This post is out of sequence since I haven’t caught up on Sunday yet neither mind yesterday. I rushed over from the Unions21 fringe on pensions to join the long queue for Ed Miliband's speech as leader to conference. Unlike last year I was able to get in and find a seat. People behind me had to stand on the sides of the hall.
Some first thoughts on (some) of the things he said that I found interesting. I must admit the speech and the chorography reminded me of the GovNet fringe that I went to last night which listed the things he should saying at conference in front of the telly cameras to “reach out beyond the Party” in order to win votes. Such as stressing his personal side, his wife and young family, appealing to the aspirational so-called none “core” Labour vote.
I found his reaffirmation of the plan to make every company agree to an employee representative being on the board remuneration committee good news. But it was the only concrete idea put forward to on how to make the financial service industry change and how he will tax and regulate the “predators” while encouraging the “wealth creators”? I think better governance is also part of the solution.
The pledge on social housing and making it available to those in work or contribute to society is a welcome sign that housing is finally moving up the political agenda. But at the moment we don’t build enough homes to house practically anyone so this needs to be addressed and hard cash put up.
Some people I spoke to afterwards were concerned that he concentrated too much on the vision of getting working class kids into the top elite universities and not enough on getting the vast majority who need access to good apprentices and further education. He has got to be careful about referring to his background. Yes, he is indeed the son of outsiders and went to a comprehensive school but he is not a hoary son of toil.
Yes, we must “invent things, make things and sell real things”, Yes, “you can not trust the Tories with the NHS”, Yes, to change “a safety net full of holes”, Well done to standing up to Rupert Murdoch but who are the “vested interests” in public services? Hmmm – I hope not...
Overall a good speech which if fully implemented when he becomes Prime Minster will make Britain a fairer, more equal, progressive and successful society. Good start - roll on 2015.