Miliband in 'One Nation' pledge
Ed Miliband has made a bold grab for the political centre ground, using his keynote speech to Labour's annual conference to promise to "rebuild Britain as One Nation''.
In a bravura 65-minute performance yesterday, delivered without notes, Mr Miliband won warm applause from his audience in Manchester and the approval of commentators outside the hall as he called on Britons to come together in the fight to overcome the economic downturn.
He made no bones about stealing his One Nation slogan – first used by Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli – from the Tories, insisting that David Cameron had forfeited his right to claim that "we are all in this together'' because of the way he has governed since 2010.
Denouncing Mr Cameron's Government as a "miserable shower'' who had allowed state borrowing to rise, destabilised the NHS and cut taxes on millionaires while increasing them for pensioners, the Labour leader said: "If the medicine isn't working, change the medicine... (and) change the doctor too.''
Mr Miliband put forward plans to end the requirement on businesses for quarterly reporting, in order to encourage long-term investment and planning. He also challenged the banks to separate their retail and investment arms by 2015 or be forced to by law.
And he confirmed plans for a new Technical Baccalaureate to provide "gold standard'' vocational education, including English and maths, to the age of 18.
Mr Miliband said he believed in the "spirit of One Nation" where "everyone has a stake, prosperity is fairly shared, we have a shared destiny, a sense of shared endeavour and a life we lead together. That is the Britain we must become.''