Ed Miliband sees co-ops at the heart of his one-nation business model

Ed Miliband said in his speech at the Labour Party Conference that co-operatives and mutuals "are at the heart of the kind of country we want to be"...

Ed Miliband said in his speech at the Labour Party Conference that co-operatives and mutuals "are at the heart of the kind of country we want to be" on October 4.

Alex Baker, a Co-op Party and Labour member, asked Mr Miliband whether co-ops play a central role in his vision of a one-nation business model.

The Labour leader said co-ops have witnessed a big boost in past few years, particularly in the context of the financial crisis. He also said he wishes the current Government had looked more into "how the Northern Rock became a mutual".

Mr Miliband praised the manifesto of the Co-operative Party from the last elections, saying that many projects presented in the manifesto could really make a difference.

The Labour leader referred to Disraeli's "one nation" vision and to the way in which  Clement Atlee managed to re-vitalise Britain after WWII through the post-war consensus.

"I didn't become leader of Labour Party to reinvent the world of Disraeli or Attlee, but I do believe in that spirit, that spirit of one nation. One nation, a country where everyone has a state, one nation – a country where prosperity is fairly shared where we have a shared destiny, a sense of common en-devour and a common live that we lead together. That is my vision of one nation, that is a vision of Britain that is the Britain we must become," he said. 

Ed Miliband praised co-operation and said British "must rediscover that spirit of one nation, a country where everyone plays their part, a country we rebuild together". The Labour leader said change is needed because the current capitalist system is not delivering for the majority.

In Mr Miliband's view, the "one nation" business model is one in which banks serve its country, rather than the country serving the banks. He also sees Britain as engaging with Europe and the rest of the world.

In his speech, Mr Miliband also addressed issues such as immigration, Scotland's independence and the NHS reform. The opposition leader concluded his speech in an optimistic note by saying that a change in the political economy can be achieved. "That is my dream: one nation a country for all, a Britain we rebuild together."

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