The deficit? Immigration? Ed Miliband forgets to mention key issues in Labour party conference speech

Sarah Spickernell
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Freeing his hands of paper was not a good idea (Source: Getty)
Ed Miliband's post-political career is unlikely to be in acting. Reciting his Labour party conference speech from memory, he ended up forgetting to say the most crucial parts.
While focussing on the future of the NHS and the emotional appeal of Labour as a party for the few rather than the masses, he failed to mention tackling the deficit – one of the biggest obstacles faced by next year's incoming government.
In a tweet, chancellor George Osborne described failing to mention the deficit as “extraordinary”.
"Ed Miliband didn't mention the deficit once. Extraordinary. If you can't fix the economy you can't fund the NHS,” he wrote.
Yet deficit was included in the original, pre-prepared text for the speech. This is what Miliband had intended to say – that Labour's plan was centred on eliminating the deficit.
“So as Ed Balls announced yesterday, Labour’s plan is based on a tough new approach. Eliminating the deficit as soon as possible in the next parliament. Getting the national debt falling. And no proposals for additional borrowing. We will get the deficit down.
“The next Labour government will deal with our nation’s debts. And it is because government won’t have the money to spend, it is more important than ever that everyone does their bit so we change Britain together.”
Similarly, he forgot to mention anything on immigration – one of the main concerns of the general population. It was a big shame because he had planned a rather good sentence or two:
“Immigration benefits our country but those who come here have a responsibility to learn English and earn their way. And employers have a responsibility not to exploit migrant workers and undercut wages.”
Later on, Miliband told reporters that "one of the perils" of delivering a speech without a script was "not remembering every detail"... or the most important details, some might argue.

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