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Ed Miliband’s speech: live blog

28 September 2010

2:16 PM

28 September 2010

2:16 PM

1522, PH: We’ll leave it there. More reaction on Coffee House shortly.

1520, PH: And there’s the closing summary. He manages to squeeze “new generation” and “optimists” in several times. Then, a standing ovation, natch.

1519, PH: Weird blip as Miliband says that he wants to take on “David … Cameron”. Did he have another rival called “David” in mind?

1518, PH: A bit of life to the speech now, as Miliband takes on the Red Ed label. “Come of it,” he swipes, “let’s debate the issues that matter to Britain.”

1518, FN: A huge sigh of relief in Tory HQ, I suspect, as he says he supports Ken Clarke’s plans to cut prison numbers. “I’m not going to say he’s soft on crime”. Blair, I suspect,
certainly would do.

1517, JF: Deliberate echo of Blair with his mention of Keynes and Beveridge.

1516, PH: My, this is dragging now. Hasn’t he mentioned “new politics” before?

1515, PH: A big cheer for Ken Livingstone. Bizarre.

1514, FN: Seven more mins to go, I’m told. Counting ’em…

1514, JF: On AV, EM says he’ll vote for it. But no commitment to campaign for it.

1513, PH: Hm, some platitudes about changing our “broken politics”. MiliE emphasises that he will vote Yes in a referendum on AV.

1512, FN: Okay, he should skip Israel as well. Speech too long and his brother did this better yesterday…

1510, PH: Miliband says that he will support any effort to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan. And then … Iraq. “We were wrong,” he quivers, “and we must admit that.” He adds
that “we should draw a line under Iraq”. I expect he won’t mention it again, then…

1509, JF: EM’s endorsement of CCTV sets up a dividing line with the coalition.

1509, FN: We could have done without this civil liberties passage, his speech is too long…

1508, PH: We’re into the expected section on civil liberties now. Miliband claims that things like ID cards undermined the “good things” like CCTV and DNA testing. “I want our
party to be the party of liberty again”.

1506, PH:
Another bit that’s oddly Cameroonian. Miiband says that the state can be a “vested interest” and be an “impediment to the good society”.

1505, FN: Wow: he offers to “look closely” at whatever IDS comes up with, holding open prospect of bipartisan support. He won’t, I suspect, but it’s interesting seeing him make the
offer.


1504, PH: He’s talking a lot about community – about Post Offices, high streets, etc. Then segues into a passage on families. He has to remind the audience that he’s not a “social
conservative”.

1502, PH: More Tory style language, with Miliband saying that “some people are trapped on benefits”. He adds that he will support reform but not “abitrary cuts”.

1501, PH: Miliband keys into The Spirit Level, saying that the happiest societies
are the most equal ones.

1501, PH: A big cheer for the living wage.

1500, PH:
Cameroonian language, as Miliband says that “there needs to be responsibility at every level of society”.

1459, FN: Fascinating to hear him talk about being tough on immigration. But what’s his proposed solution? He’s focusing on effect on low wages, just one aspect of immigration.
True, Polish workmen put down wages of joiners etc. But what can be done about it while we’re still in EU?

1458, PH: Miliband: Ooh, Miliband dives into the union question headfirst “We should have no truck with irresponsible strikes. The public won’t support them, you shouldn’t support
them, and I won’t support them either.”

1456, PH:
He’s picking up a lot of applause for defending workers’ rights.

1455, FN: A ha! Here comes his attempted shift to the centre: “There will be cuts, and they would be painful” – and would have been under Labour, he says. But then says pace of
reduction is too quick. While he says he could agree in theory with a coalition cut, none is offered.

He says “no plan for growth means no credible plan for deficit reduction”. Osborne is open to this charge: he does have a growth strategy, but he struggles to articulate it.

1454, PH: Now we’re back to a more Blairite prospectus: “I want us to be the party of enterprise again.” Miliband is oscillating between left and right.

1453, JF: Flips Cameron’s attack on Blair round, “Mr Cameron you were an optimist once”.

1452, PH: Miliband claims that Cameron offers a “miserable picture of what Britain can achieve”.

1450, PH: Miliband is facing both ways on the public finances. Now he’s rattling on about how cuts can threaten growth. And, again, Alistair Darling’s plan is a “starting point”.
He suggests that the Sheffield Forgemasters loan should ahve gone through – so he given detail on an item of spending, not a cut.

1450, JF:
Fascinating passage on cuts, admits Labour will have to accept even some of the cuts that it disagrees with.

1449, PH: All this more effective than I expected. “Our fiscal credibility before 1997 was hard won,” he says, “we need to work hard to get it back.”

1448, PH: Welcome honesty: “I believe strongly in the need to reduce the deficit … there need to be severe cuts, and there would have been if we were in power.”

1447, PH:
Miliband is decribing the country he wants to build. “This generation wants…” he starts, before listing things like family, community and “a foreign policy based on our
community not our alliances.”

1446, PH:
He vows to make Labour a party that “again takes on established thinking, and shapes the centre ground.”

1445, PH:
It keeps coming. Miliband says that he understands anger with “a party that said it had abolished boom and bust”. He adds that Labour let people down as it presided over the
expenses scandal.

1444, PH: Key passage all this. “New Labour, built on taking on conventions, stopped adapting to the world.”

1444, PH: Here’s the shift: “How did a party lose 5 million votes between 1997 and 2010?”

1443, PH: So far, the speech is a bit stuck in the past. Miliband praises Blair’s efforts in Northern Ireland and Brown’s action to tackle malaria.

1442, FN: Miliband claims for Labour the change in attitude towards gays. “We did that. We changed attitudes in this country”. Really? No denying its a huge and welcome social
change, but not one that came from ministerial edict.

1440, PH: Interesting how vicious he is being about the Tories – “that lot,” he calls them. No such venom for the Lib Dems.

1439, PH: Now he’s paying tribute to the achievements of New Labour, and of Blair and Brown. No break from the past 13 years yet, but I suspect that will come.

1437, PH:
Here’s the hard truths section. Miliband claims that Labour endured a “bad” election. He adds that the party “might not like what I have to say – but you elected me to lead, and
lead I will.”

1436, FN:
Good passage about his folks, and how what they learned in fear they taught to their sons in comfort. This is a lot better than Brown when he tried to talk about his family.
Comes across as plausible. Borrowed a Brown line about not passing by on the other side. I had thought Biblical references would die out with Brown.

Excellent point about BNP and Labour’s role defeating it. Speech a lot better than I expected so far.

1435, PH: Ed Miliband claims that Labour activists “beat the Ashcroft millions” by denying the Tories a majority. He might struggle to use that argument in future.

1433, PH: Oh dear, “my values are my anchor” – sounds like a repeat of the “values, values, values” rhetoric of the leadership campaign. Miliband adds that he knows people will
“try to drag” him.

1432, PH:
“Aspiration” makes an entrance. Expect Blairite words like that to pop up again, to defuse the Red tag.

1431, PH: Miliband: “the gift my parents gave to me and my brother is something I want for every child in this country.”

1430, PH: Now Miliband is telling us his family background – how his mother and father fled Europe during the War. “My love for this country comes from this story,” he concludes.
“In Britain, they found the light of liberty.”

1429, PH: “New generation” makes its first appearance. And, then, rapid-fire, its second. Miliband says he is ready to lead.

1428, FN: Ed Miliband recyling old-man jokes made about John McCain “tell us, what was it like to discover fire?” Straw isn’t even a pensioner.

1428, PH: Applause as Miliband pays tribute to the old guard, Straw and Darling

1426, FN: Ed thanks members for choosing him. Except they didn’t, they chose David – the unions over-ruled them.

1426, PH: A low key beginning, without the spark of MiliD’s speech on Monday. Now he’s thanking Harman.

1425, PH: There’s the obligatory tribute for his brother. He says that David is “extraordinary,” then a strange gag about train sets.

1424, PH: Laughter as someone in the crowd wolf-whistles. Miliband begins by thanking the crowd for their “support”.

1422, PH:
Here he is now, against a pinky-purple backdrop. An enthusiatic standing ovation.

1418, JF: Stage doesn’t look set up for walk and talk.

1416, PH:
You can watch it live here, by the way.

1415, PH: Welcome the Coffee House live blog of Ed Miliband’s speech. The new Labour leader is expected to take to the stage around 1420-1430ish, so stay tuned.


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