That Ed Miliband speech in full…

milibandThe following arrived in a brown envelope at Lib Dem Voice Towers, this morning. It is probably an early draft.

[Check against delivery]

[Note to self. I will be speaking without use of the autoclue. Will need to deliver the speech entirely without a clue.]

I want to start by thanking somebody from the bottom of my heart.

Ella Philips, who fell off her bike and called me an action hero who mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. She called me suave and not geeky at all.

I was pretty pleased with this until I realised she was concussed. So I got her to vote in her local constituency candidate selection.

I have emotion that is felt at kitchen tables across the country every night. Six simple words that say “can you pass the ketchup please”.

We have to rebuild anew one nation, and today I’m going to tell you how.

I will start with leadership. Leaderhsip is about risks and decisions. I ran for the leadership of this party to spite my brother.

The other week I faced a bigger decision: whether this country should go to war. All of us were horrified with the chemical attacks. But I saw the opportunity to score political points, and said no.

Let me tell you about normal person. She said to me “How can you understand the lives of normal people who live round here”. My answer – I was brought up in great privilege, infused with socialist theory from books.

The most important qualification for being prime minister is knowing good apple pie. this is what I believe and this is where I stand.

Every week I think about the people of Britain. What are they like?

Hooray for the troops!

Hooray for the police!

Hooray for all the poeple I have met!

Normal person wandered up, he was very angry about immigration. I was a bit scared.

Hooray for the NHS!

For generations in Britain, when the economy grew, people got better off. But somewhere along the way [under Tony Blair] this link was broken. They used to say a rising tide lifts all boats. Now a rising tide just lifts the yachts. Now I say this: don’t take a second look at a political party like ours that made this happen.

Now I have a question for you. Do the Tories get it?

murmur of confusion

Wrong answer! Do the Tories get it?

No!

David Cameron will be claiming to have saved the economy after the mess we left it in. Come on! We left it in a bigger mess than that!

[This is the bit where I channel Ronald Reagan]

Am I better off now than I was 3 years ago? The cost of living crisis is not an accident of economic policy, it is a consequence of our decision to spread the pain of 2008 over the following 10 years. [Sure we should say this?]

Britain can’t win the global race, it can do better than that, it can lose. Britain cannot and should not try to have a competitive economy, it must stagnate.

The Tories call our people inhabitants of desolate areas. We call them people whose votes we can take for granted.

To make Britain better you have to win a race to the top, and it will be tough. So forget everything I have just said, that was just positioning.

Many of the jobs in the future will come from small businesses. So I’m going to put up taxes on big business to cut business rates for small businesses. One nation Labour, extending the class war to cover small versus big business.

And because this government has overseen a massive voluntary expansion in apprenticeships, let’s introduce some compulsion to some businesses, just to give the whole program a bit of a sour taste.

Young people should have access to education and training. Why did nobody think of this before?

Going to primary school is a bit like being leader of the Labour Party. Can I have the paints please miss.

And we’ve also got to deal with low pay. We will strengthen the minimum wage so that people can pay our extra 10% income tax on low earners.

I’m the child of immigrants, but hiring foreigners to do work? It’s a race to the bottom! Not under my government! (Except for me being PM)

In the 1990s we committed to a dynamic market economy. But what happens when competition fails? Train companies, pay day lenders, energy bills – we did nothing about any of these in government but they make for good rhetoric in opposition.

If we win in 2015 the government will freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 2017. So clearly – if we have any chance of winning – bills will rise sharply in early 2015, and we can blame that on the coalition.

Hooray for the NHS again!

We don’t just need to improve the health service we’ve got to rescue it from the Tories (and Liberals too) who are actually doing the work on integrating health and social care that we only talk about.

Let me tell you about the record of the last Labour government. When we came to office there was a moderately burdensome tick box target culture, but when we left it was immense. [Do we talk about Mid Staffs? No, you fool]

So we will scaremonger over the NHS all over again and for all time.

Now for the best bit. Party reform. Yay.

Change is difficult. But the reason it is impossible in our party is because of our unique link with the unions. My reforms are about hearing the voices of the few million union members much louder than the tens of millions of others.

I want to talk about gay and lesbian young people who are now allowed to marry thanks to the coalition.

But we have to win the battle for the United Kingdom, or I won’t have a chance of winning a general election.

So I have talked to you today about unfunded spending commitments. But the next election won’t just be about unfunded spending commitments and hidden extra cuts and tax rises to pay for them. If you want to know the difference between me and David Cameron, it is simple. He is a more effective class warrior than I am.

We know what we’ll see from our party at the election: divide and rule; north v south, rich v poor. It’s the worst form of politics. Britain is better than us.

The easy path for politics is to divide. I believe in one nation, us versus them. I want to win it for Britain. Britain is better than us.

Early drafts of Ed’s previous conference speeches can be found here.

* Joe Otten was the candidate for Sheffield Heeley in June 2017, is a councillor in Sheffield and is Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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71 Comments

  • Tony Dawson 24th Sep '13 - 4:23pm

    The speech was delivered in a slightly competent, slightly wooden manner but had only one problem (besides the content). It was clearly written by somebody who is emotionally on another planet to Ed Miliband. Consequently it had no ‘connection’ at all to the general public. Unlike Nick Clegg’s speech which ‘connected’ very well to the core Lib Dem conference audience at whom it was clearly directed.

  • I’m sorry tony but I think that’s wishful thinking. As a person that will not be voting for any of the three major parties (unless one of them announces the renationalisation of Royal Mail) I have to say that speech was leaps and bounds ahead of cleggs. I also think it will go down well with the public. When you’ve got writers for the sun and the telegraph saying it was a pretty good speech, I thinks it’s safe to say it must have been pretty good.

  • When Ed Davey’s reaction is

    Everyone wants to help with the cost of rising bills, which is why Liberal Democrats have cut income tax by £700 for working people

    I rather suspect Miliband has hit a raw nerve.

    Call it populist a but a least Miliband has said he will do something about energy bills instead of the usual ‘everything is alright really’ type of comment, which Davey has come out with – would the average family think they are 700 a year better off at the moment?. When energy companies are frothing at the mouth it could be a good sign.

  • Joe Otten

    Is this really the best you can do?

    I really do despair for your party if you are seen as a prospective candidate

  • Come on, surely Labour deserve better than a ropey attempt at humour. After all they are potential coalition partners, aren’t they?

  • Most amusing.

  • Ed Wilson – “Labour heavyweights would find it impossible to regard a Liberal Democrat as a proper colleague. In their hearts they would see them as interlopers: politicians who shouldn’t be there; zombies without socialist souls. Harold Wilson may have oversimplified when he said that Labour was a crusade or it was nothing, but he touched on something true. The intensity with which Labour politicians hate each other bears witness to the sacred nature of their cause.”
    The ever astute Parris has hit the nail squarely on the head.

  • Oh Joe the Comedian

    On ‘unfunded spending commitments’ – why don’t you take Balls up on his offer of having the policies examined by the OBR. We already know there is a massive gap in the Coalition plans so why not see if there is the same in Labours – can’t really criticise if you don’t take them up on the offer can you?

    The Treasury’s ‘unbiased’ note claiming 27bn gap was already seen to be very selective

  • Why? – Seriously, the libdem have lost about 10% of the voting electorate who are mainly to the left, most of whom are not fanatical libdem or labour supporters. A lot of them disagrees with many of the labour parties policies and actions. These are the voters the libdems really need back in 2015.

    Either serious argument against (labour) party policy or gentle mocking/rebuke, can (done in the right way) help return these voters – but outright derision and sneering?!

    How can this do anything other than alienate the very voters that the libdem should be trying to woo back?

  • Eddie Sammon 24th Sep '13 - 8:23pm

    Nice jokes, but I’m too concerned about Ed Miliband attempting a socialist revolution against the public’s wishes. This will get messy.

    The way to win the argument for “liberalism” is not to say “it keeps the lights on”, but to point out that we believe in free people, free trade and a balance of power between individuals, businesses and the state – not an almighty powerful state controlling our lives and telling us what to do.

  • @Simon

    As they have in the past voted for the LibDems, are somewhere on the left spectrum, and are very unlikely to vote Tory – they should theoretically be a pool of voters which are, if you don’t mind the expression, ‘low lying fruit’

    With regards to the conservative majority, mostly no. Winning these voter back will help with the LibDem/Con marginals (which prevented a con majority in 2010), LibDem/Labour marginals are irrelevant to a Con majority, and while it may cost Labour a few seat in Con/Lab marginals, tactical voting combined with the previously mentioned increase in LibDem/Con victories should prevent any overall tory gains.

  • @Joe Otten
    Isn’t that the market rather than the energy companies responding ??

    I heard a strong negative statement from their industry body on 5 Live earlier…

    @Simon Shaw raises the important point, how is this to be managed as I cannot see a simple price freeze working. An enforced tracker between wholesale and retail prices could be one idea as wholesale rises seem to be passed on more quickly then reductions. But how do they then ensure fair pricing in what is a fairly closed wholesale market…

    On the whole it seems a bit gimmicky and not thought through…

  • Just read an interesting point on why Labour has gone with more policy discussion (and they really have if you look at the Tories prior to 2010 – less said about LD pledges etc. the better I think) now rather than wait.

    Labour have a big election next year – the Scottish Referendum – where they want to show a different approach that negates the SNP focus on the Tories.

    The Coalition has no real ‘skin in the game’ north of the border – neither party being exactly popular at the moment

  • Joe Otten

    Have you seen who is doing the rounds on their behalf – Angela Knight!!!! She of the BBA and ex-Tory MP who made ‘economy with the actualité’ an art form.

    She got battered by Caroline Flint on Channel 4 News tonight!

    These are the same energy companies who want their mouths stuffed with gold to even consider green investment – and this is under ‘the greenest government ever’

    As I said before – I despair

  • Helen Dudden 24th Sep '13 - 10:22pm

    I like Ed Miliband,, a highly intelligent man who wishes to try to improve our lives.

  • Peter Watson 24th Sep '13 - 10:39pm

    @Simon Shaw “As Milliband has said (in advance) that an incoming Labour government would freeze gas and electricity prices from the summer of 2015, won’t energy companies just raise prices in advance of the General Election?”
    Sounds like a winning strategy for Labour. The prices go up on the Coalition’s watch and the only excuse they could offer is “The big energy companies expect us to lose!”. 😉

  • I have a few problems with what Miliband said, which seemed rather too centralist and dirigist.

    I have much more serious problems with thisarticle, which, despite some valid points, is basically a demonising exercise. Complete with bogus photo. Why not add some red eyes and call Miliband a vampire, like the Tories did with Blair? Come on, the end justifies the means, let’s do character assassination, it’s the New Liberalism!

  • “Sounds like a winning strategy for Labour. The prices go up on the Coalition’s watch and the only excuse they could offer is “The big energy companies expect us to lose!”. ;-)”

    Precisely. Let the LibDems and Tories go into the 2015 as the parties that stood aside as the power companies hiked up prices as a hedge to Labour winning. I’m sure that UK voters will go a bundle on that. Given current psephological data, you might even see the Greens outpolling the LibDems at that point.

  • Peter Watson 25th Sep '13 - 7:33am

    David Allen: “I have much more serious problems with this article, which, despite some valid points, is basically a demonising exercise.”

    In the interests of equidistance, I’m looking forward to Joe’s spoof of Cameron’s speech next week, complete with a funny photo.

  • @Helen Dudden. I agree. And I believe an increasing number of voters are beginning to respect Mr Milliband. There is very real danger here for the LidDems, the mocking on this site is pointless and a symptom of nervousness rather than disdain. As has been said, 10%+ of LibDem “leftish” votes have been lost (Mr Clegg appeared not to have any use for them any more!). There can be little doubt that those votes are going straight to Milliband’s Labour. LibDems may laugh, but for the LibDems there is nothing remotely humerous is this.

  • Alex Harvey 25th Sep '13 - 8:42am

    This sort of article is why I’ll never vote Lib Dem again.

  • Bill le Breton 25th Sep '13 - 8:45am

    Joe says, “How the markets think the policy affects their share price is a better guide than what the companies say.”

    Absolutely right ! (And a pity people don’t think this with reference to the markets’ reaction to QE: tapering/ reversing,/need for, and what the markets therefore think of the prospects for stagnation and deflation without it. But that’s a red herring, here.)

    I’d say that the market reaction is more likely to suggest it thinks that the introduction of this policy is 99.999% unlikely rather than illustrating any belief that the companies would try to put through price rises prior to legislation – that would be a PR disaster in any campaign for hearts and minds + a Labour government would then have wider support for a) a windfall tax and b) reversing the price rise.

    Surely what the Coalition should do immediately (and it should have done this months ago) is introduce a review of the regulatory environment and the performance of the regulator. If such a review finds monopoly abuse and/or regulatory failure we should all be better off. If the findings are made public and show that we are indeed paying the price that consumers must pay for future supplies, Labour’s fox will have been shot.

    On the announcement of such a review the markets’ reaction would then reveal their opinion as to what that view might unearth.

    My guess is that share prices would fall.

  • David Allen – that’s not a doctored photo, merely an unflattering one.

  • DAVEN – it may not be humerous [sic], but its funny.

  • @DAVEN
    “As has been said, 10%+ of LibDem “leftish” votes have been lost (Mr Clegg appeared not to have any use for them any more!). There can be little doubt that those votes are going straight to Milliband’s Labour. ”

    I would probably fall into the 10% of leftish votes that have currently been lost, although that is on the national stage I have no problem with what the Lib Dems have achieved / tried to achieve in either the european or local government spheres. Clegg has a long way to go to convince me to lend my vote again, but at this point Milliband probably has even further. As the other viable alternatives have attitudes and policies I will never reconcile myself with, my vote is currently lost.

    I would say that Labour have made two fundamental mistakes since 2010. The first is their choice of leader, rightly or wrongly leadership charisma is a key element in our political system and he is seen by the general public to lack it. Secondly, they have assumed that they will mop up all those disaffected Lib Dem voters due to issues such as secret courts, tuition fees etc. The problem is those of us who are old enough to have voted in a few elections remember who told us there would be no top up fees, who were the party of ID cards and detention without charge.

    The Lib Dems have lost a lot of trust with a good number of those who voted for them in 2010, but Labour have not created a place in either policy of trust terms to gain those votes, or certainly not all of them.

  • Paul in Twickenham 25th Sep '13 - 10:06am

    The proposal to freeze energy prices will – correctly – play well to a public that is shortly to see a 10% hike in gas prices (imminently to be announced by British Gas and of course the others will quickly follow) for which there is no justification other than blatant profiteering . Do the FSA/OFGEM genuinely believe that the energy companies aren’t operating a cartel?

    Whatever the issues with Mr. Miliband’s proposal (and Jeremy Warner in today’s Telegraph does a good disection) the fact remains that we have an industry that holds us to ransom and where the “independent regulator” gives every impression of being toothless, or has drunk the koolaid, or both.

  • @Joe Otten

    The markets seem to have changed overnight..
    This from BBC at 10:30

    Centrica -3.40
    Drax Group -1.88
    National Grid +0.60
    Pennon Group -0.43
    Severn Trent +0.06
    SSE -3.35
    United Utilities Group -0.28

  • @Steve Way. You are perfectly correct in pointing out that Labour are quite capable of breaking election promises. I am not an apologist for the Labour Party. You are saying that Labour are less likely to get your vote than the LibDems. My feeling is that the majority of those ex-LibDem ‘lefty’ voters feel the opposite. As for Labour’s choice of Ed Milliband, only time will tell. However, he is beginning to ‘come across’ as a decent Social Democrat bloke – something Clegg and Cameron are most definitely not. There are many votes to be had from people who believe that they are being ripped off by big business (utility, financial, rail companies and so on). The LibDems and Tories stand resolutely on the side of big business; there is no doubt in my mind that if Milliband can convince voters that, in this area alone, he will act on behalf of consumers, he will be elected.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '13 - 10:51am

    I haven’t spent time following the conference speeches of other parties but I watched this because Ed Miliband has been the subject of such horrendous criticism from both within and from outside his party, worse than that given to Nick Clegg.

    I watched a few Prime Ministers Question times before I became ashamed to do so. I found the lack of answers from the prime minister and the ritual humiliation of Mr Miliband by the bullying Prime Minister disgraceful. I felt cheap watching it. Some of the smirking Lib Dems on the front benches did themselves no favours either.

    Until now, I have felt sorry for Ed Miliband, not a good response to a person who wants to be a national leader. Yesterday, my response changed. I understood why he stood against his brother. I realised that he wasn’t some ‘bird with a broken wing’ that needed sympathy. In short, yesterday I realised that he is a truly strong man, an earnest man with deeply held beliefs who argues for them against the odds. I have never heard him respond with cheap but cutting jibes about his opponents. ( I bet he had to withstand some bullying at his comprehensive school but it probably hardened him for the childish personal attacks he has suffered since ).

    What he said made me look up from my ironing board and if I had not been standing, I would have given him a standing ovation. It struck a cord with me. I will vote for him at the next election. I don’t care if I let the conservatives. .In fact, as someone who needs the NHS because of my macular degeneration, ( reading and typing take enormous time and effort) , there is something to be said for the conservatives reaping the whirlwind of the mess they have made of it.

    As someone who is an NHS user, I have personal experience of the chaos and deterioration of the NHS . As a rail traveller and and a bus user who is entitled to a bus pass but nevertheless pays for my bus journeys, as someone who turns on the heating more readily now that I am getting older, I am all too aware that competition does not always work for the benefit of the user. I am nevertheless luckier than most. Ed Miliband’s speech showed that he understands the effect of policies on individuals.

    I leave it to others to argue the feasibility of what he proposes. To me he came across as a bright , caring fellow with guts and I’m going to put my trust in him.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '13 - 10:56am

    I forgot to mention, that I find your use of an unflattering photo of Ed Miliband quite contemptible. Talk about following the mob!

  • Jayne Mansfield – truly brilliant comment.

  • Joe Otten – “I’m only disappointed I didn’t find a good way to deal with the sheer amount of time spent desperately trying to demonstrate through storytelling, some kind of connection with ordinary people. Has a leader’s speech ever had quite so much of that stuff?”

    Quite.

    Let’s face it, Ed has gone from upper middle classHampstead champagne Marxist dillentante home, to “ordinary (ha ha)” Hampstead Comprehensive, to Oxford PPE, to SPAD, to pin a red rose on a Donkey seat in an area he has no connection with and probably never visits.

    He has far more in common with both David Cameron and Nick Clegg than he has with the vast majority who vote for his party.

    None of that matters if he accepts that and doesn’t pretend to be a “man of the people” who knows what their lives are like. But he does – and its assinine and insults the intelligence of the electorate.

  • Joe Otten – “It is pure and cynical 70s interventionism promised in the hope of doing damage before the election.”

    It is also a way to do great damage to the real way we need to tackle the rising cost of energy – by reducing demand through more energy efficient homes and appliances. The price mechanism is the best way of doing this; look at the effect high petrol prices has had on the demand for more fuel-efficient / hybrid cars.

  • Well the stuff about the bedroom tax and lack of attacks on the Lib Dems has probably swung my vote. And that’s sort of sad.

  • Helen Dudden 25th Sep '13 - 1:31pm

    If Ed Miliband respects the problems we have in society, then in turn he will be respected.

    I turned from the Lib Dems because I thought you were not listening, what politics I now use, are mine.

    It is only 20 months that Ed Miliband is suggesting? Not a lifetime.

    Service industries are there to serve, although making a healthy profit is not a bad idea, but a good affordable service is an important factor.

    I would ask that all properties should have the chance to be as green as possible, not just a few, all Social Housing where possible, and not to forget the private sector renting or buying.

    As a once supporter of the Lib Dems that was a belief I had, waste not, want not.

  • @Tabman. I am not sure if your remark “Jayne Mansfield – truly brilliant comment.” is meant to be sarcasm. If it is then you should bear in mind that you are ‘talking’ to a voter. Yoters are precious. It was Conservative contempt for the electorate that did so much to help Labour winnng three elections from 1997.

  • Helen Tedcastle – “He offers a challenge to neo-liberal ideology (modest but still a challenge) and marks a decisive break with New Labour. ”

    Both of those are true. But let’s call a spade a spade: he’s offering statist/corporatist centralised bureaucratic dirigiste management. Possibly even Socialism. If that’s your bag, fair enough. But it’s certainly not liberal. Or Liberal.

  • @Helen Tedcastle. Perfectly put. Totally agree.

  • @Tabman You don’t seem to realise that “Economically Liberal” is basically “Tory”. No wonder you guys are toast…

  • Joes Otten

    You really do need to calm down a bit.

    Do you think the market in energy is working, with the market dominated by vertically integrated companies?

    Isn’t the real policy here reevaluating the way the market works within two years and so the freeze is a temporary measure to allow reform to take place?

    The other option was a windfall tax but that doesn’t help homeowners much directly does it?

    Is the regulator working? At the end the regulator can ‘fix’ prices but isn’t really being effective.

    Do you really think this temporary change is quite as you describe it above, the real underlying issue is we have a market that doesn’t work but your Government shows little will to change it? In fact the Coalition approach to energy is difficult to actually understand.

    And for any supporter of the LD to accuse another party of being populist after supporting the attacks on social security claimants which brings in little money but looks good in the red tops is frankly laughable

    Mind you we had the 5p announcement on plastic bags last week at the LD conference but not much else – just shows you where you stand doesn’t it.

  • Peter Watson 26th Sep '13 - 9:49am

    Obvious problem with repetition in many parallel threads on energy pricing, but I think that a few years back (2008/9?), Vince Cable also called for a cap on energy price rises and a referral to the Competition Commission.

  • Helen Tedcastle

    You raised a good point in that post.

    Miliband proposes a 2 year freeze on rises, due to the ineffectiveness of this market and of the regulator but it is compared to going back to the 70s.

    Then we have nationalised water, mines, rail, telecommunications, steel, energy etc.

    The hysteria is sad to see – I for one am not totally against privtisation but what we have done is create monopolies and cartels which are often owned by nationalised foreign companies.

    The whole logic is inexplicable and it all needs to be reviewed. Miliband is taking mere baby steps but at least in the right direction.

    The other point is if a union had made threats like the companies have then there would be an outcry – the right doesn’t seem to mind bing ‘held to ransom’ by foreign companies but when it comes to British workers……

    Finally, there is already a risk of power cuts before 2015 – this has been well documented so it seems the Coalition is preparing to shift the blame if they do happen – shocking, but not surprising.

  • Simon McGrath 26th Sep '13 - 11:45am

    Any evidence the market in gas and electricity is not efficient?

  • Joe Otten. You are obviously an enthusiastic supporter of the energy supply industry in this country. My experience tells me that the great majority of householders in the United Kingdom believe that they are being massively over-charged for electricity and gas — and have been for years. Your enthusiasm is shared, apparently, by Mr Clegg, Mr Cameron, Ms Angela Knight and now Lord Mandelson. (Ms Knight made a spirited defence of the banks, but eventually reality defeated even her best efforts). There is a huge political problem here for any and all parties; do they try to convince a very sceptical electorate that the “big 6” energy companies are delivering electricity and gas in the most efficient and equitable way, which is in the best interests of all our citizens? Or do these politicians tell it as it is. The route Ed Milliband has chosen is one that is unpopular with lots of “experts” — and the Daily Mail; whilst the only supporters Mr Milliband has are the people!

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Sep '13 - 2:47pm

    @ Daven
    It is nice to know that someone other than my family think that I am precious.

    I can only assume that Tabman was being sarcastic because I wouldn’t rate my post as ‘ truly brilliant’.

    I readily admit to being politically naive, somehing I am now trying to rectify by reading Lib Dem Voice, Conservative Home. including contributions by Stephen Tall , the New Statesman etc.

    The arguments against Ed Milibands proposed policies cause me to ask questions such as is statism and bureaucratic control always bad, because I thought that the bankers got away with their behaviour because of lack of such control?

    If the coalition is opposed to state intervention, why haven’t the coalition let house prices drop until they are affordable, instead of causing a new boom with their latest intervention?

    If anyone has the time to respond to those questions, it will spare the time of any Liberal Democrat candidate who knocks on my door from answering my queries.

  • Peter Watson 26th Sep '13 - 3:25pm

    @Jayne Mansfield “If the coalition is opposed to state intervention, why haven’t the coalition let house prices drop until they are affordable, instead of causing a new boom with their latest intervention?”
    I think it’s a combination of hypocrisy and an appeal to the Daily Mail vote for which hypocrisy is a stock-in-trade.

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Sep '13 - 5:46pm

    @ Joe Otton
    There have been arguments that investors will not invest new n power stations etc.Have the energy companies been making massive investments whilst they have been making massive profits?

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Sep '13 - 6:20pm

    @ Tabman
    You suggest in a response to Helen Tadcastle hat Ed Milband proposal is an possibly socialist. Anthony Nelson a former treasury minister has poured cold water on that. notion The ex chairman of Southern Water backs the proposal because he says the energy market has not been working properly and is in need of reform.

    The scare stories put out by the energy companies are certainly causing hysterical reactions.

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Sep '13 - 6:21pm

    I omitted to write ‘an ex minister in John Major’s government’.

  • Eddie Sammon 26th Sep '13 - 6:35pm

    Jayne, Npower have been investing billions, including in power plants and renewable energy, which I found out from reading this tax avoidance story earlier on in the year:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1079112/npower-energy-firm-denies-tax-avoidance

    Now I for one don’t think investments should be tax deductible (only losses and depreciation should be), but it still proves they have been investing.

    I am not someone who jumps to defend the energy companies out of free-market ideology either – I think they probably deserve a slap and there is an argument that they should be bought by the government, but Ed Miliband wants to forget about Britain being globally competitive at all, including its people, which is why he introduced the foreign-worker apprentice tax.

    I don’t think most people want to live in a socialist hegemony. He will call the present situation a capitalist hegemony, but the best situation is to have a world held together by consensus, not hegemony.

  • Jayne Mansfield 27th Sep '13 - 11:21am

    @ Eddie Salmon
    Thank you for the link.
    This will be my post post on Liberal Democrat Voice now that Nick Clegg has criticised Ed Miliband’s policy. I cannot support a party that thinks that in my opinion, takes the side of powerful companies against the interests of the individual, and small businesses

    In todays Guardian, consumer groups and my own energy supplier challenge the scaremongering of the big six. Unfortunately these counter arguments rarely seem to see the see the light of day in mass circulation newspapers like the Daily Mail, the Sun etc.

    After all the articles I have read since Ed Miliband’s speech , my response to the energy companies claims in the article you directed me to, is a cynical, ‘ well they would say that wouldn’d they? given that they were defending their tax record.’, and in a market, investing in ones’s company is part of the responsibility of those who take the profits, in this case, huge profits.

    I have come to the conclusion that there is no free market that will be damaged by Red Ed. Quite the reverse. As well as the hugh and rising bills the energy companies, are paid huge sums in subsidies from the taxpayer.to invest whilst raking in huge profits and paying their executives millions. . Why should the public subsidise investment ? In a free market, surely the company take responsibility for that? I also read that the coalition has guaranteed prices for a couple of decades.

    It seems to me that it all comes down to values,. Nick Clegg’s readiness to accept the assumptions that exist about the market in energy, says more in practical terms about Liberal Democrat values than any abstract argument about what is ‘liberal or Liberal on here. Subsidies and price controls that benefit for the powerful are OK . Subsidies and price controls that subsidise the ‘little man’ is demonised as communism or at the very least, according to the more hysterical newpapers a return to 70’s socialism.

    Well I am afraid that has backfired with the public. Even the worm an turn.. Invoking memories of the 70’s has invoked memories of the last period of conservative rule. It is a pity that the Liberal Democrats, who I originally believed were right to go into coalition with the conservations in order to provide stability, have seemed so comfortable with the tory policies that we have experienced,

    I do wish individual l Lib Dems best wishes for the future. It was the decency of the Lib Dems that I met that caused me to vote Lib Dem, but I don’t want to see your party in power. BelatedlyI realise that I don’t share its values and probably never did.

  • Simon Bamonte 27th Sep '13 - 1:28pm

    @Jayne Mansfield:

    Brilliant post, bravo. As someone who has supported this party for almost 30 years (first the SDP, then Alliance, then LibDems), I will not be voting LibDem at the next election. The views of this party now almost exactly mirror those of the Tory party, minus the traditional Tory sexism, racism and homophobia. The LibDems have thrown the poor, vulnerable and disabled to the wolves. I simply cannot vote for or support a party that once stood up for the poor and vulnerable but who now sneer at any attempt by the opposition to help those aforementioned people. This party now seems to me to be one for the well-off and those who have no idea how the poorer half of the nation lives. A Tory party for “nice” people. What else is one to think when we have LibDems telling us prices for energy should go where they will and who have nothing to offer us but cheap jibes at Labour’s attempt to bring this energy racket under control?

  • Eddie Sammon 27th Sep '13 - 6:13pm

    Jayne, I respect your views, but it isn’t quite as simple as simply “whose side are you on” that Ed Miliband would like us to think. When the Russian bolshevik revolutionaries started seizing land from the rich they used the same rhetoric of “whose side are you on?”. I am not saying do nothing, but the ends don’t always justify the means.

    Regardless, I wish you all the best and understand the will to do something about fuel bills and inequality.

  • @Simon Bamonte. I agree. The LibDem Party has forgotten that in our democracy it is voters that rule. (and yes, we have a les than ideal voting system). The “know-it -all” experts who lecture voters, from any political party,will almost certainly commit electoral suicide.

  • John Broggio 23rd Sep '14 - 11:17pm

    A £100bn , eh? Well, that’s far less than half what we threw at the banksters so it should easily be affordable to a first world country.

    We can choose to pay for it dishonestly (like the banksters), borrow (a la PFI) or be upfront (tax). Either way, a dead planet will grow 0 billionaires and feed 0 mouths. £100bn is comparatively cheap when viewed in those terms.

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