Exclusive: Ed Miliband: My vision for Labour

Ed Miliband writes to tell Left Foot Forward readers about the speech I made earlier today to an audience of Labour activists that sets out the choice that the party faces about the changes that we need to make.

Our guest writer is Ed Miliband, Labour Party leadership candidate

I wanted to write to tell Left Foot Forward readers about the speech I made earlier today to an audience of Labour activists that sets out the choice that the party faces about the changes that we need to make. Labour must have the courage to change, the confidence to know that our values, when applied to the challenges of Britain in the modern world, can reconnect with those who have turned their backs on New Labour.

So I am directly asking Labour members to give me a mandate to carry out the fundamental changes that we need to make, in order to take Labour back into power. Only if the party changes can we win again and then go on to make the changes that the people of this country are relying upon us to make.

There comes a time in every election when a choice has to be made – and in this Labour leadership election, we are now approaching that time. The question for us in this contest is: can we have the courage to recognise the scale of the change needed after one defeat, not after four as we had to do after 1992.

I believe that we must choose change. Ideologically. Electorally. Organisationally.

New Labour: right for its time – but it was formed sixteen years ago and now we need to move on. Traditional New Labour solutions won’t work, and that is why I am the modernising candidate in this election. Today, I believe that we need nothing less than a refounding of the Labour Party. We must be the party of labour: I believe in the dignity of work, which is why the living wage is central to my campaign.

We must be the party of equality: I believe this society is too unequal and it didn’t just harm the poor which is why I am for a high pay commission to curb excess at the top; we must be the party of aspiration: I believe that millions of people are locked out of opportunity, which is why I am not for a market in higher education but a graduate tax; we must be the party of family: I believe that we shouldn’t be working the longest hours in Western Europe, which is why I am for flexible working for all; we must be the party of the environment: I believe that climate change is the biggest threat our country faces which is why it must be central to everything we do.

And yes, the we must be the party of liberty, as we were when we were founded in 1900: defending individual rights and freedoms. These are my values. This is what I believe. Once we throw off the shackles of the past, all this becomes possible.

I am asking for a mandate to change the party and take us on this next stage of our journey. I am the candidate in this contest who has recognised the scale of change we need in our party so that we can deliver the change we need in our country.

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