Ed Miliband’s speech on Tuesday was another example of why he will make a fine prime minister

by Ian Lucas

I enjoy how much Ed Miliband is underestimated.  I am not at all surprised that Ed has taken a bold and visionary step in seeking to redefine the historic link between Labour and trade unions. After all, he has taken similar steps before.

First, Ed talked about the “squeezed middle”.  Opponents chortled at first.  But when people understood what the phrase meant, they agreed that there are indeed more and more people in Britain who are being asked to work harder, for longer hours, and are being put under severe financial pressure.  They are the ones paying the price for the cost of the world crash, whilst, for the bankers, it seems to be business as usual.

Second, Ed spoke in his Liverpool Conference Speech in 2011 about “responsible capitalism”.  Whilst some of the initial reaction from the media was negative, when the dust settled, most recognised that Ed had a point.  Our economic system is not working for the majority of people, with many paying the high cost of subsidising profits for, amongst others, international utility companies.

Next, he spoke out for the innocent, vulnerable victims of appalling media intrusion by one of the most powerful businesses in the UK, News International.  I know that many will have told him not to take on Rupert Murdoch.  After all, he was acting against the received political wisdom of the last thirty years.  This timorous approach had debased not just our politics, but our national life.  But when it needed to be said that things had to change, Ed said it.

Now, Ed has said that he wants machine politics to end – the politics that demeans us all.   And Ed has gone further.  He also wants MPs to concentrate on doing the job we are paid to do.  At a time when the Government is freezing public sector pay and private sector pay is flat, how can any MP think it is right to draw an MP’s salary from the public purse and have an income of up to £400,000 too?

Contrast these steps with the approach of David Cameron, the man who held private dinners for Tory political donors in Downing street, promised to come clean on it, and, a year later, is yet to publish the report he promised to publish.

Our prime minister not only worked hand in glove with News International in opposition, but took Murdoch’s Andy Coulson into Downing Street with him.  He is now dragging his feet on protecting press victims through the Royal Charter he agreed to previously.

The Tories have, for years, received shed loads of money from different business donors – Bearwood Associates Ltd, the Midlands Industrial Council and hedge fund managers by the score.  The excellent website searchthemoney.com reveals all.

Far from cleaning up politics, David Cameron has rolled in the mire.

Ed Miliband has, however, taken a risk and done the right thing – again.  That is the reason I think he will make a fine Prime Minister  – a welcome contrast to the present incumbent.

Ian Lucas is the MP for Wrexham and the Shadow Minister for Africa and the Middle East

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3 Responses to “Ed Miliband’s speech on Tuesday was another example of why he will make a fine prime minister”

  1. swatantra says:

    Ed may never get to be PM but he’s shown great courage in saying it as it is, and dealing with entryism in the Party just like Kinnock before him. So he deserves a medal for good service. The Party enters a new era thanks to him.

  2. sarah austin says:

    We need a Labour led government as soon as possible. As we need fairness and balance. My main criticism of the coalition is the preponderance of press releases but little real action to assist our citizens. We know where we are so we don’t need signposts but rather a path to improvement. If Ed can continue to make courageous leadership speeches voters can make a real comparison.

  3. Ex-Labour says:

    This is the type of cliched blind faith attitude which will result in failure. Miliband has at least said something, but details are missing on the how, what and when of course – much the same as previous speeches. There si no policy on anything from Labour they are just a protest party now.

    Ian Lucas talks of “bankers” again, when everyone who actually understands the financial crash knows what were the driving forces, and whilst it was originally the fault of bankers responding to political pressure in the US, the end result was the exposure of socialist profligate governments spending far more than they had.

    Miliband constantly talks about “the rich” but seems to exclude himself from this – FFS !! Same with Margret Hodge berating corporations whilst owning millions of shares herself . One thing is clear the stench of hypocrisy is in the air.

    What about the “tax efficienct” donation to Labour from John Mills – again Labour double standards and hypocrisy.

    I do believe one thing strongly and that is that MP’s who have a conflict of interest between outside interests and their MP role should be booted out and a by-election called.

    Lucas then moves on to the Murdoch press, but this is old news and probably Cameron has done more than most to address it.

    Also we keep hearing about this “squeezed middle” well I can tell you Mr Lucas that I am one of the squeezed middle but was squeezed infinitely more by Brown when he was chancellor, so that you can fund the ballooning welfare bill. The true tax rates under Labour were eye-wateringly high.

    Miliband is weak, the public know it, Labour MP’s know it and the government know it. The main arguement for Miliband on here is that he’s not Tony Blair.

    This kind of trite, cliched shite from an unintelligent MP is one of the reasons I left Labour after 30 years.

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