Purple Ed’s first speech as leader of the Labour party

In Ed Milliband’s first speech as Labour party leader he admitted the Iraq war was wrong and stated on the economy:

“We must protect those on middle and low incomes. They did nothing to cause the crisis but are suffering the consequences.”

“But what we should not do as a country is make a bad situation worse by embarking on deficit reduction at a pace and in a way that endangers our recovery.

You see, it’s obvious really, when you cancel thousands of new school buildings at a stroke, it isn’t just bad for our kids, it’s bad for construction companies at a time when their order books are empty.”

He mentioned the real red, Ralph Milliband:

“I suppose not everyone has a dad who wrote a book saying he didn’t believe in the Parliamentary road to socialism.”

 The history of the German Social Democractic Party and Chile 1973 all support Ralph Millibands views rather than his sons, the Labour Party never has and never will be Socialist. Even Ed’s break with New Labour looks shaky already with his pandering to the right on Immigration and stating “We changed Clause 4. We were right to do so.” What his speech does highlight is both the space opening up for the argument of resistance to the cuts but also the need to build coalitions of students, service users, the unemployed and trade unionists to lead the fight back on the ground. The leaders we need will be in workplaces taking the fight to the Tories, standing up against racism and war.

Ed’s full speech at BBC


2 responses to “Purple Ed’s first speech as leader of the Labour party

  1. Ed is positioning himself as part of the “new generation”; taking on establishment politics with… pro-establishment, centre-ground politics! He’s blatantly trying to tap into the public mood of general disgust and alienation from the political establishment.

    With respect to cuts, he believes in selectively opposing the most unpopular, but implementing the majority of cuts at a slower pace. It looks very unprincipled and opportunistic.

    He proposes a higher bank levy, which is fair enough, but the details aren’t specified.

    “we did not do enough to address concerns about some of the consequences of globalisation, including migration.
    All of us heard it. Like the man I met in my constituency who told me he had seen his mates’ wages driven down by the consequences of migration.”

    It almost sounds like he’s blaming immigrants (and not the bosses) for wages being reduced, but he does follow this up a few paragraphs later with
    “Employers should not be allowed to exploit migrant labour in order to undercut wages.”

    How does he plan to enforce this?

    “Responsible trade unions are part of a civilised society”
    By this, he means unions which don’t go on strike. When the Labour leaders were on Question Time, he wouldn’t pledge his support for the London Firefighters Firefighters, all of which are being sacked and re-employed on worse conditions. If he’s not willing to lend his name to that, just what would he support?

    “We need to win the public to our cause and what we must avoid at all costs is alienating them and adding to the book of historic union failures.”

    No mention of the book of historic union successes, then.

    “That is why I have no truck, and you should have no truck, with overblown rhetoric about waves of irresponsible strikes.
    The public won’t support them. I won’t support them. And you shouldn’t support them either.”

    There is nothing “irresponsible” about defending jobs, wages, conditions, safety and services. A strike is a very important weapon in the arsenal of the working class when they come under attack.

    “…I believe in not just a minimum wage but the foundation of our economy in the future must be a living wage.”

    That’s more like it.

    other things of note from the speech are his support for the occupation of Afghanistan and his opposition to the war on Iraq because “that war was not a last resort, because we did not build sufficient alliances, and because we undermined the UN”.

    He calls for an elected House of Lords and support for the Alternative Vote.

    He calls for the lifting of the blockade of Gaza and seems fairly sympathetic to Palestine in general, stating “the attack of the Gaza flotilla was so wrong.”

    He also says “politics has to be about leadership or it is about nothing.”

    And that’s my analysis over with.

  2. I agree, full of contradictions. We can say at least he’s not his brother. Ed has already opposed the planned strike by BBC workers over pensions. BECTU, one of the journalist unions have put on record they are not happy with his response. Another Labour leader who is supposed to be in the pocket of the unions while the labour party gets the money and the union’s don’t get any support.

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