It was utterly stage-managed but it was something I imagined. It was ticket only event. There was anticipation in the auditorium as stewards led people to their seats. Then Ed appeared with Justine in tow. My expectations were low, rather similar feelings to the piss-poor speech at TUC Conference. What of the speech? Ed told stories and anecdotes…. about a woman called Ella who he helped after she fell off her bike, quick mentions to his mum and Justine (no mention of late lamented Ralph), someone he met in his local cafe, letter from a young woman who had experienced mental distress and so on. It got to the point where I started to imagine Mister Ed in Max Bygraves mode with the “Wanna tell you a story” but without the entertaining voice. I found these stories opportunistic, annoying and cynical… Less geek more “human” Ed. Jovial and funny Ed who was trying to engage the audience with corny pantomime style humour.
Now I have got a question for you ladies and gentlemen, do the Tories get it?
Oh come on, I didn’t hear you, do the Tories get it?
I kinda recalled that awful ’92 Labour rally where Kinnock announced, ”We’re alright!”… Funny enough, Kinnock was sitting at the front lapping up every word uttered by Miliband.
The speech was littered with sound bites…
“We have got to win a race to the top, not a race to the bottom.” (25 times)
“Not under my government” (mentioned 5 times)
My government? Isn’t it better to say your Labour government? Your Prime Minister? The power is well and truly in Mister Ed’s court.
He referred to the audience as friends, sometimes appallingly “ladies and gentlemen”… old-fashion and smacks of light entertainment. Yet he didn’t say “comrades” which Ed had a tendency to say a lot when he was standing as leader. What gave me a shock was earlier in the day hearing Keith Vaz utter the “C” word…. “Comrades”… What happened there, slip of the tongue?
The speech was lack-lustre and mind numbing. Policies which seem to be me nothing more than crumbs from the table. If Mister Ed was serious then he will have to reformulate capitalism to get even basic social democratic demands. What is the point of freezing energy bills until 2017 when it should be about re nationalising the energy companies…
The biggest applause, and standing ovation Mister Ed was over his commitment in repealing the Bedroom Tax. No brainer there Ed! Bedroom Tax is loathed by countless of people. It is very unfortunate that Labour waited for so long before they condemned it.
Other applause and standing ovations came when Mister Ed promised to “rescue the NHS” under a Labour Government. How will he do it? Where’s the meat on the bone, so to speak?
You see here is the thing about David Cameron. He may be strong at standing up to the weak, but he is always weak when it comes to standing up against the strong. That is the difference between me and David Cameron, so let’s have that debate about leadership and character, and I relish that debate. And we know what we are going to see from these Tories between now and the general election, it is the lowest form of politics, it is divide and rule. People on benefits versus those in work. People in unions against those outside union.
People in the private sector versus those in the public sector. People in the north against those in the south. It is the worst form of politics. Like sending vans into areas of Britain where people’s mums and granddads have lived for years, generations, and telling people to go home. I say we are Britain, we are better than this. Telling anyone who’s looking for a job that they are a scrounger. However hard they are looking, even if the wor k is not available. I say we are Britain we are better than this. So come on. So David Cameron I have got a message for you. You can tell your Lynton Crosby, it might work elsewhere, it won’t work here. We’re Britain, we’re better than this.
Yes, Mister Ed speak out against divide and rule but give examples of the vile changes to the social security system and announce the scrapping of ATOS, WCA, increase benefits and so on. While we are at it… sack scaremongering Liam Byrne!
Nowhere does Mister Ed attack austerity. No head on challenge. Nothing. Instead it’s mealy-mouthed establishment friendly guff. Mister talks unions but nothing about activism, fight backs or just stating the bleeding obvious…. “join a union”… What does Mister Ed want to do with the unions and the link…? Does he know?
And the house building promise… how will it be financed? And is Mister Ed really committed. I find it hard to be convinced.
I am in the process of reading One Nation Economy (just writing “One Nation” really send shivers down the spine) and what jumped out was this, “We would stamp out the unfair practices and abuses associated with zero hours contracts”…
Here’s an idea… just scrap zero hours contracts!
I agree with John McDonnell’s assessment of Miliband’s speech
A major housebuilding programme is needed, but it needs to be public housing alongside rent controls to stop landlords profiteering from housing benefits.
People already suspect this is a recovery for the rich and ongoing recession for the rest. This is exactly the time when people want more radical action. Make today’s speech a beginning.
But is Mister Ed up to the job? No I don’t think he is. Was that a winning speech yesterday? Nope. Will Miliband win in 2015? I will be surprised if he did. I want this ConDem millionaire boys club out but Mister Ed is one big walking contradiction… pandering to the establishment yet chucking a couple of social democratic crumbs to the masses.
This society needs to be transformed into something more equitable. Mister Ed just doesn’t have the courage nor conviction to do that. Was Mister Ed’s speech a step in the right direction? More of slow shuffle. Nothing like a leap in a left direction….