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).

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  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    "More Ed bashing to come methinks"

    GF, show me a leader of a political party today, whether goverment, coaltion or opposition, who doesn't get an ed-bashing...

    Some are more deserved than others of course.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    No81 Matt,
    Have you noticed borrowing is going up?
    Do you think it may have something to do with the ongoing failure of George's economic policies?
    You may recall that an earlier chancellor Nigel Lawson was so useless Hilda brought in Prof' Walters to sort out our mess.
    Has David got the guts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    jrp @ 72

    Yes, well I'm early-retired. Never made a secret of that. Why should I? Nothing to be ashamed of. And I'm no burnt-out shell, let me tell you. I used to be when I was younger but I'm not now. All the things I get up to, you wouldn't believe.

    jh @ 74

    John, I really can't see how being anti-gangmasters (either the actual individuals or the concept) is class war 'politics of envy'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    #75. IR35
    @73"...u try and stiff the debate by making yr own PC comments so that it becomes an issue that is not allwoed to be debated, that way is the way of trouble"

    The way of trouble is debating from an emotional rather than rational pov, i.e. that all our ills are brought about by immigrants - OK slightly exaggerated but not by much. And not helped by guestimates for statistics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Tory supporters (or non-Labour supporters) are desperate for Miliband to be the Labour version of Hague or IDS. Because that isn't happening, for a variety of reasons, the insults and screeches of "he's not David" or "he's tainted cos he was part of the last govt" ring out. This well presented, if light on detail, speech will increase that, as desperation kicks in. More Ed bashing to come methinks

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    80 sagamix

    In the great Blair Brown divorce .

    Blair got the shiny smarmy image and the warmonger tag .

    Brown got the kids and the debt fields spending .

    Right now the country is more affected by Bowns borrowing than Blairs wars .
    And who's side are the eds on , yep debt monkey Brown .

    They would have been more credible if they embraced Blair and rejected Brown .

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    BG 70

    He does, I agree, but not as much as his brother.

    Or maybe it's just that David's 'whiff' is more Blairite.

    Because (and here's a thing) despite NL being a Blair Brown joint venture - despite that - I associate it far more with the first.

    When I hear or see the term 'New Labour' it's Tony's face I see. And it's a sibillating tenor I hear, not a deep scots 'Mr Rochester' jobbie.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    This speech is a giant step forward for all progressives in this beautiful country (actually the majority of voters). This Guy is more than a match for the ineffectual leaders of the Con-Dems. Roll on the election so we finally witness the death of the ugly & unpatriotic conservative minority in this country. Let's face it the Tories couldn't even form a majority at the last election could they.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    So the BBC say milibland did not let anyone know the contents of his speach.

    Funny how Robinson knew about the Disraeli quote before the speach even started .

    Smells like a very well run operation .

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear........What a load of old Fluff!!
    Same Old Labour....Same Old Rubbish.....
    Ed Milipede is contemptable in his hypocrisy.....and truly awful in delivery.
    The only person impressed by him is the BBC's own Nick Robinson.....and we know he is a Labour fan....just by reading his reports you can easily see he is always Labour biased.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Hope you like losing , as you will at the European Election love to see the explanation from the Milipede, Balls Up and their borg collective when they come a distant 3rd behind Ukip and Tories.

    I guess Labour are stuffed if scots go independant . BTW many tory and ukip voters are workingclass

    But i do love the

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    #73 "redneck vote" and that lie the problem of the last 15 years since 1997 u try and stiff the debate by making yr own PC comments so that it becomes an issue that is not allwoed to be debated, that way is the way of trouble and big trouble at that, shame on u playing the PC card

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    #68 #73

    Immigration was mentioned in the speech. Miliband said it was of great economic benefit, but where there was a problem it was the fault of (evil) employers for paying below the minimum age and of (evil) gangmasters.

    So immigration was turned into a class issue, as was nearly everything else in Miliband's speech.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    'Notice the lack of comment re immigration in his speech?' @ 68

    ** **

    Yes I did. Blessed relief!

    Thought there was half a chance he might start pandering and posturing in that area in order to attract the redneck vote.

    Which he may have got, of course, but only at the risk of alienating me and my ilk.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    sagamix - there's no difference between a pledge and a "policy commitment", especially when that pledge/"commitment" has been dropped!

    Obviously, I haven't seen the speech - I'm relying on news.bbc.co.uk. I have a job to do, and there's a deficit that I have to play my part in reducing. You seem to have had sufficient leisure to enjoy it, from which I draw the natural and reasonable conclusion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    We cant have a one nation when the bosses get 11% and the workers get p45

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    #58. sagamix
    "all but the most jaundiced realise he did very well."

    From what I saw (and have read), came across well. But, as with all these speeches, light on policy (have to be), more about soundbites, political cliches and image; saying the right things to the receptive and pricking up the ears of the disillusioned. But nothing too radical.
    Still has the faint odour of New Labour about him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    jr perry @ 61

    Not a 'pledge', JR, a 'policy commitment' - I'm sure I explained the difference between those two things last time.

    It's the difference between grown-up politics and Nick Clegg.

    Any case, I suppose you agree with me and the rest of the cognescenti that it was a good speech? Yes, thought you would.

    Did you watch all of it or just the best bits?

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    No he doesnt care because Millipede (great name btw) knows it was his government that created the unfair bias re tution fees

    Notice the lack of comment re immigration in his speech . Of course because he is immigrant himself and utterly clueless. Yes I am an English Nationalist caused by massed immigration and devolution which is biased against England.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    So hard to distinguish between any of the major parties.
    Are we seeing the seeds of a brand new combined Labour and Conservative party.
    What should we call this new party 'Labatory'.....or is that too close to another name for a toilet where people talk.......erm rubbish!


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