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, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Russia: how tough a response?

Will David Cameron's rhetoric about punishing Russia in the wake of the MH17 plane crash be matched by reality?

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 46.


    most, if not all of this speech will go in the bin, never mind over my head. Just like every other speech he's made he picks up and drops ideas like litter. What happened to pre-distribution? Dumped. What will happen to him? He'll get dumped if the labour aprty have any sense at all. A privileged marxist running the country? I don't think so. The loathing of vast swathes of society...

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    All three parties are still hiding from the immigration issue mainly for vanity and perception reasons. This is what you get when you stop listening to voters and only listen to think tanks and vested interests.
    Even the nations established immigrant communities see this as an issue because they realise that what we have now is organised bedlam that can only end in strife.
    Resources are finite!

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    Has he mentioned he went to a comprehensive school yet?

    Glad my workload dictates I have not got time to follow events in Manchester and Birmingham closely this year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    I could never vote for this man or his party.....there's a fact-based router argument for everything he's spouting. The whole lot of them seem to think that our troubles began in May 2010

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Only system of immigration that will work for Britain Milliband is one that avoids UK taxpayer having to fund the devastating damage & cost of construction for seven new cities the size of Birmingham (£300 bn per new city basic infrastructure) as are now required to house the flooding immigrant population as on trend to reach 70 m population.
    Piddling around with minimum wage makes no difference!

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Robin 33

    I suppose most of it is going over your head.

    What I'm seeing and hearing is an artful mix of highbrow thinky type passages, interspersed with plenty of human interest (e.g. the trials and tribulations of 'Alan Henderson'), plus some decent quality knockabout.

    It's not quite Clinton (what is?) but it's good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Conference speeches are only for those with strong stomachs.

    I was doodling while keeping an eye and ear on the speech (before being saved by a 'phone call) and it turned into a passable Krusty the Clown.
    Not sure what to read into that, as it's years since I watched the Simpsons.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    This is just awful! it's all glib promises and no substance, with a tame audience dutifully applauding on cue.
    How depressing!

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    Sadly, another lack-lustre diatribe from the little brother of the man who Should be Labour leader. If David Milliband was leader of the Labour Party they might stand a chance of winning an election.

    There was confusion among Labour Party members at their last leadership election, most people thought they were actually voting for David - there should have been photographs of the two candidates.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Whats missing is the hard truths of why they were booted out and despite the spin the reality is that most people's trust in labour require's the immigration issue to be dealt with. They need to nail thier policies to the mast on this one, way before the next GE because to be frank thier silence on this issue now, speaks volumes.
    DC got in on false promises on this issue, will Milli follow suit?

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Milliband needs taking to task on lack of UK apprenticeships in last 15 years as due to companies not seeing need to spend on training young Brits as 'qualified' immigrants always available.
    Businesses not interested in training young British workers as more profitable for them to import foreigners & export many British jobs
    Labour did not start this problem but made this much worse over 13 years

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    This is the worst class war speech for a a longtime - ban fox hunting again (forget the welfare of foxes) get the posh b--tards.
    Apparently this is the route to 'One Nation' politics - vested interest and the rich have to be accountable. How about the vested interest of the legal profession, the educational establisment and the idelogically driven public sector trade unions?

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Yet again, more selective memory and general hypocrisy from a Labour politician. Do they think ordinary people were born yesterday?

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.


    has he got a cold or does he always talk like that? I have been listening to his speech and so far I see a cringe-worthy, pointy-fingered performance from a student politician. A boy in a man's job is what he looks like, sounds like and is. Didn't his mother tell him it's rude to point? And have we forgotten 'cash for honours' now he's celebrating 'Dame' Tessa? Where's the big plan?

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.


    Labour has destroyed England !
    1) immigration
    I dont trust Miliband on immigration . He is an immigrant himself and its like a poacher becoming a gamekeeper.
    2) Bankrupted country and that includes UK gold reserves at 1/4 current prices
    3) Europe - The only exports that have occurred has been the replacement of British jobs!
    4) Created Tuition fees using scottish Mp votes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    A middle class man preaching to an exclusive middle class audiance most including Milliband have never had a propers job . he's got no chance at the next election.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.


    Robin, I suggest you stop writing surreal off-the-wall messages on here and listen to his speech instead. (Unless, like me, you can listen and type at the same time).

    A rather good section on borrowing at the moment.

    He's pointing out that, despite all the talk from the Conservatives, it's not going down under them.

    Worse than that, it's actually going up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    cannot take this man or balls seriously.

    Look back at Balls speech yesterday and his question
    "What kind of economy will we inherit if we win the next general election?"


    The same one just slightly better than when you gave it to the coalition when you were booted out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Millipede speech - One nation?
    Millipede & Labour's devolution muddle has split up Britain into fracture zone & ignored the English
    Millipede forgotten UK unemployment not much different now to 2010?
    This is Millipede the Eurocrat - his London centric view of Britain as one nation is puddled
    Where are the apologies - debts, immigration & wars
    Tories borrowing to keep people idle?

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    So far a histrionic speech - high prices are the fault of the 'cosy cartels'.but who was the energy minister under Brown responsible for the regulation of energy and fuel costs?
    The great socialist institutions of the Olympics, Police Service, and the British national spirit.
    Disreali's 'One Nation' was really socialist, we won the war because we were socialist. Oh Dear


Page 5 of 7



BBC © 2014 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.