From New Labour to One Nation Labour: Is Ed Miliband Turning Back Time?

Britain can do better than this. Ed Miliband really did give voice to what we have all been thinking the past couple of years in his speech at the Labour party conference in Brighton. From freezing energy prices, going green and making Britain one nation, Ed Miliband addressed his party without auto-cue or script in one of the most engaging speeches we have seen in a while. Is Ed on the path to making Britain better or is he harking back to a feigned golden age? Here are a few thoughts on his keynote speech at the Labour conference.

From the industrial revolution to the necessity of building Britain today, Ed Miliband showed how through sheer determination and spirit, people believed Britain can do better than this, and did. That was the key mantra he wanted us to leave with. Do people still have the will to persevere like they did after the war to rebuild Britain, or has our spirit been broken from years and years of working harder and longer for less? Ed Miliband thinks we do and so do I, if he plays this right, one nation labour could certainly be sitting at No. 10. If the premise becomes too idealistic and Ed’s vision appears to be light years away he could be walking with his tail between his legs.

Another key announcement Ed Miliband made was to reduce small business tax paid for by an increase in tax for larger business. This is probably a sigh of relief for those self-employed and very much welcomed. Part of the thinking behind this was for more companies to employ people and offer more apprenticeships in order to eliminate the NEETs of the country. Ed Miliband also hinted towards a reformation of the Minimum Wage on an industry basis. While this is a great step forward in improving the lives of thousands of families, I fear industries such as catering, hospitality, cleaning and beauty might not see that much of a boost and not be seen as a proper career despite its challenges and specific skill sets. I certainly couldn’t style someone’s hair!

There were things I think Miliband had right in his speech at the Labour Party conference and that was the move towards green energy. The leader of the opposition was right when he said we cannot afford to ignore the environmental challenges we will start to face in a few years time. By concentrating on green energy, it is highly likely his statement of creating one million jobs is not just an over exaggeration and will reduce Britain’s dependence on expensive oil and gas. This goes hand in hand with Miliband’s promise to freeze energy prices until 2017. I hope however, energy companies do not rise their prices drastically before hand in order to compensate the shortfall in profit. The energy companies are suggesting there will be job cuts and black outs in order to compensate for the loss if the policy does go through. Let’s hope they are exaggerating.

Something else which shows Miliband is going in the right direction is his pledge to build 200.000 new homes each year. It is no secret there is a housing crisis, while the country has an unmanageable deficit however, it is difficult to see how Miliband will find the capital, let alone the space. Hopefully in the run up to the election we will find out more about his new policy. If Miliband does manage to pull it out of the bag, there will be over one million new affordable new homes. That puts Boris Johnson’s few thousand homes to shame. Let’s hope there’s money in the kitty!

I was disappointed there was no mention of how we are going to ensure children do not leave school without the ability to read and write. There was no indication of what a Labour Government will do about the cost of higher education and necessary changes to Michael Gove’s policies apart from breakfast and after school clubs at primary school. I was also surprised Miliband didn’t say much about the NHS, other than that the doctors are great. That said, Miliband only had an hour to address his party and will probably reveal more in the run up to the election.

Overall, Miliband gave a rather inspiring and engaging speech in Brighton. The mix between serious issues and comedic stories along with the casual nature of addressing his party gave the impression of heart-felt and honesty. Fraser Nelson, editor for the Spectator said Ed Miliband’s speech at the Labour Party conference was one of the most left-wing speech he has heard in a while and I have to agree. I’m glad Ed is coming out of his shell and starting to act like the leader of the opposition and rising to the challenge. Ed even challenged to Cameron to talk about leadership.

Bring on the election!

What are your thoughts and so will you be voting for in 2015? Did Ed Miliband do Labour proud or are they on the race to the bottom? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Over and Out!
Nathalie Lot

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