Labour Conference 2010 observations 8: Ed Miliband sets the tone

Ed Miliband’s speech this afternoon set the tone for his leadership:
‘Freedom and opportunity are precious gifts and the purpose of our politics is to expand them, for all our people.’
He wants Labour to be ‘reforming, restless and radical.’
But Labour must change:
‘We need to learn some painful truths about where we went wrong and how we lost touch.’
And he warned the Party:
‘This will require strong leadership. It won’t always be easy. You might not always like what I have to say. But you’ve elected me leader and lead I will.’
‘The hard truth for all of us in this hall is that a party that started out taking on old thinking became the prisoner of its own certainties.’
Labour must be a force that ‘speaks for the majority and shapes the centre ground of politics’.
‘I believe strongly that we need to reduce the deficit. There will be cuts and there would have been if we had been in government.’
‘No plan for growth means no credible plan for deficit reduction.’
‘No truck with overblown rhetoric about waves of irresponsible strikes.’
‘We can’t be imprisoned by focus groups. Politics has to be about leadership or it is about nothing.’

It was all good stuff.
My only plea is that we don’t start calling ourselves ‘New Generation Labour’.

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