ED Miliband got one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon when he told the Labour conference: “I’m not Tony Blair.”
Then he set out to prove it by unveiling his plan to change the face of Britain by lurching his party to the Left.
His hour-long speech was a hit in the hall as he set out his personal mantra of building a society where people get out what they put in.
But there was little in this plodding speech to inspire the millions of struggling voters he needs to win over.
The Labour leader signalled a return to socialist basics with an attack on “predatory asset-stripping” firms and curbs on fat cat bosses.
He vowed: “I’m my own man. And I’m going to do things my own way.”
Mr Miliband told supporters he would “rip up the old rules” so that the country works for them.
His used the word “change” 17 times and “values” 30 as he outlined how he would completely re-draw the nation’s rule book.
He attacked “predatory asset-stripping” firms, warning the would pay more tax than producers – but didn’t explain how he’d achieve it. He promised to fight for a new bargain in our economy so reward is linked with effort”.
And he vowed to end “cosy cartels” which set top wages by putting a worker on board every pay committee.
Mr Miliband admitted: “It will be a tough fight to change Britain. But I’m up for the fight. The fight for a new bargain – a new bargain in our economy so reward is linked to effort.”
He added: “I aspire to be your Prime Minister not for more of the same but to write a new chapter in our country’s history.”
The Labour chief argued that previous governments had left a society where vested interests like energy giants and banks prospered and the wrong people – such as Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin – got most rewards.
He earned loud cheers from delegates for attacking Britain’s “fast buck” culture – saying “growth is built on sand if it comes from predators and not our producers”.
The workmanlike speech was well received in the Liverpool conference hall – ticking all the boxes by attacking the Tories and praising the NHS. But it probably left the non-committed cold.
Those who tuned in on BBC or Sky News missed a chunk when the live feed broke down – if they hadn’t already switched off.
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