I’ve just come out of Ed’s speech, and here are my first impressions. There are some important themes in there, and I’ve noticed that other shadow ministers have been tapping into them as well this week. Taking on vested interest, taking on the establishment, being on the right side, breaking up cosy cartels. Its all good stuff, and things the party have been saying to the leadership for quite a few years now.
However, we do need to win the trust of the people of Britain, and there will be tough choices ahead. But as Ed said, we have the values of the people of Britain running through our veins. A belief in looking out for each other, a belief in fairness, that we are stronger together, and weaker alone. The problem is not the people of Britain.
We must be the party of opportunity, not one of the establishment and the old school connections. Ed made a good point about how a quarter of schools dont send even five kids to the top 30 universities in the country. Their ambition has got to be lifted, and our job is to open the doors of those universities and those places right across society that reward the predator, not the producer.
Ed highlighted manufacturing as one area where we have got it wrong since the 80’s. Where we need to produce more by helping companies get loans, helping them build their business in the long term, and not for the short term quick fix culture that has been celebrated.
However, when it came to the NHS, thats when Ed’s words really resonated. About how David Cameron has betrayed our trust with all his broken promises on the NHS. Ed told us the oldest truth in politics. You can’t trust the tories with the NHS. I’m sure you wont be surprised to hear that I was the first to stand up to applaud that.
Our mission is now to fulfil the promise of the people of Britain.