Tuesday, 28 September 2010

'A friend is a brother who was once a bother' - Author Unknown

So, the brother who tipped the Labour leadership race has given his first major speech. It came across as old thoughts on what is wrong with Britain. There weren't many solutions offered in the speech. Still, I will be watching Ed Miliband closely and don't think we can afford to ignore him because he does have strong convictions about the centre-ground. There were parts of the speech that I agreed with too.
My thoughts are:
1. He mentioned 'centre ground of politics' a few times. It is a challenge to the Lib Dems. Ed, during the leadership campaign, spoke more about the working class voter but has now switched tact. To win the centre ground from Lib Dem he has to demonstrate why Labour didn't practice equality and fairness during their 13 years in government.

2. 'Not bound by fear or ghosts of the past'- Ed was an important part of the Labour Government which made a mess of the country's financial systems, didn't close the gap between rich and poor and made our schools worse. He also was part of the Government in the Iraq war but distanced himself from it. He can't distance himself anymore because he is leader of the very same Labour party. History is important. We can't break away from history and start new without thinking about the past.

3. Forgemasters- Ed accused the Coalition of withdrawing support from important industries but Government cannot bail out every company. There's no money. Also, as I understand it Forgemasters had access to a loan which they didn't take up.

4. 'Middle and lower class voters didn't cause the recession and need protection' - I support Ed on this. I hope the spending cuts will address this point too.

5. 'Enterprise and small business- Ed wants to make Labour a party of enterprise and small business. I don't want Labour to make everyone think that they can all start small businesses. Labour did that with encouraging young people to go to university and there are now lots of young people facing huge student loan debts and no jobs. We don't want people taking bank loans to start companies and not being able to pay off these loans.

6. 'There's nothing good about opposition'- Ed misses the point that being in opposition has given him the chance to become leader now. Also, opposition will allow Labour to decide on what is 'Next Labour'.

7. I support Ed for his positive remarks over Gay people.

8. Trade Unions are important especially because they help people at grassroots level but I hope Ed doesn't allow Unions to become so over important that they spoil the chances of those people they represent.

9. Living wage, family friendly employment - I support Ed.

10. 'The gap between rich and poor affects us all' - I agree with Ed. As a Christian I especially see that the poverty of my 'neighbour' affects me in many ways.

11. What is 'social conservatives'?

12. The idea of' 'individual aspiration' figures in the spirit of Ed's speech. Did anyone else spot this? New Labour tried to do this but didn't apply it to schooling for the middle-classes. Instead, 'life chances' became an ideology which wasn't applied to individuals.

13. Ed mentioned Clause 4- Is this speech an attempt at his own Clause 4?

14. Ed will vote for AV-good on you Ed.

15. 'Palestinian right to statehood' - right on Ed. The attack on the Gaza flotilla was wrong.

16. I think David Miliband will leave frontline politics and take up an offer in America which will allow him to speak on global issues. If I am wrong I will be surprised.

Notable quotes on Ed:
1. "We'll have to start again as we did in 1992," a former cabinet minister says. "It's a crying shame and a miracle result for the Tories."
2. "It's the worst possible outcome," a Shadow Cabinet member said. "We should have reformed the leadership election rules years ago."

Lib Dem blogs below carry a good analysis of Ed's position:
Nick Thornsby’s Blog


I am ill off school because I caught a bad cold while on a Girl Guides camping trip to Warwick Castle at the weekend but this has given me the opportunity to watch the speech and blog.
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2 comments

  1. Beware the phrases upper class, middle class and lower class!! Hope you are feeling better. Mike or goodknight!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The brothers still remind me of Mike & Bernie Winters (your mother may remember them) ;-)

    As to Forgemasters, the loan was for a big expansion. The business is prospering without it.

    ReplyDelete

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