Ed Miliband - An historic speech?

Benjamin Disraeli Disraeli promised to help working men - will Miliband do the same?

About 100 yards from where Ed Miliband will deliver his speech is one of the most significant sites in the history of politics in Britain.

The Labour leader will try to make that history come alive and to use it as his new rallying cry.

The site is Manchester's Free Trade Hall. Now the five-star Radisson hotel, it occupies the ground on which the Peterloo Massacre took place: a dozen campaigners for democratic rights were killed there and hundreds more injured in 1819.

It is the hall which saw the earliest campaigns against the protectionist Corn Laws (hence the name Free Trade Hall) as well as for women's suffrage. It is, though, another significant political moment which Mr Miliband will recall.

In 1872 a Tory leader, Benjamin Disraeli, spoke out in favour of helping "the condition of working men", of government intervention to do so and of taking action - controversial at the time - to heal the divide between rich and poor. His brand of Toryism became known as "One Nation".

I expect Mr Miliband to try to claim that mantle 140 years later (just, incidentally, as Tony Blair did when he was leader of the opposition).

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    All I can see here, sagamix (119), other than an amusingly deep discomfort with the subject of Miliband and his foolish fees pledge (which I have not the slightest intention of letting you forget about), is your regular tendency towards Humpty-Dumpty-ism: "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean".

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    No122 Marcush,
    Have you noticed our 'spending plans' were an increase on the previous governments

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    Look at Labour MP Dan Jarvis's homepage. The man is fully on message....

    "One party, one nation, one leader"


    Cant help but feel that I've heard something very similar to that before... quite a while ago in fact... wasnt it the 1930's and that Austrian chappy with the toothbrush moustache?????

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    Well, on one thing I have to agree, under Ed Miliband, Britain is likely to make more miserable history, but we will do it together...Oh dear, sounds like lots of sacrifice, loss, desperation...Tell me, does any British economist, financial analyst, or even politician have a clue what to do under the current situation?

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    I am afraid Ed Milibands speech, although better than normal, wasn't that great! Telling us how he was going to do the right thing....One Nation etc etc! To be honest, nobody can deliver all these promises when they get into power, BUT Labour seem to mess up more than the Conservatives, as they just love to spend spend spend, money which isn't there!


Comments 5 of 126


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