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Labour conference blog: Miliband starts the real journey

He ticked all the boxes. It wasn’t bad – it wasn’t great.

Bash the bankers, a slight distance from the unions, anti-war in Iraq, don’t endanger the recovery.

Ed Miliband’s speech as new Labour leader will have surprised some. He did rise to the occasion but will it connect with the British public?

Of course we currently have a phoney war. Until Ed has a new Shadow cabinet from October 7 there will be no new Labour policies.

Only after the spending review on October 20 will we see just what he is made of.

While he bashed the financial sector he started a new narrative around work life balance that may just get some people in financial services thinking about the products that might achieve such a societal transition.

His stance on fiscal credibility will have pleased the City but he needs to establish whether or not Labour wants to have that dialogue.

This week in Manchester we saw the start of Labour’s real journey in opposition.

Early next year he will get a sustained lead in the opinion polls – of that I have no doubt.

But the race to the next Election is a marathon and not a sprint.

Today he started the journey with his party. Let’s see if he can connect to the wider electorate.

Iain Anderson is director and chief corporate counsel at Cicero Group

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