LABOUR CONFERENCE: ‘It’s ours to win’, Ed Miliband says - the route to power runs through the East
PUBLISHED: 08:22 21 September 2014 | UPDATED: 08:27 21 September 2014
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The route to being in power runs through the East, Labour leader Ed Miliband told East Anglian grassroots activists as his party’s final conference before the next election kicked off in Manchester.
Mr Miliband said the general election was “ours to win” as he emphasised the importance of winning its target seats, which include Norwich North, Norwich South, Great Yarmouth, Waveney and Ipswich.
In a speech to the Eastern region gathering of about 150 people, he accused Prime Minister David Cameron of setting people against each other, claiming that his calls for an urgent timetable to give more powers to England, along with Scotland, was designed to “bury us in a discussion about England, versus Wales, versus Scotland”, rather than talk about the economy.
Mr Miliband said: “You will all be looking at the results in Scotland and what it means and will be following events over the last couple of days. The central thing I want to say to you is this. I think we are in danger of learning the wrong lessons from this referendum. This is about how we are governed. We need not just devolution for Scotland and Wales and devolution in England as well, local government in England in my view. But let’s not ignore this fact. what I think this referendum meant, more than anything else, and what you see right across this country is about as Bill Clinton said, the economy stupid.
“It is about the way our country works. I have got to be honestly with you. The single parent in Paisley who said she was voting yes, wasn’t doing it because of where powers lay and whether they had enough powers. What she was saying to me was that she didn’t have a house to go to and she was going to vote Yes because ‘things are going to get better for me’.
“That single parent in Paisley is like people right across the country,” he added.
Mr Miliband added: “Come Wednesday, we know where the fight is. It is in the Clacton by-election, and then it is on to the general election. The general election is ours to win. Four years ago in Manchester, I said it would be a one term opposition, people looked at me as if the men in white coats were about to arrive and take me away, they don’t do that anymore. This is our election to win. These Tories are not just beatable, in my view, we will beat them. We will only beat them with the hard work you have been doing over the last four years, and the hard work you will do in the next nine months.”
Annabelle Dickson is in Manchester and will be tweeting live from the conference @newsannabelle