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Last updated at 13:08 BST, Thursday, 04 October 2012

Miliband's "One Nation"

Summary

4 October 2012

Ed Miliband is the leader of Britain's main opposition party, Labour. He spoke at the party's annual conference in Manchester, promising to unite the nation and lead it through tough economic times.

Reporter:

Rob Watson

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party

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Report

Ed Miliband took to the stage, no doubt mindful of a recent opinion poll, suggesting only one in five voters believe he would make a good prime minister. His party hopes this performance will make some voters think again. It was a performance that began with talk of his background as the child of Jewish refugees and a promise to fight the current scepticism towards people in power and, particularly, politicians.

The party faithful in the audience also cheered his attacks on the coalition government, which he accused of giving tax cuts to the rich while cutting spending on the poor and failing in its central aim of reducing borrowing. Most importantly, Mr Miliband attempted to set out the kind of Britain he would lead if elected, pointedly and repeatedly using a phrase first coined by a Conservative Prime Minister in the 19th century, "one nation".

His party's supporters clearly liked it and the initial reaction from political commentators has also been favourable, with many describing it as his best performance since becoming leader. But the Conservatives accused Mr Miliband of continuing to stand for more spending and borrowing which had created the mess in the first place. Although the next general election is over two years away, it feels like the campaign has already begun.

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Vocabulary

took to the stage

stood up to make a speech

mindful of

aware of

refugees

people who flee their home or country e.g. due to war, famine, natural disasters

scepticism

doubt, uncertainty

party faithful

loyal members of a political party

elected

chosen in a vote

pointedly

with meaning and emphasis

coined

invented

political commentators

experts who study politicians

favourable

encouraging