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Labour conference: Ed Miliband will attend TUC anti-austerity demo

3 October 2012

5:47 PM

3 October 2012

5:47 PM

If we learnt nothing else from this afternoon’s question-and-answer session that Ed Miliband held with delegates, it’s that Labour delegates are quite as eccentric as Liberal Democrat members, if not more so. The junior coalition partner has long enjoyed the reputation of having an eclectic following, but those gathered in Labour’s hall had bought an equally surreal selection of props with them today. They were waving Welsh flags, builder’s helmets, sparkly bags, light-up handheld fans, light-up pens, scarves, crutches, something that looked strangely like a strip light, flashing lights, and open umbrellas.

Delegates try to attract Ed Miliband's attention at the Labour party conference.

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The idea, as well as making the conference hall look rather like a bazaar, was to catch Ed Miliband’s attention by vigorously waving said strange object. Wearing red also worked a treat (Ed clearly works on the same basis as Leftwing Dating when identifying loyal lefties), although when he picked one ‘lady in red’, she announced proudly that he’d given her a kiss at the Labour south east conference. Another woman later told the conference hall that she too had been kissed by the Labour leader only yesterday. No wonder the chap has grown in confidence recently.

Miliband was indeed rather confident when he appeared on stage. Yesterday’s speech was good for him, and he clearly enjoyed the Q&A – although he did at several points warn delegates that he didn’t want them to remove any more garments to get his attention. And the audience appreciated his answers.

But the answer that received the biggest cheer gave us a glimpse of how much hard work the Labour leader has to do. He confirmed that he would indeed be present at the TUC’s mass demonstration in London on 20 October. The delegates loved this. Keeping the unions happy is still desperately important to Miliband: only yesterday Brendan Barber was calling for him to ‘show some sympathy and respect’ for striking workers. But having to bow to groups which campaign so vociferously for the status quo in key sectors such as education not only undermines Miliband’s power but also suggests that on his One Nation project, the ‘working together’ that he was so keen to promote will involve the unions continuing to push for their own agenda for the Labour party. Which isn’t really working together, but being in hock.

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Show comments
  • HooksLaw

    Is ‘Ed’ going to pick an activist who looks like an alien from Men in Black?

    To reiterate
    In one breath Ed says he is all for one nation and in the next he expresses support for militant groups who want the poorest to pay for their privileges, privilidg3s like early retirement ages and gold plated pensions .

    What a cheap liar he is.

    • Pete

      ‘Militant groups’. God you Tories are such a bunch of out of touch loons. Good on Ed M for showing support for hard working people. In stark contrast to Scameron who only meets people that have paid up front first.

      • Nicholas

        “Hard working people” is a meaningless cliché like Brown’s “hard working families”. Who decides who is deserving and on what grounds? Those who polarise the population for political gain are certainly undeserving. I bet there are hard workers and skivers alike in the public and private sectors.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          i thought it was Cameron who warmed to those hard working families who do the right thing. Correct me please if I am incorrect.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          i thought it was Cameron who warmed to those hard working families who do the right thing. Correct me please if I am incorrect.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          i thought it was Cameron who warmed to those hard working families who do the right thing. Correct me please if I am incorrect.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          i thought it was Cameron who warmed to those hard working families who do the right thing. Correct me please if I am incorrect.

      • Nicholas

        “Hard working people” is a meaningless cliché like Brown’s “hard working families”. Who decides who is deserving and on what grounds? Those who polarise the population for political gain are certainly undeserving. I bet there are hard workers and skivers alike in the public and private sectors.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      That is just bloody silly. He is attending. Ok.
      Next week he might visit a hospital, a convent, a mosque, an Islington youth club, a prison, a football match in Sunderland a public school, who knows? .
      One visit to one rally does not lable him as hypocrite or liar.
      Lord , He really does have you lot rattled.
      In a way I am tickled pink, yes, pink.

      • Mike

        I think the conservatives are quite glad to have Ed as labour leader. He is still mainly known as that one who stabbed his brother in the back. He is still “geeky and a bit strange”, he is clearly heading back to the 1970s with the relationship with the unions, threats to re nationalise rail and power companies. No wonder Len and Mark were delighted.

        What the left either fail to admit or “get” is that public spending is far too high for the size of the UK economy. Over 10 years Labour massively increased public spending BECAUSE of the boom in banking and mortgages. Brown ran a budget deficit year after year (Meacher on R5 it was only 3% of GDP as though this was normal) and got away with this because of low interest rates. Basically labour double the national debt on the back of a debt bubble (Gordon said he had abolished boom and bust.)

        When the banks collapsed and stopped paying bonuses the tax on those bonuses stopped coming in creating a record deficit. Ironic isn’t it that all that public spending was with the proceeds of bank bonus tax (income tax and national insurance).

        Now the government has to try and encourage the economy to re-balance away from government backed construction and banking.

        Meanwhile the leader of the opposition is on a union march against “the cuts”… you could not make it up

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      That is just bloody silly. He is attending. Ok.
      Next week he might visit a hospital, a convent, a mosque, an Islington youth club, a prison, a football match in Sunderland a public school, who knows? .
      One visit to one rally does not lable him as hypocrite or liar.
      Lord , He really does have you lot rattled.
      In a way I am tickled pink, yes, pink.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      That is just bloody silly. He is attending. Ok.
      Next week he might visit a hospital, a convent, a mosque, an Islington youth club, a prison, a football match in Sunderland a public school, who knows? .
      One visit to one rally does not lable him as hypocrite or liar.
      Lord , He really does have you lot rattled.
      In a way I am tickled pink, yes, pink.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      That is just bloody silly. He is attending. Ok.
      Next week he might visit a hospital, a convent, a mosque, an Islington youth club, a prison, a football match in Sunderland a public school, who knows? .
      One visit to one rally does not lable him as hypocrite or liar.
      Lord , He really does have you lot rattled.
      In a way I am tickled pink, yes, pink.

  • Austin Barry

    *The idea …… was to catch Ed Miliband’s attention by vigorously waving said strange object”

    I tried that, but was quickly removed by the security guards.

  • Adrian Drummond

    There’s something quite ironic that one of austerity’s causal architects will attend an anti-austerity rally…

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Explain in no more than one thousand words suppport for you allegation quoting figures , statistics, and factual reportage. Daily Mail cuttings are inadmissable as are articles from the Times, Telegraph, Sun( hah!) you may include the Daily Star if you can find one. I will look for references to Global recession,American corporate corruption, UK financial sector imminent collapse,, the potential collapse of the Euro which saint Gordon refused to bend the knee, etc etc but you know the scenario you’ like me lived through it. Only I recall clearly. While you choose to hang the albatross around the wrong neck.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Explain in no more than one thousand words suppport for you allegation quoting figures , statistics, and factual reportage. Daily Mail cuttings are inadmissable as are articles from the Times, Telegraph, Sun( hah!) you may include the Daily Star if you can find one. I will look for references to Global recession,American corporate corruption, UK financial sector imminent collapse,, the potential collapse of the Euro which saint Gordon refused to bend the knee, etc etc but you know the scenario you’ like me lived through it. Only I recall clearly. While you choose to hang the albatross around the wrong neck.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Explain in no more than one thousand words suppport for you allegation quoting figures , statistics, and factual reportage. Daily Mail cuttings are inadmissable as are articles from the Times, Telegraph, Sun( hah!) you may include the Daily Star if you can find one. I will look for references to Global recession,American corporate corruption, UK financial sector imminent collapse,, the potential collapse of the Euro which saint Gordon refused to bend the knee, etc etc but you know the scenario you’ like me lived through it. Only I recall clearly. While you choose to hang the albatross around the wrong neck.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Explain in no more than one thousand words suppport for you allegation quoting figures , statistics, and factual reportage. Daily Mail cuttings are inadmissable as are articles from the Times, Telegraph, Sun( hah!) you may include the Daily Star if you can find one. I will look for references to Global recession,American corporate corruption, UK financial sector imminent collapse,, the potential collapse of the Euro which saint Gordon refused to bend the knee, etc etc but you know the scenario you’ like me lived through it. Only I recall clearly. While you choose to hang the albatross around the wrong neck.

  • http://twitter.com/tom_chance Tom Chance

    Or seeing the unions, and the people on the demo, as part of the one nation he is trying to build?

    • PJLennon

      So you’re saying that the unions aren’t part of our nation then? Have you ever felt the need to visit Tolpuddle in Dorset?

      • Mirtha Tidville

        No

        • PJLennon

          No to what Mirtha?

          • Mirtha Tidville

            The need to visit Tolpuddle…God you lefties dont half need to have everything spelt out for you….

            • PJLennon

              HaHA, thanks Mirtha but of course I am only a pleb you know!

            • PJLennon

              HaHA, thanks Mirtha but of course I am only a pleb you know!

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          You should. It can be quite moving.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          You should. It can be quite moving.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          You should. It can be quite moving.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          You should. It can be quite moving.

      • Fergus Pickering

        No I have never felt the need. Has anybody? Is the place full of pilgrims?

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