Labour Leader Ed Miliband Says Free Markets And Trickle-Down Economics Have Failed

Ed MilibandREUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettLabour leader Ed Miliband.

Less than a week after outlining his “pro-business” platform at the Confederation of British Industry annual conference Labour leader Ed Miliband has slammed the “failed belief” of trickle-down economics.

In a speech at the University of London on Thursday the Miliband said that the belief that free markets produce egalitarian outcomes had been proven wrong.

“Our country only works for the privileged few today, not for most people,” he said. “Inequality is not some accident. It’s driven by beliefs. Wrong beliefs. The idea that markets will always get the right outcomes, even if that means that powerful interests get all the power. And above all that the success of the country depends on the success of those at the top and it will trickle down to everyone else. These ideas have failed.”

In a speech aimed at blunting sharp criticism of his leadership in recent weeks, Miliband returned to traditional Labour themes of tackling inequality and vested interests. Reports had claimed that Miliband’s leadership was in “crisis” with senior MPs from his own party briefing the press that as many as 20 shadow ministers were poised to call for him to step down before next year’s election.

The speech comes at an awkward time for the leader of the opposition as a new Ipsos Mori poll shows confidence in his leadership reaching new lows. The survey showed support for the Labour Party hitting its lowest point since it lost the last General Election in 2010:

Ipsos MoriIpsos MoriSupport for the Labour Party has fallen behind the Conservatives.

Most worryingly for Miliband, satisfaction in his leadership has also plummeted with 65% of respondents dissatisfied with his performance versus 21% who reported being satisfied. This is the lowest level for a Labour leader since Gordon Brown’s showing during the worst point of the financial crisis in 2008.

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