Week 39: Hero – The Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition

by Ray_North on September 29, 2013

Hero-Labour1This Week’s Winner of the Hero of the Week, is Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party.

I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting a great deal from last week’s Labour Party conference or from Ed Miliband. I wrote on these pages that I wanted him to make a bold speech, stop apologising for the mistakes of the Blair administration and apportion blame on those who are really at fault. I also wanted him to outline a narrative that would demonstrate that the state could play a positive role in the lives of ordinary people.

I wrote the piece, more in hope than in expectation, I really wasn’t expecting to tick off much from my list – how wrong I was.

Ed Miliband’s speech was a tour de force – following on from last year’s impressive ‘One Nation Labour Speech’ – this year, Ed Miliband put some meat on the bones, this year he actually outlined policies, and what policies – by stating that a future Labour Government would freeze energy prices for two years , by stating that Labour would not be afraid of requisitioning land for social housing, Ed Miliband in an instant managed to accomplish a number of significant political aims: first, he was able to demonstrate that Labour could actually be brave, and that he, as a leader, was not afraid to take on the vested interests of the massive Private Companies and their friends in the right wing press, who predictably lampooned him as being a relic of the 1970s; second, he was able to change the axis of the political debate away from the orthodoxy of the last twenty odd years that have had us believe that the state is bad and de-regulation and increased private control is good – christ, at this rate, we may even be entering an era where people can have an intelligent debate about the merits of nationalisation without being branded as nutters; and third, of course, he has put the Tories into a spin – they know that they are vulnerable to charges that government’s have failed to protect the consumers from the excesses of big business, and by announcing a policy that is both radical and popular Labour has managed to throw the Tories into an absolute tizz – it really was very, very clever.

We have been saying for some time on these pages that capitalism is broken, and that the greed and social disparity needs to be addressed – we are also relaxed about the role of the state – if the state can do something well and do it in a fair and efficient way, then brilliant – because not everything has to be a vehicle for making money. What Ed Miliband did in his speech to the Labour Party conference was outline a vision of a new type of social democracy where people are not punished for being on benefits and private enterprise is not revered and untouchable, but is actually put in its proper place as a servant of the people and cog in the wheels of our economy.

Of course, the Tories will now attack Ed Miliband with even greater ferocity, and, in a way, he has opened up a flank for them to attack, but, there are times, when you have to be brave, you have to do and say what you believe is right and you have to take on those who would stand in your way, rather than simply avoid them or placate them.

Ed Miliband needs to be praised for doing this and that is why we make him our hero for this week.

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