At this year’s Labour Party Conference, Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband reached out into Conservative territory and attempted to claim the hill of One Nationism; planting a Red Rose among the many Conservative Oaks that live there. It sounds like madness, even when you throw away my spurious analogy. But Ed delivered what I think is universally accepted as his best speech yet, and one that appeared to go down well; at least in my twittersphere.
On first appearance, some Conservatives may be worried by this new positioning of Ed. But on second thoughts, is the Labour membership, leadership, and Ed really up to this? Do they really believe in it?
To me, One Nation Conservatism is about everyone in society having a responsibility to each other. It’s about respect. So on a national level, to be a One Nation Leader, you must govern for the good of the entire country, giving respect to everyone of all backgrounds and beliefs.
I believe I speak for the vast majority of my Party, membership and leadership alike, that the Labour Party does what it does because it wishes for a better Britain. Labour and Conservatives seek the same goal; we just take different paths to get there. However, when I watch Labour Party Conference, I hear a message of vitriol and disgust, from the top to the bottom of the Party, of how the Conservatives are out to destroy the NHS, Schools, etc. They believe Conservatives are actively working to destroy our country. This is by no means the view of all Labour Party members, but it’s clear to see in the speeches from Shadow Cabinet and delegates alike that this is not isolated to a few.
Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in the honour of politics; that David Cameron leads this country with the best intentions of us all, and just as importantly that Ed Miliband opposes with a sincere conviction that we must take a different route to prosperity. But so often I don’t see that view reciprocated back across from Labour.
Labour scorn Conservatives, bash the bankers, deride millionaires and ridicule Etonians. But each one of these groups is part of this Nation. Ed Miliband continues to divide our society without concern for the Whole. Until Ed gets his head around this, he fundamentally cannot lead a One Nation party.