In what was a pretty cringeworthy speech (when Bruno declared ‘I am the white Obama’ clearly he was only warming up for Ed Mili) putting the protest against returning government spending to 2006 levels on a par with the female suffrage, civil rights and anti-apartheid movements, Ed Miliband once again displayed some pretty rubbish judgement.
Rather than reproduce the speech on its own - for, dear reader, that would just not be cricket for a monday morning - I’ve also included some notes on what Ed probably meant to say, but forgot to write down.
Friends, we come here today from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all generations.
I came from Islington, and very nice it is too.
Men, women and children with one simple message for this country and this government: there is an alternative.
Just don’t ask us what it is.
I look out at this extraordinary sea of faces gathered in this historic park and I feel profoundly moved by this moment.
And I’m sure David is out there too…
We come in the tradition of movements that have marched in peaceful but powerful protest for justice, fairness and political change.
See you all next week for a yes-to-AV demo
The suffragettes who fought for votes for women and won.
The civil rights movement in America that fought against racism and won.
The anti apartheid movement that fought the horror of that system and won.
This doesn’t really need a punchline. I mean, eqating a 3% reduction in public spending with female suffrage, the civil rights movement or the fall of apartheid. Right then.
The cause may be different but in coming together today to realise our voice, we are standing on the shoulders of those who have marched and struggled for great causes in the past.
Only our cause isn’t quite as great
Our struggle is to fight to preserve, protect and defend the best of the services we cherish because they represent the best of the country we love.
Because without the union’s I’d never have been elected leader
We know what the government will say: that this is a march of the minority.
They are so wrong.
This is a march of a minority. Splitters!
David Cameron: you wanted to create the big society.
This is the big society.
or at least I think it is - nobody’s quite agreed a definition yet
The big society united against what your government is doing to our country.
In four years and not six or seven, you evil man you.
We stand today not as the minority, but as the voice of the mainstream majority in this country.
Just don’t ask why the rest of the mainstream didn’t vote Labour.
The midwives from Kingston here to speak up for maternity services.
After years of having John Prescott as an MP they’re used to doing it themselves
The sure start workers from Hampshire here to speak up for children’s centres.
Especially the ones people want charities to run
The small business owners from Liverpool here to speak up for jobs.
By small business I mean small council departments, obviously
The teachers and students here to speak up for the next generation.
I remember many of them from the protests when labour introduced tuition fees, and then again when we trebled them
We speak today for the mainstream of Britain because we are the mainstream of Britain.
Well, the mainstream with a free saturday
We recall the greatest moments of our country’s history.
The fall of Blair.
We remember what happened after the second world war when we faced enormous challenges but built a country fit for the future.
Although ironically, lower debt than we have now. After a world war.
The National Health Service.
Homes fit for heroes.
The welfare state.
And they’re all as perfect now as they were then. Despite the population doubling and lots of folk not really fancying getting a job.
Out of the shadows of that time, we built a better society.
I was in the shadows when we sold all the gold they bought.
Every one of us knows that today the country faces difficult
I was there when we decided just how difficult.
But we know too there is a different way.
That’s why I have a handy bucket of sand with me at all times.
We hold to some simple truths:
Because when we tried complicated truths someone stole them from an American Phd.
We need jobs to cut the deficit. Unemployment is never a price worth paying.
Government jobs! With fluffy plants in the offices and nice big pensions. And 3pm finishes on a friday.
The next generation should never have their hopes sacrificed on the altar of dogmatic deficit reduction.
It’s far more fun to do it on the altar of endless public spending and stealth taxes.
There is a need for difficult choices, and some cuts.
But choices can be ignored and denied
But, this government is going too far and too fast and destroying the fabric of our communities.
They got the inspiration from our immigration policies.
Where is the fairness?
Said gordon to tony, many times.
They say we are all in this together.
They must have forgotten to send me my invite
But how can it be right that while children’s centres close, it is business as usual for the bankers?
I’m sure gordon will be opening a re-launched Lehman brothers soon.
How can it be right that while the cost of living goes up for everyone else, the government gives the banks a tax cut?
We gave them knighthoods and government jobs too.
We are not talking about the politics of envy, we are talking about the politics of fairness.
Why should those who choose not to work not be as rich as a banker, after all?
We do not simply reject the government’s policies.
Other than on weekdays
We reject the narrowness of their vision, the injustice of their ideology and the poverty of their aspiration for our great country.
Wow that sounded so much better in my head
They are the dividers not the unifiers.
They are the Judean People’s Front!
We reject their attempt to divide Britain.
Unless it’s along class lines
I grew up in the 1980s. This government is taking us back.
Let’s do the timewarp again….
Setting private sector against public sector.
The working taxpayer against the taxpayer funded worker
Setting those in work against those on benefits.
Just remember if youre on incapactiy, fight back weakly
Setting North against South.
Miliband against Miliband
I say to David Cameron:
When he’s stopped laughing
The hundreds of thousands of people on this march reject your politics of division.
Apart from the organisers, many of whom have made careers of dividing the left
It falls to us to be the unifiers of our country.
After thirteen years of Government, it was next on the to-do list, honest
That is why it is so important that this is a peaceful protest that wins public support.
Has anyone seen Aaron Porter?
A protest remembered for its cause and for its purpose.
I’m Martin Luther King, if he’d been elected by AV
And it falls to us to be the optimists too.
That’s what Tony used to say
We do need to cut the deficit.
He’d say that too, but Gordon wouldn’t let him
But we must also protect families struggling to get by.
Especially the ones who we took to court after we over-payed their tax credits
We must also protect the promise of Britain that the next generation does better than the last
Just don’t tell them about the credit card bill until we’ve pegged it
We must also preserve the things we value in our communities: the library, the citizen’s advice bureaux, the community centre.
And most of all the ability to tell people how to run them and go on diversity and cohesion courses
We know, from generations before us, that it is not just politicians who make change happen, it is people.
Like all those people who voted to get rid of Labour less than a year ago
And so when people ask, who will, stand up for our NHS?
Let us say: we will
I said let - just like Obama
When People ask who will stand up for our children’s centres,
Let us say: we will
And again - JFK look out
When people ask who will stand up for the hopes and dreams of the next generation,
Let us say: We will
Is anyone cheering yet?
And when people ask us who will stand up for the mainstream majority in Britain, we say: We will.
And can they spare some change to pay for the leaflet?
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King said: The arc of the moral universe is long and it bends towards justice.
My speechwriters aren’t that good.
But only if people bend it that way.
You are those people standing up for our country.
Standing up for justice.
Standing up for fairness.
Standing up for change.
I told you to stand up! Yes, you in that chair with wheels on too!
Thank you for your commitment.
We will prevail.
Who wants a fist bump?
Posted: March 28th, 2011
Tags: Ed Miliband
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