One Nation is a country where everyone has a stake – Ed Miliband11 October 2012
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
After three weeks of the party conferences, one thing is clear. Labour has defined the central question for the next election: who can make us One Nation?
At our party conference, I set out the future for our country as One Nation and my party as a One Nation Labour Party.
One Nation is a country where everyone has a stake, prosperity is fairly shared and we protect the institutions that matter.
That is both the country we need to be and the only way we can succeed.
David Cameron spent much of his speech yesterday trying to respond.
But he failed. He failed because his government and his party is taking us away from One Nation.
David Cameron can’t be a One Nation Prime Minister when he is leaving young people without work for one year, two years, three years.
He can’t be a One Nation Prime Minister when he is cutting taxes by at least £40,000 a year for 8,000 millionaires and raising them for pensioners.
He can’t be a One Nation Prime Minister when he fails time and time again to stand up to the banks, the energy companies and the pension companies.
And he can’t be a One Nation Prime Minister when he insists on a top down reorganisation of the NHS which nobody wanted, has cost billions, while we have 5,500 fewer nurses in our NHS.
He can’t be a One Nation Prime Minister because he has the wrong answers, answers that aren’t One Nation answers.
He really believes that cutting taxes for the richest is the way to make our economy succeed.
That too many rights for people in work is what is holding our economy back and that making it easier to sack them is the answer.
And that as long as government gets out of the way—cutting as far and as fast as possible—the economy will automatically succeed.
David Cameron believes we have a choice between being One Nation and paying our way in the world.
But he’s wrong.
It is as One Nation not as a ‘sink or swim’ society that Britain will succeed. To survive in a competitive world, we need to be One Nation: come together as a country and use the talents of all.
We must change our economy so that banks work together with businesses to create the wealth and jobs we need in the future.
To compete with China and India, we can’t function as a low skill, low wage economy leaving out the forgotten 50%, so we need a transformation of vocational skills and apprenticeships in this country.
And to be a truly competitive economy, we need all parts of our United Kingdom contributing to economic growth and playing their part -- not neglecting whole regions and sections of the population as this government does.
Between now and the general election Labour will be showing across all major areas of policy what One Nation means in practice, building on the big reforms in banking, skills, energy, pensions and housing that we announced at party conference.
The fight is on for One Nation. It is a fight we intend to win between now and the next election.