Ed M in his own words
I know that many of my regular readers are hesitant about voting for Ed Miliband because of the media narrative that he is somehow a left candidate with a core vote strategy.
My take is he doesn't fit neatly into either left or right of the Party - he's fundamentally a modernising and change candidate.
If you are on the right of the Party and haven't voted yet you should read these things that he said in a speech last week:
"It’s not a choice between Old Labour or New Labour
A core vote or middle England.
The question for us in this contest is: can we have the courage to recognise the scale of the change needed after one defeat, not after four as we had to do after 1992.I believe that we must choose change.
Ideologically, because I believe we lost our way and got trapped in old ways of thinking.
Electorally, because the electoral map has changed."
"New Labour: right for its time – but it was formed sixteen years ago and now we need to move on."
"In 1994, Tony Blair told our party that our values were still the right values but that we got stuck in outdated ideas. He was right then.And some of the truths of that time we must retain: we still need to speak to all sections of society, we still need to create wealth as well as distribute it, we still need to ally social justice and economic success."
"New Labour: right to embrace markets, but the ghosts of the 1980s meant we couldn’t recognise their limits."
"The challenge for 1990s Labour under Tony Blair was to attract back middle-income voters, particularly those who had gone to the Tories. The challenge for us now is bigger:to attract back both middle-income voters and low-income voters."
"There are no false choices to be made here between appealing to one part of the electorate or the other.The choice is whether we recognise that it is all parts of the electorate that we need to win back, not just one."
"I disagree with those in my party who argue for renationalisation of the utilities or the abolition of Labour’s academy schools. If elected, I will lead this party, I will tell it hard truths and I will change this party.But it’s not naive, it’s rational to say that on agency workers, on housing, on tuition fees our members got it right and we got it wrong."
"We do need to reduce the deficit but politics must be bigger than that.Remember our history. After 1945, with the biggest deficit in our history, that Labour government set out the vision of a good society---for a new welfare state and a new economy."
"Thirty years ago next year, tragically the Labour party split and the Limehouse Declaration set up the Council on social Democracy which led to the SDP."
"I believe there is a progressive majority in Britain and I want Labour to be its home.Some will join Labour, some will want to work with us to stop the damage this coalition is doing. But in order to win people back, in order to be the natural home of the progressive majority, my party must take a journey too, understanding why people did not vote for us and voted for others instead."
"My leadership will is not the soft option. We will not always agree. I’m not the candidate for an easy life."