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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Really Covo?

    Do you think Andrew Mitchell doesn't think about class? Is he a one off....

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Millipede asked conference:-

    'have you ever see such an incompetent, hopeless, out-of-touch, U-turning, pledge-breaking, make-it-up-as-you-go-along, back-of-the-envelope, miserable shower?'

    To that, the answer must be a resounding 'YES' as we had New Labour & he was & still is a big part of that mess

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    either ALBOUR address the IMMIGARATION isuse or the BNP will make inroads to there heart lands.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    The problem with Labour is that they depend on the support of the public sector unions so they will never reform the public services or address the unfairness of public sector pensions compared with those available in the private sector.
    Also few labour MPs have worked in business and therefore are better at spending taxpayers money rather than creating wealth, jobs and tax revenues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Is E Miliband frightened of equality?
    His mother escaped the Nazis in ways, how, she refuses to say. The daughter of a wealthy factory owner, she may have used her fortune to escape.
    His grandfather was a skilled craftsman, not factory fodder, his wife a door to door miliner

    Does Ed fear they'd not have survived in an equal world?

    One Nation, but other lineages as factory fodder please!

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    I'm wondering what happened to that strange, innumerate pledge to reduce students' university fees.

    Has it been dropped?

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    I didn't watch Ed Milliband's speech but if he was having a class war, he is dead in the water. Nobody believes that rubbish any more, he himself went to a posh Uni and his deputy has aristocracy in her past.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    #58 well AN and NR both work for the BBC what would you expected.

    wonder what they would have said if Millpede had said he was going to half the TV licence free to help the low paid ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.


    Well, Andrew Neil (not a fan of Labour by any stretch of the imagination) has pronounced it 'very effective'.

    And Nick Robinson (BBC political correspondent) says it was a 'spectacular' performance. And 'job done'.

    Sorry, Robin, all but the most jaundiced realise he did very well. Best to just accept that and maybe do what I do when things don't work out - have a stiffy and a lie down.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    So there we have it - Regulation,Regulation,Regulation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    1945 - 51 One Nation Tories broadly supported Labour's programme of re-construction (Remember Yory Premier-to-be MacMillan on the mines, the railways, the NHS, water, power and National Insurance)

    So, 'One Nation' Tories supported PUBLIC OWNERSHIP why doesn't 'One Nation' Labour?

    And what happened to 'Predistribution' which sounds like EQUALITY to me?

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    The Labour Party always has been, and always will be the party of Envy.
    Miliband is just continuing that tradition. His is the politics of envy.

    This country needs a party that is focused on self reliance and enterprise.
    We need to focus a lot more on how to grow the cake, and a lot less on how to slice the cake up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Completely deluded.

    If we were going to become "One Nation", it most certainly wouldn't be with him as leader.

    Next election, may I be the first to predict Wah-wah-wah-wipeout!

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Very predicable stuff, but very '6th form Public Speaking Society' sort of delivery. There are many few things in there that will absolutely be a gift for David Cameron, a sharper wit and better speaker altogether. I dare say he'll be made to pay for that, come the Tory conference...

    The reaction of Labour politicians were as gushing as it was predictable, even Richard Bacon couldn't resist....

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    A historic speech allright - as in context was a nasty, evil & cowardly speech as failing to address Labour & Milliband's own role in the nation's problems.

    Blaming others for mopping your Labour mess, Milliband, is nasty & evil - as is still costing lives in foreign war zones, British jobs etc.

    Milliband is a rabid eurocrat who wants more EU and he did not rule out UK joining the Euro

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Youth unemployment rose from 664,000 to 920,000 under the last Labour Government.

    An apology? No

    A new policy? No

    Sentimental soundbites? Yes

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.


    "...One nation Labour values? Not for me, or millions of British people..."


    True: he does indeed need to get at least half the population to be One Nation People too, rather than getting their identity from who or what they hate (like a few on here). Could be tricky, but I think he'll do it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    He called the tories a miserble shower, thats rich coming from a middle class shower.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Well-delivered speech.

    Policy waffle.

    Tendency to socialist sentimentality and class obsession.

    One nation Labour values? Not for me, or millions of British people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    #38 Andy (non thinker)?

    Either you have tongue in cheek or maybe not? Don't fool yourself there was no confusion about who we were voting for and Ed came out as the person most able and least polluted by the Blair effect to lead the party. By way the root of Diatribe is from L. diatriba "learned discussion" which sadly we do not see much of in these postings or even much of the time from Nick.


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