Ed Miliband speaks at the Durham Miners Gala

Ed Miliband addresses the Durham Miners GalaEd Miliband and his family joined thousands of others today for the annual Durham Miners Gala which he described as a “great Labour tradition, a great North East tradition”.


The Labour leader contrasted the spirit of events like the Gala with the values of the Tory-led government, saying:


“Labour is coming together – both here and across Britain. We need that spirit now more than ever at a time when families, communities and our country are under such pressure.


“A few years ago the Tories tried to say:  ‘we’re all in it together’. But now we know they never meant it.  Because we have seen what they do when they get back in power.


“One rule for those at the top and another rule for everybody else. They cut taxes for millionaires and they raise taxes on pensioners. It’s business as usual in the banks and small businesses go under.


“And the cruellest thing of all: they leave our young people without work and without hope. I grew up in the 1980s. I remember the 1980s. I remember the lost generation of young people.  And now under this Tory Government, we have another lost generation of young people.


“And all the time they try to divide our country. Between the public sector and the private sector. But we know, that the public sector and the private sector depend on each other. So when they stop building schools, it drives construction workers in the private sector out of work.  We are not the private economy and the public economy – we are one economy.


“And they try and divide our country between rich and poor. Between North and South. Same old Tories. Not building for the future but ripping up the foundations. Not healing our country, but harming it. Not uniting our country, but dividing it.


“But then think about the values of the people of this Gala. People like the man from Meadowfield who wrote to me this week. His father and his grandfather were both miners. Today, he is a full time carer for his mother aged 91. He knows the value of compassion. He represents the great values of the Durham Miners Gala.


“Community. Looking out for each other. Never walking by on the other side. These are the value of the people of Durham. These are the values of the people of the North East. These are also the values of the British people. 


“The Tories want to blame everyone but themselves for what is happening in our country. But the problem of Britain is not a Government being let down by its people, but a people being let down by its Government.”