I remember Ed’s last ever hustings on September 5 2010 at Haverstock Hill, for his precise words that politics is not about being a technocrat or being a good manager. I think yesterday’s Conference speech at Manchester in 2012 proves that Ed can surprisingly confound his critics, but that he is genuine leader-material. Ed is concerned about doing the right things, not doing thing rights – Labour lost 5 million voters prior to 2015, and got 29% of the vote in 2010 (the worst performance for Labour since universal suffrage). I did actually vote for Ed, and Andy second. I had a nice chat with Andy on Monday at Manchester Town Hall after the Fabian Question Time Fringe, after Andy had answered my question (stating explicitly he would repeal the Health and Social Act 2012). I physically attended this meeting at Haverstock Hill Comprehensive School, and remember indeed speaking with Frank Dobson MP, Holborn and St Pancras.
Even Ed conceded in this talk that inequality was shocking under Labour’s tenure, and I remember mentioning the lack of coverage of this in Tony Blair’s autobiography in the photo session afterwards with Ed. Ed is incredibly charismatic in real life, and very interesting to talk to. He came across well in this hustings above, and in the conference speech yesterday. I fully support Ed’s ambition for vocational training, low pay, and inequality. Actually, if you listen carefully to this narrative Ed harshly criticises divides in UK, and even criticises the policy of tuition fees in 2010 (before they even went up). He even then goes to elaborate the markets in society, especially in higher education, and its limits in public services. This is of course a major strand in the political philosophy on “the public good” which Ed has shared with Prof Michael Sandel, lecturer of the seminal “Justice” course at Harvard. I genuinely think Ed has commenced a narrative about what sort of society we wish for, and here is the Labour’s Party Political Broadcast being shown tonight.