Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Miliband to pitch himself against Goliaths in fightback speech

Ed Miliband has a speech billed as his make-or-break fightback proof-I’d-make-a-great-PM tomorrow morning. In truth, it’s rarely right to bill one political speech as The fightback, at least in voters’ minds, but the Labour leader does need to show that he hasn’t been crushed by the past few weeks – and reassure his party sufficiently for them to fight with him. His speech will be followed by ‘interventions’ from Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt in the next few days.

To realise the first aim, Miliband has given an interview to Nick Robinson in which he produces that dreadful phrase ‘they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that’s true’, which a lot of people could tell him isn’t true, either physically or politically, but you can see where he’s going anyway.

The pre-briefed extracts of the speech show Miliband talking about a ‘zero-zero’ economy, which is the new phase of his cost-of-living crisis thesis in which he argues that though wages have started to grow again, the economy is still structured in the wrong way. He’ll say:

‘Our country only works for the privileged few today, not for most people. That is not just a slogan or some theoretical idea, it is rooted in the real lives of people in every part of our country.

‘People asking why are they being told there is a recovery when they aren’t feeling the benefits, people working so hard but not being rewarded, young people fearing that they are going to have a worse life than their parents, people making a decent living but still unable to afford to buy a house, people who worry that one of the foundation stones of their security – the NHS – is under threat.

‘And people asking why they are on zero-hours contracts while those at the top get away with zero tax.

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