Ed Miliband used his first major speech as Labour party to leader to position himself and the party back into the centre ground. It was almost as though his brother, David, was giving the speech, talk of having to deal with the deficit, not backing unnecessary strikes over public sector spending cuts and wanting to reform welfare.
He paid tribute to Labour’s achievements, but also made several attacks on its past like:
- An unjust war on Iraq
- Student tuition fees
- Attack on civil liberties
- Loose regulation of financial services
Is it me or is Ed Miliband saying that the Liberal Democrats have been right all along on these issues? Does he want to join the Liberal Democrats?
Actually of a bigger tactical note is he’s making both an attempt to move to the centre as well as appeal to Liberal Democrats voters and open a flank for potential co-operation in the next parliament should there be a hung parliament. The other risk for the Liberal Democrats is of being squeezed, even more reason to continue to shout about the Liberal Democrat policies being implemented.
Of course we need to see policy announcements but the speech sets a tone, but that can change over time, David Cameron veered from soft and cuddly to right wing depending on his own political situation.
It’s only day 3 of Ed Miliband’s leadership but he’s certainly shown over the past months something his brother David Miliband never had – balls. And I don’t mean having to work with Mr Yvette Cooper!