Saturday 20 September 2008

The inspirational Mr Miliband (Ed)

Ed Miliband's punchy pitch - "It’s time to take back our language .... It’s time to rediscover our idealism" went down very well in the conference hall as he rejected the idea of Tory men pursuing Labour measures.

And there wasn't much doubt about what the vision thing is - "a country more open than it is now, fairer than it is now, and more equal than it is now" ... "we have so much more to do to live up to our ideal of equal life chances for all".

The language of equal life chances (for equality, as well as fairness) is music to our ears here at the Fabians. It suggests that, if you try hard enough, the message can get through.

The financial crisis is giving Labour's younger generation of social democrats a growing confidence in rebutting the David Cameron and Nick Clegg arguments about "state failure". Miliband praised charities but rejected the idea that they could solve social problems without government as an approach which had failed in the 19th century.

And the stress on responsibility at all levels of our society suggests we may hear more about rights and responsibilities at the top - and not just at the bottom.

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