Ed Miliband - An historic speech?

Benjamin Disraeli Disraeli promised to help working men - will Miliband do the same?

About 100 yards from where Ed Miliband will deliver his speech is one of the most significant sites in the history of politics in Britain.

The Labour leader will try to make that history come alive and to use it as his new rallying cry.

The site is Manchester's Free Trade Hall. Now the five-star Radisson hotel, it occupies the ground on which the Peterloo Massacre took place: a dozen campaigners for democratic rights were killed there and hundreds more injured in 1819.

It is the hall which saw the earliest campaigns against the protectionist Corn Laws (hence the name Free Trade Hall) as well as for women's suffrage. It is, though, another significant political moment which Mr Miliband will recall.

In 1872 a Tory leader, Benjamin Disraeli, spoke out in favour of helping "the condition of working men", of government intervention to do so and of taking action - controversial at the time - to heal the divide between rich and poor. His brand of Toryism became known as "One Nation".

I expect Mr Miliband to try to claim that mantle 140 years later (just, incidentally, as Tony Blair did when he was leader of the opposition).

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Scots votes on English NHS laws

I have been speaking to Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about how SNP MPs will vote after the next general election.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    How can REd possibly claim he believes in a country 'united' after the Olympics, that the labour party believes is 'united' when all he does is slag off old Etonians, bankers, entrepreneurs, anyone who isn't a beatified public sector worker, anyone who went to private school? The labour party have never done anything except divide and attempt to rule. Acknowledge you went to school with Boris.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Can someone get me a sick bag, I want to hear a speech not see Miliband standing in front of a rent a crowd on stage and all of them nodding like muppets where they have been told to, pathetic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Millipede has never & will never be PM - How can even BBC compare Millipede with Disraeli?
    By 2010 4.8 million Brits (households?) in fuel poverty, unemployment in British young people has risen on trend with numbers of immigrants & thousands of British children of working families now reliant on food parcels.
    What we need from Millipede is a series of full apologies - immigration, debts, Iraq

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    I am sure Mr. M will be as good in his job as for e.g. a political editor for the BBC

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    Miliband - being compared with historic figures - obscene madness of political wonks. Miliband is leading labour to oblivion, trying to turn back the clock to the red old days, when unions controlled the party and tried to control the country. Only fools march in that direction and Miliband leads them. Successful enterprise is the only long term path to a better future, that is the way forward.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    for 13 years they ignored the working people of the UK , allowin 4,000,000 immigrants into the UK , he was part of it never spoke out about it until he was out of power , can he believe him ?


  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Just spent five minutes on the Labour Conference live link waiting for Ed to kick off.

    The background chatter of the stagehands and marshallers was entertaining. Honesty, earthy language, working men's club accents, genuine laughter and common sense. Direct instructions, aims & objectives, clarity and a commitment to do a job well.

    Everything in fact, that will be absent from Ed's speech

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    It appears he wants to 'paperify' every child. Worse still to jail them in schools until 18! The man is a fool, Apprenticeships start at 16, even that can be far too long delayed for those not of the mentality for daft school environments and paper systems. To have wasted my life for two years in a school, when I was actively working in a craft apprenticeship would have been a disastrous waste.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    One nation? Has he forgotten Labour's asymmetric devolution? On education, health, the environment, transport, planning etc UK Labour only has a say on English services. When they talk of 'Britain', 'this country' or 'the country' in the context of any of those areas of legislation they are actually talking about England. Shameful they don't have the decency to call England - England.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Another establishment "production line" politician who will promise you whatever you think you want in return for your vote and then he will ignore you once he gets into power.

    See Monsieur Hollande as an example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Free trade hall - a historic venue .
    Benjamin Disraeli - a historic figure .

    Ed Miliband - prefers not to dwell in the past .

    Funny that

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    'An' historic speech? I had to check to see if this was grammatically correct: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/a-versus-an.aspx

    It appears it should be 'a historic speech.' Today I have learnt something.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    10. eoin costen
    I agree, NuLabor signed up to the same neo-classical economic program as the previous Tory administration.
    Furthermore their economic policies were endorsed by Cameron and Osborne, whose only criticism was that NuLabor had not relaxed regulation as much as they would if they had been in charge.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    @10.eoin costen
    ... There must take their fare share in blame for the position the Country is now in.

    yes & so must the other parties, they all supported neo-liberal de-regulation to create a financial services boom with national economic dependance on it. The Tories started it & New Labour carried on with it, no Tory objections there, the Liberal Democrats didn't offer any alternative either

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    The country must cut costs to reduce debt and deficit. To argue against this and propose some sort of middle ground indicates political & economic naivety.

    There is nothing that either Cameron or Miliband, Balls or Osborne can say that will convince anyone with an ounce of intelligence that life for the ordinary working person would be better under their brand of government.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Is there really anyone out there that would consider voting Labour at the next election? There must take their fare share in blame for the position the Country is now in. I don't see how the Party can brush that to one side like a bad smell and think it has nothing to do with them. Vote for anyone but not Labour PLEASE.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Whatever Ed Miliband says......I do not believe a word of it!
    All Spin & Soundbites....No Substance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Maybe if Cameron applied one nation Conservatism instead of Mitt Romneys chicanery of saying one compassionate platitudes to camera before the election and then carrying out draconian policies that would not be out of place in Dickensian Britain which Nick Refers to

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Very apt. Disraeli of course was a Tory and Miliband seems to have completely accepted the Tory narrative on the economy. Workers in the public sector will get no pay rises for the foreseeable future, austerity will continue with a ruthless review of public spending and there will be a new baccalaureate exam! Labour will never win an election with these policies whatever the polls say now.


Page 6 of 7



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.