Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us?

As yesterday’s round-up of reactions to Ed Miliband’s speech shows, it could be interpreted in a number of ways. Some saw it as a deliberately low-content affair, others as “actually quite funny“, while Left Foot Forward’s own Ed Jacobs saw it as laying a framework for a new agenda of fairness.

If you are part of the Tory Party, however, it appears you were watching an entirely different speech to most of the country, in which Miliband announced he wanted to ban business, nationalise everything, and eat the rich. From Norman Tebbit calling him a backward looking socialist, to Luke Johnson claiming it shows he “probably doesn’t even believe in capitalism“, the “red Ed” spin machine clearly only has one setting.

Since these commentators clearly didn’t actually watch the speech, we’ve presented below a selection of the most centrist – some may argue even right-wing – passages from it, to help them next time they try to write.

On Thatcherism:

Now there are hard lessons here for my party which some won’t like. Some of what happened in the 1980s was right. It was right to let people buy their council houses. It was right to cut tax rates of 60, 70, 80 percent. And it was right to change the rules on the closed shop, on strikes before ballots. These changes were right, and we were wrong to oppose it at the time.

On welfare:

You know what your values are. But they are not the values being rewarded in our benefits system. We must never excuse people who cheat the welfare system. The reason I talk about this is not because I don’t believe in a welfare state but because I do. We can never protect and renew it if people believe it’s just not fair. If it’s too easy not to work. And there are people taking something for nothing.
[…]
Even after reforms of recent years, we still have a system where reward for work is not high enough. Where benefits are too easy to come by for those who don’t deserve them and too low for those who do. So if what you want is a welfare system that works for working people then I’m prepared to take the tough decisions to make that a reality.

On being pro-business:

We need the most competitive tax and regulatory environment we can for British business. But when I am Prime Minister, how we tax, what government buys, how we regulate, what we celebrate will be in the service of Britain’s producers. And don’t let anyone tell you that this is the anti-business choice. It’s the pro-business choice. Pro-business on the side of the small businesses who can’t get a loan. Pro-business on the side of high value manufacturing that can’t build its business because of the short-termist culture. Pro-business on the side of the British company losing out to its competitors abroad when their government steps in and our government stands aside. And that includes companies like Bombardier and BAe systems. Being sold down the river by this Government. Just like Sheffield Forgemasters before them.

On Social Housing:

Take social housing. When we have a housing shortage, choices have to be made. Do we treat the person who contributes to their community the same as the person who doesn’t? My answer is no. Our first duty should be to help the person who shows responsibility. And I say every council should recognise the contribution that people are making.

On the deficit:

I am determined to prove to you that the next Labour Government will only spend what it can afford. That we will live within our means. That we will manage your money properly. As someone who believes that government can make a difference, I have a special responsibility to show you that every pound that is spent, is spent wisely. The next Labour Government will still face tough decisions. We won’t be able to reverse many of the cuts this Government is making. And let me tell you, if this Government fails to deal with the deficit in this Parliament, we are determined to do so. It’s why we will set new fiscal rules to bind government to a disciplined approach. And it’s right, as a down payment, to tell you that we would use every penny of the sale of bank shares to pay down the debt.

18 Responses to “Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us?”

  1. Michael Bater

    RT @leftfootfwd: Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/2uXC24HQ

  2. Elizabeth Hudson

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/r44yNjdS @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  3. alexsmith1982

    RT @leftfootfwd: Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/89YPRhKw @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  4. Christopher Peacock

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/r44yNjdS @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  5. Conor McGurran

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/r44yNjdS @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  6. Andrew G

    RT @leftfootfwd: Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/3TO3J92U #lab11

  7. Political Planet

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us?: As yesterday’s round-up of reactions to Ed Miliban… http://t.co/5Xis7L6w

  8. Cochis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/edFliUg3

  9. Colin Waude

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/r44yNjdS @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  10. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/Nvo4oLu3

  11. Edward Vincent

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/r44yNjdS @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  12. Ashraf Choudhury

    RT @leftfootfwd: Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/eqQP0BCt

  13. TheCreativeCrip

    Were Tories even watching the same speech as the rest of us? http://t.co/r44yNjdS @alexhern counters the spin. #lab11

  14. Dave Citizen

    The Tories and others aligned to a narrow set of vested interests are always going to try to distort how EM (or anyone else who genuinely threatens their privileges) comes across. I just hope that enough gets through to the public to enable an informed choice.

    Fortunately, I think the world is moving in Ed’s direction so despite what will become increasingly desperate attempts to distort his messages, I think time is on his side. Labour must holds its nerve and not allow the little people within to do a fatal compromise that sacrifices meaningful change for power and the trappings of office – the mess is too serious for that this time.

  15. Robert the crip

    The problem is the world has moved on and it has moved on from Thatcher and because labour has no view of it’s own on the world it returns to Thatcher, he does it in the hope that the young the middle Class will either not remember Thatcher or not know about it or in fact be Thatcherites.

    Most of what he said has come from his New labour Blairites and sadly we have moved on from that lot as well, Labour will be crucified once the Tories get to the conference table.

    Miliband was part of the last thirteen years within labour, he was a Blairite, he was a brownites and sadly he is another of the groups of rich people who believe they know what it’s like on benefits.

    The reason people see benefits as being worth staying on, is simple it’s actually better then working, you actually get more.

    Work for the min wage which is ten quid above JSA, if you have a car to travel to work depending on the distance your already out of pocket, pay for anything else bus train your out of pocket, that’s not because people do not want to work they have to live, the min wage has always been shockingly low.

    According to Caroline Flint the mouth piece of the Council house, she believe people not in work should be kicked out of council house, which is the cheapest form of renting, they will move into more expensive housing and the Government will pay more for rent. Or are labour looking to America where people live in old factories or old buildings in towns which are now empty, I suspect labour would enjoy seeing empty factories used.

    I can see teachers and Police office waiting for council houses because labour had already placed these people at the head of the housing list anyway, but how many police officers social workers or nurses are desperate to get a council house. It’s eye catching of course for those middle England tax payers labour new life blood, but in honesty after the last thirteen years I suspect they now have a leader in Cameron they trust, or you have Miliband who tells you Thatcher was right we are wrong, so New labour.

    Poor showing to return to Thatcher just shows this is New labour to attack the Unions well we expect it from a bloke who has never had a job to need to be in the Union. This is new labour without the charisma of the new labour leader. And I did not like him either.

  16. Anon E Mouse

    All this speech did was reconfirm to people that the polls are correct (both his dire personal ratings and the party less popular than the government), Ed Miliband is weird and Labour are unfit and unelectable to govern this country.

    This ridiculous article serves only to remind people that Labour activists are partly responsible for the delusion the left is going through.

    I remember this fine blog arguing that Brown was right for the party and now they do the same with Miliband. All that will be achieved is the government’s position will be strengthened and Labour will remain in opposition.

    There will be a cold day in hell before Ed Miliband is Prime Minister – just who does this careerist represent? The guys a dud, everyone knows it and no matter how much propaganda is spewed out from these types of sites you do the party no favours and makes me wonder if you lot are just Tory Stooges in the way Ed Miliband is a Union Stooge.

    As bad as the speech clearly was this nonsense is worse…

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