Ed Miliband has long made responsible capitalism a primary concern of his leadership, and in today’s Telegraph, the Labour leader has a stab at explaining a little more of what he wants it to look like.
He has lately taken to pointing out that his speech to his party’s conference last autumn which so confused people with its talk of predators has come good following scandals such as Libor. MPs in his party hope that he will point this out once again when he gives his conference speech in just a few weeks’ time.
But enlarging on this theme now, he tells Charles Moore this:
‘But I believe capitalism is the least worst system we’ve got. I believe in the creativity of Blackberry [picking up his], or whatever. But I want it to be more decent, more humane, more fraternal.
As much as he supports capitalism of a nicer sort, he is also keen to articulate his support for socialism of a different sort, too. Moore asks whether ‘the great lesson from his parents is ‘that socialism was a god that failed?’
‘No!’, exclaims Ed Miliband vehemently, because socialism is not a rigid economic doctrine, but ‘a set of values’ It is ‘a tale that never ends’. Indeed, the strange fact is that ‘While there’s capitalism, there’ll be socialism, because there is always a response to injustice.’
So socialism is not a separate, mutually exclusive system to capitalism, but a remedy for the excesses and failures of the latter. Miliband will doubtless expand on this in his speech, not least because praising the two systems is a nice way of making both wings of his party feel he’s speaking to them. But it will interesting to see where he places the limits for each system: where one must step in at the failure of the other.Tags: Ed Miliband, Labour, UK politics