good today – he needs the quick pace of a Cameron and Salmond. But at last there’s a story of an unequal Tory nation.

      • Michelle

        Ed doesn’t do quick, he does thoughtful and sincere, a style that won me over at the leadership hustings (sorry Andy B).

  • paul barker

    The whole episode of Coup/Fightback has been an enormous waste of time & energy, Ed was never the main problem anyway, he is more of a symptom than a cause. The recent Labour slide in the Polls is simply an acceleration of a trend that goes back 20 Months & is essentially the underlying reality being revealed by the approach of the Election.
    The question now is how low can Labour go?

    • leslie48

      What a respectfully stupid analysis; the data shows many want a Labour government but not led by Ed. Its simple ; of course also we have shot ourselves in the foot with Child Benefit freezes so that we had no vision of a more fair UK so we lost swathes of working voters both to UKIP and SNP; Sturgeon is going to gives us a run for our money as she will be left of Ed. And we cannot even inspire millions of public servants desperate to get rid of pay freeze , denigrating Tory Ministers because we have become Tory Lite ( thanks Mr Balls) Our product, our vision is bland and uninspiring and offers little to nobody.

  • Ian

    Same old Ed.

    Good at identifying problems.

    Hopeless at identifying answers.

    • gunnerbear

      Exactly, at the moment, Tata Steel has put it’s Long Products business up for sale…..thousands of jobs are at risk…..please tell can anyone on this site tell me exactly how Ed is going to protect those jobs and keep them in existence and provide job security for the workers under threat……

      • Guest

        He’s a Neoliberal, he’s not. He agrees with you that they should lose their jobs. Be happy!

        • gunnerbear

          Leon, Can you tell me where I said the workers should lose their jobs?

          • Ian Robathan

            there are simply some industries we can not compete if we want to keep costs down. Everyone is desperate for cheap goods from India/China etc and that is a simple fact. Would be great if people were prepared to pay £10 for a school shirt but most including myself find the £3 ones from Asda cost effective.

            What any party has to do is not to offer false hope but look for the new jobs and services, encourage ideas and change our education system for that.

            Thinking we can compete in the world by learning Latin is of course the false choice a lot not he right give. Given our total chaos of an education policy I have no hope for us.

          • gunnerbear

            Fair comment but Ed’s promised those of us in heavy industry job security……you know when he talked about decent jobs and rewarding hard work so I want to know how he is going to it. Nationalisation? Massive tariffs? Blocking imports? Cutting Green reg’s….how is he going to do it……

          • Ian Robathan

            Tell you how Gunner …

            The world is crying out for cheaper green energy. As times go on be it Solar or wind the world will prefer that to fracking and nuclear. Lead the world in green industry, pile cash into research etc and ignore the carbon lobby. Where does the money come from you may ask ? That is easy tax breaks for specific industries … maybe a 20 year freeze on corp tax, 5 year freeze on NI etc

            you target specific future industries instead of allowing others to lead. The comet landing yesterday proved british ingenuity is still up there eh ?

          • gunnerbear

            Solar panels made in China are cheaper than anywhere else in the world. Installers will buy the cheapest panels so that means either banning Chinese ones or putting a massive tariff on them, Wind turbines require vast amounts of steel and concrete (as do hydro electric plants) – not sure if that is so very green. Still, Ed doesn’t explain how he’ll stop the thousands of jobs going at Lloyds Bank or Rolls Royce.

          • Ian Robathan

            too narrow thinking, that is now, does it have to be that in the future ? Otherwise we are dead as country and that is not true. Germany compete with China in high value high quality industry.

          • gunnerbear

            Ian Can you give me an example where Germany competes toe-to-toe with China that does not involve an element of protectionism on the part of the Germans?

          • Ian Robathan

            What is wrong with protectionism ? Why should the majority of our energy companies be held by countries who would not allow the same ?

          • gunnerbear

            You could have protectionism for me…protect all UK industries until the BRIC economies have the same H&S standards as us, labour under the same green regs as us etc.

          • You raise cash to plough into alternative energy by having a 20-year freeze on corporation tax? How does that work? And what do you mean by a “freeze”? Just not putting the rate up? How would raise raise this cash you want?

          • Ian Robathan

            who says you have to raise the cash ? The energy game is expensive, look at how much we have to subsidise nuclear with and that has beeb going for 50 years or more. Of course they employ workers who pay their taxes.

          • You implied you had to raise the cash, and said how would raise it. Now please answer my questions about your corporation tax idea.

          • Guest


            You are a neoliberal. If you chose policies, you chose the consequences of your policies.

          • gunnerbear

            Leon, I’m not Dave or LB.

  • Jim Bennett

    Where’s the specific policy content? Labour have promised to maintain Tory spending cuts, endorsed the public sector pay freeze, pledged to replace Trident, and ruled out borrowing for job-creating investment to boost the economy, save the NHS or build houses. Labour are in coalition with the Tories in my local council. WTF use is Labour?

    • Guest

      Now now, we need UNSC reform before we scrap the deterrent.

      We should get on with that one, since that’s actually one area where both parties agree and even better I agree with their policies on it!

    • It’s a good question. But Labour was at its most useless ever when it had the sort of policies you seem to want.

      • Dan

        1983 was 30 BLOODY YEARS AGO.

        • So what? Do we just forget about the NHS because Labour brought it in over 60 bloody years ago?

          • Dan

            My point is that it’s getting really tiresome seeing people say that one election strategy that didn’t work 30 years ago, is therefore destined to never work ever.

          • Fair enough. If you reckon younger voters are dafter than their mums and dads were, you might want to give it another go.

  • Dan

    The content is decent-ish (though I agree with how awful the disjointed sentences are…it just gives it a really contrived feel, whereas he really needs to be convincing people he’s “authentic”). There’s a powerful argument in there though: the super-rich are taking the piss, big businesses need to be forced to act in the public interest, inequality is never a price worth paying.

    But they need to be repeating this day in, day out, and not do what they usually do, get scared and give up as soon as the media start sneering about how they’re “lurching to the left” or if big businessmen throw their toys out of the pram. At this point, people STILL have no idea what Labour/Ed stand for, so they need to be drumming away with these messages constantly right up til election day.

  • Nick London

    Ed. Mate. Speak English. Use the same idioms the public does. You sound like a robot, programmed to recite cliches in stilted language upon sight of a microphone. And stop talking about yourself, you just keep repeating your (crap) leadership speech. It just makes us wonder: do you mean a single word of it?

  • driver56

    The speech was not the best, The delivery was better. Now we have to make the best of what we have. somebody needs to get a grip of the advisers and speech writers. It is no good just having a go at this point. We need to write and talk the positive from now until the election. we can have inquests behind closed doors.

  • Mukkinese

    Well it’s a start.

    Whatever he does there will be dissenting voices, some whingers from the left, but mostly the same old rightwhingers we always see on this forum who pretend to be left.

    The Tories and their attack dogs in the press have decided that Ed is the weakest link and will be laying into him with all they have.

    Which just goes to show that they believe Labour can win.

    The voters will tire of the contrived character assassinations, they are already tutting loudly at the level of attack by the rightwing press.

    Labour needs to push through and keep up the attacks. Stay on policy arguments and show up the rights strategy for the silliness that it is.

    Labour are still favourite to win, but we will have to fight for a majority…


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