Game ON says Ed Miliband

 
Ed Miliband and Carwyn Jones Ed Miliband and Carwyn Jones

Game on. That was the message from the Labour leader Ed Miliband during his campaigning visit to Cardiff South and Penarth this afternoon. But he was looking beyond the likely byelection date of November and beyond the Police Commissioner election to take place on the same d

What came over from his speech to activists was that the two party conferences of the past fortnight - Labour and Conservative - have crystallised the political battleground between the two from now until the next general election in 2015.

Mr Miliband received plaudits and scepticism in roughly equal measure for his audacious appropriation of Disraeli's "One Nation" concept for his party during his conference speech. It's clear he sees those two words as a vital message for his party to get across.

His advisers have equally clearly picked out three words from David Cameron's conference speech yesterday - "sink or swim".

"It's now out there" he told activists gathered in the Splott community centre.

"This is argument. This is game on for the General Election.

"Yes, he wanted to talk about One Nation, yes, we have defined the battleground, who can deliver One Nation in this country.

"He says he can be the person who delivers One Nation. I want to submit to you that you can't be a One Nation Prime Minister if you're cutting taxes for millionaires."

So there it is. The dividing lines have been drawn, certainly as far as Mr Miliband is concerned. It's worth remarking in passing that neither concept - ON or SOS, if we can abbreviate them to that - is terribly clear, and both sides are reading what they want into them.

One Nation for Mr Miliband is a unifying concept, aimed at reassuring those who fear a lurch to the left and a return to the unions calling the shots. For the Tories, it's camouflage for exactly that, hiding a radical left agenda behind a distinctly conservative concept.

Time and again at the community centre, the Labour leader told his audience that Mr Cameron's idea of "sink or swim" betrayed the Tory leader's willingness to leave the vulnerable in the lurch in the pursuit of spending cuts.

The Prime Minister would surely disagree. For him yesterday's "sink or swim" was surely more a warning (somewhat counter intuitively perhaps) against conservatism, against political and economic solutions which failed to produce a more competitive Britain as a whole.

But ON and SOS are here to stay, whatever the public finally decides they mean.

Mr Miliband was facing a far from hostile audience this afternoon, but seemed relaxed and energised, spending just over an hour on a Q+A session.

There were some occasionally strange verbal constructions, for example the peculiarly legalistic and repeated "I want to submit to you..." when making an argument. It's not a turn of phrase you'll hear that often in a discussion in Splott.

But Mr Miliband was amongst friends - mostly. At least one pointed question came his way - namely when would Labour would get rid of the pay freeze for public sector workers?

He would not give any guarantees on thawing it even if Labour wins power in 2015, saying "I don't want to become Nick Clegg" referring the latter's failure to keep promises made before the 2010 election.

It was a reminder that for all the talk of One Nation, there will be multiple competing calls on the shrinking public finances whoever walks into Downing Street in 2015.

 
Betsan Powys, Political editor, Wales Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 67.

    #62 'he soul destroying "immersion technique" (which punishes any child who dares to speak English'
    I know. Hang a board around the neck of any child that speaks English, and pass it on to the next culprit. At the end of the day, thrash the one with the board. You could call it 'The English Not' or possibly Knot.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 66.

    ... another Miliband, Ralf, wrote in 1969:

    "the dominant economic interests in capitalist society can normally count on the active good will and support of those in whose hands state power lies." (The State in Capitalist Society: The Analysis of the Western System of Power)

    Game, set and match to the establishment !

  • rate this
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    Comment number 65.

    # 34. tredwyn ... "To say ... nothing has changed in 1000 years implies there's no difference between rule by force and rule by universal suffrage".

    ... at the end of the day, yours and my daily toil is determined by the decisions taken by a very few people, many unelected, our vote every 5 years or so makes absolutely no difference.

    Politicians know which side their bread is buttered ...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 64.

    #57 'other nations that have incorporated "the global language" into their education systems e.g. Sweden has recently passed it's first language law.'
    Yes, but my googled articles tell me that the role of English is undefined: 3 Sami dialects (who knew ??) : Yes. English: No.
    Must have got ideas from WAG 'If we ignore it, it may go away.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 63.

    #60 is the bungalow in the Pembroke National Park, if so it might be a residency covenant designed to restrict holiday home sales under Section 157 of the Housing Act 1985.

 

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