Observations from Labour Party Conference 2011 – 5: “I’m not Tony Blair. I’m not Gordon Brown either.”

The first really big applause line in Ed Miliband’s Leader’s Speech this afternoon was his affirmation that he would be true to himself, his own instincts and values.  And the big roar of approval came when he said:

“You know, I’m not Tony Blair.

I’m not Gordon Brown either.

Great men, who in their different ways, achieved great things.

I’m my own man.”

And then later he brought the Conference to its feet with a mid-speech standing ovation following a passage on the NHS:

“There is no greater public interest than our National Health Service.

Cherished by all of us.  Founded by Labour.  Saved by Labour.  Today defended by Labour once again.

Why does Britain care so much for the NHS?  Because, more than any other institution in our country, the values of the NHS are our values.  It doesn’t matter who you are.  Or what you earn.  The NHS offers the highest quality care when we need it.    ….

And when I look at everything this Tory Government is doing, it is the NHS that shocks me most.

Why?  Because David Cameron told us he was different.  You remember.  The posters.  The soundbites.  David Cameron knew the British people did not trust the Tories with our NHS.  So he told us he wasn’t the usual type of Tory.  And he asked for your trust.

And then he got into Downing Street.  And within a year – within a year – he’d gone back on every word he’d said.

No more top-down reorganisations?  He betrayed your trust.

No more hospital closures?  He betrayed your trust.

No more long waits?  He betrayed your trust.

And the biggest betrayal of all?  The values of the NHS.  Britain’s values.  The values he promised to protect.  Betrayed.

Hospitals to be fined millions of pounds if they break the rules of David Cameron’s free-market healthcare system.  The old values that have failed our economy now being imported to our most prized institution: the NHS.

Let me tell David Cameron this.  It is the oldest truth in politics.  He knows it and the public knows it.


The Conference loved it.  It is the sort of stuff that will reinvigorate the Party and the Party’s base.

And that after all is the first step to winning in 2015.

19 thoughts on “Observations from Labour Party Conference 2011 – 5: “I’m not Tony Blair. I’m not Gordon Brown either.””

  1. Never a mention of 90 internment without trial, ID cards that not even plod wanted and 2 million innocent folks on an (illegal under EU law) National DNA Database.

  2. Ciaran Rehill
    How many rapists were convicted using the DNA database?
    How many old crimes were solved using the database?
    How many innocent citizens have had crimes against them solved using this database?
    I have an ID card its called a driving licence….

  3. John is right that ID cards and a genetic database will be invaluable in the fight against crime. The cards were also useful in the EU I gather.

    Ed Mili is on his way. Worth recalling Dennis Macshane’s words to the effect that excess apologies do not lead to electoral success ring especially true when Labour made rather fewer mistakes than are being apologised for IMHO.

    I wonder wether some of Ed’s ideas for more responsible business have echoes in CDU and SDP led Germany?

  4. John and Quietzapple are on Planet Moron! Cold hits were surpassed a long time ago, all career criminals are on the NDNAD and if that were the end of the matter I’d support it. (Why does the NEXT nearest nation, Austria manage with less than 1% on file? Could it be that they use their database for, gasp, real criminals?)
    You neglected to add that 10% of white males are on the NDNAD but 45% of black-ethnic minorities are.
    Finally, may I say that there is a curious concept in DEMOCRACIES which boils down to Innocence or Guilt, currently 2 million UK citizens are on file and have committed NO CRIME.

  5. Ciaran Rehill
    John here the human being from Planet Earth…..
    Just because you on the DNA database does not mean you are guilty in our democracy.
    Was the Yorkshire Ripper a career/real criminal? How many of his victims would be alive today if modern forensics had been around then?

    Ed’s Labour the one nation Party…. Work to pay off the debt.

  6. Sutcliffe argument is invalid, what if the police had done their job properly and arrested him after the FIRST interview? UK is not a democracy, it is a de facto police state.
    You cannot trust the Tories with the NHS, Labour neither!

  7. Great Speech Ed…
    I trust you with education, health, pensions, the economy and the nations health. Thank You Labour…..
    Give two eds a chance….
    Two Eds are better than one bully club

  8. Ciaren I’m not on the police DNA database but frankly if I was, so what?
    I wouldn’t feel my rights have been violated. Seems practical and a natural scientific step on from finger printing.

    Disagree with you too John. Ed’s speech was aspirational, notional and lacked detail. I’m fed up with Apologising for things and Labour’s record. Some great stuff was achieved. Fixing the mire left by massive Tory under investment in public services. Reduced, if not virtual eradication of major waiting times for the NMS; new hospitals; new schools; falling crime and safer streets and a rise in public confidence and 10 years of good economic performance until the global crisis.

    David M is simply more polished than Ed M. Tony Blair won three elections as Leader. He used to make the hairs stand up. Maybe he was a good front man. Roger Daltry to Brown’s Pete Townsend. But he delivered. Not sure Ed will. A year in and this shower should be getting hammered. Stop the growth of the latter Labour months in office; waiting times up in hospitals; £2bn on needless NHS reorganisation when they promised to leave well alone; crime beginning to rise; riots on the streets; economy tanking; unemployment up; no growth
    plan; £100m on needless PCC’s; even tree’s. Bullingdon Bertie should be battered. Ed needs to up his game.

  9. “A year in and this shower should be getting hammered”
    I voted for David M in the leadership election but I’m backing Ed as he is the leader. I said I trusted Ed and I do. I trust the Labour Party to build a better society. The next election is some years off and Ed and his team should be given time….

  10. Richard
    Did you watch the Q & A session @ the Labour Party Conference?
    If you did how do you feel Ed performed? I found it to be fine…….
    But then again I would wouldn’t I.

    Tory cuts don’t cut crime for the real world…

    Ciaran Rehill
    You can trust Labour with the NHS…..
    Who else?

  11. I hear what you’re saying John. He should receive support for now but blind loyalty, however, isn’t the answer.
    If Gordon Brown had been challenged and stood aside prior to 2010 this shower may not have been in office.
    That said, its early and the Government may well self destruct. But surely you’re not suggesting Flashman shouldn’t be getting a harder time from the opposition for ideological programme they’re undertaking
    and that’s not just Ed M, its from his shadow cabinet too. They need to up their game. Ed needs to pick his cabinet.
    Unions vote in the leadership should be reduced to a one Union member automatically having one vote. The days of block voting in 2011 is beyond comprehension to me as a union member. Its simply wrong.

    But the facts remain. Ed isn’t performing brilliantly in building labour as a credible high performing opposition. He’s trying to but David seems, to me, a better, more polished performer. The MP’s thought
    so. The party Membership thought so. The Unions disagreed. Some people aren’t front men. Phil Collins next to Peter Gabriel. A Leader who sounds like he has a cold all the time, will be tricky to get elected. That’s just life.

  12. Ciaren – the NHS handed over in 2010 was infinitely better than the one
    inherited in 1997. I remember 18 month waiting lists – can you?
    Ergo you can trust Labour with the NHS.

  13. Must be a different NHS. I have only been in hospital once (Thank God) in recent years, Nov 2007. It was akin to a third world experience. A few months later I visited a hospital in Amiens, Picardy. Totally 21st century medicine. On the whole I concur that NHS is better under ZaNuLabour.

  14. Lord Toby, were you on R4 last night mentioning public subscriptions to statues in Laaandaaan? My idea is one of Lord Linley and Prince Edward about to (redacted, but Very Funny).

  15. Not me!
    And alas, unlike you, I am not plugged into royal gossip to know what it is that you have redacted …..

  16. Let’s hope that the CCTV and DNA records help the police catch another tranche of rioters and looters. I wonder when we shall head a zbritidh Government point out that DNA passports are becoming essential to visit the USA and no doubt other countries and so … Wise to reintroduce them here ….

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