Ed Miliband gives shape to the kind of Government he wants to lead

Miliband waves to the audience following his keynote speech today. Photo: PA

Few will dispute that Ed Miliband can deliver a great speech.

He did it here this afternoon without notes for 63 minutes.

The audience prematurely concluded it had ended several times - and at 63 minutes it was at times a slow "race to the end", to borrow one of his well-used phrases.

But Ed Miliband has given shape to the kind of government he plans to lead.

Essentially, it is to argue that Labour is on the side of the working majority, not the elite few.

That his party stands up for small businesses not big ones. That David Cameron picks on the weak while Mr Miliband will stand up to the strong.

His policies took shape in the form of price controls on energy, taxing developers who are hoarding land, votes for 16-year-olds, frozen business rates but higher corporation tax, and a pledge to revisit the minimum wage rate.

Miliband spoke without for 63 minutes in his favoured "Town Hall"-style setting. Credit: PA

Energy firms won't like the interference in their market and they are already warning about the effect this proposal will have on the investment in new power stations and infrastructure which they say is urgently needed to keep the lights on.

Voters, however, will only remember the promise to freeze their gas and electricity bills from 2015 to 2017.

Business groups were also dismissive of the proposal to reverse the planned rise in business rates in return for a reverse in the planned cut in corporation tax.

Mr Miliband also tackled head on those poor personal poll ratings: "Game on", he said when speaking about making the election campaign a character issue between David Cameron and himself.

Note: There was barely a mention of the Liberal Democrats - his fire-power was trained on the Conservatives, not on their coalition partners.

Nick Clegg's party was largely ignored in Ed Miliband's speech. Credit: PA

The "race to the top" under Labour compared to a "race to the bottom" under the Conservatives might fail to register with voters as much as his "one nation" phrases mean next to nothing to most people.

But Brighton brought a new phrase (repeated several times): "We're Britain, We're Better Than This" is likely to be more successful outside the Westminster bubble.

So two speeches down - one to go in Manchester next week.

Nick Clegg said "No". Ed Miliband said "we can do better". Over to you Mr Cameron.

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