The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has surprised me in this week's party conference. I was not taken with his election as leader and thought (when he was appointed) that he lacked the force and conviction that I would hope in a leader. But his longer-then-expected speech yesterday seemed to confirm that he has qualities that are different to the norm. I gauge him now as a person who is intellectually very capable and one who has a reasonable view of the bigger picture. I also see him as being a team-man - one who is letting others get on with their share of the work while he confers with them and prompts them down discrete channels. The key word that he espoused yesterday - togetherness - sums him up: he does what he says. The label on the tin matches the contents.
Instead of admiring some of the fine philosophy that Miliband intoned, the media immediately jumped on the shortcomings of the speech. He had forgotten part of his speech, they said, on The Deficit. And that the scripted speech, in any case, said little on the subject. But the reality is that the Labour Party has had a policy to deal with The Deficit since they were voted out of office in 2010. They simply did not - nor do not want - cuts to be as swingeing as they have been under the ConDems. They want a fairer approach to the matter, not an approach that has seen the awful Bedroom Tax and other malevolent modes that the Tories want to impart on the less fortunate.
So why should Miliband have to satiate the media by returning to a discussion about situations we already know about? Instead he chose to paint a picture of a fairer and well-directed future. And one that is greener. Climate Change has to be addressed, and Miliband and his team know that very well.
Miliband (in my opinion) is taking steps in the right direction. There is a great deal of distance still to travel to achieve the ideal society, but let's at least try to get to that state rather than follow the 'me first' direction of the Tories. We need to move to a sustainable economy, and 'me first' tactics will just not work in future. We need to be One Nation (indeed, One World) in our approach - in fact, we need to work "together".