Ed Miliband aims to win back Swindon

Swindon Advertiser: Ed Miliband aims to win back Swindon Ed Miliband aims to win back Swindon

THE man who aims to be the next Prime Minister strode into the “battleground” of Swindon at the weekend.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband addressed more than 200 invited members of the public to a meeting at New College, where he took questions for more than an hour on everything from tuition fees to benefits cheats and Nick Clegg.

Speaking afterwards to the Adver, he said he aims to retake Swindon in the next general election, and regain seats in the upcoming council elections on May 5.

He said: “This is a very, very important battleground area, not just for the local elections but for the general election.

“I thought Anne Snelgrove (the Labour MP who was voted out last year) was a fantastic colleague in the House of Commons, and I’m very sorry we don’t have her there fighting for the people of Swindon. I want us to win back Swindon at the next general election.”

Asked why Swindon, as a traditional manufacturing town, had no Labour MPs and an overwhelmingly Tory council, he said: “Over time we did lose trust with people.

“Undoubtedly governments, when you become unpopular as we did, you do lose councillors. That’s very sad. But I think there’s now an opportunity to win back ground.”

Introducing Mr Miliband, Swindon’s Labour leader Derique Montaut said the audience was made up of Labour party members and “floating voters we have targeted for this occasion”.

The first question came from a Unite union organiser at the Honda plant, who called on Mr Miliband to reverse anti-trade union laws which make it harder to strike and easier to de-recognise unions at plants like his.

But despite gaining the Labour leadership thanks to trade union backing, Mr Miliband said: “I don’t think we can just wholesale repeal the anti-trade union laws, as they are called. I don’t think it would be the right thing to do.”

He was also asked about tuition fees, and questioned about the welfare state.

But on almost every issue, he was careful not to make any promises about what he would do in power.

And the final audience question he faced was: “How much more abuse do you think Nick Clegg can take before he cracks?”

He said: “I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for him.

“We’ve got to remember the lesson of Clegg and Cameron. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. There’s nothing that increases cynicism about politics more than that.”

He also spoke briefly about the News of the World phone hacking story making the headlines throughout the week.

Afterwards not everyone was convinced by his performance.

Richard Leach, 50, from Pioneer Road, Oakhurst and a lifelong Labour Party supporter, had questioned him about the fairness of moving more people off sickness benefits.

He said: “I’m a full-time carer for my partner. My job is 24 hours a day looking after her. While we firmly believe in rooting out people who take the mick, there are ways and means of doing it.

“I’m more to the left of it than he is.

“I did vote for him in the leadership competition. I’m still undecided with regards to his leadership. I support him, but I’m not wholly convinced.”

The visit came almost exactly one year after a previous visit to the town – while Climate Change Secretary, when publican John Doyle harangued him over lack of support for small businesses.

It also comes only two months after Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a similar event at the town’s Honda plant.

Comments (23)

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3:41pm Sun 10 Apr 11

Billy Jo says...

"But on almost every issue, he was careful not to make any promises about what he would do in power."
Because when his useless shower held the reins they didn't have a clue about what to do about cleaning up the mess THEY created. And they still don't!
"But on almost every issue, he was careful not to make any promises about what he would do in power." Because when his useless shower held the reins they didn't have a clue about what to do about cleaning up the mess THEY created. And they still don't! Billy Jo

4:20pm Sun 10 Apr 11

Marco1982 says...

Disappointing write up. Yes, he was careful not to overpromise - something he went to great pains to explain during the event: people are sick of broken promises, so it's important to not overpromise and underdeliver. Issues are complex - when faced with a question like 'Will you repeal anti trade union laws' you cannot possibly give a one word, 'yes' answer.

It's true that not everyone will be convinced by his performance; but more than a little disappointing you didn't interview anyone like myself - who felt his performance was not unimpressive, but actually quite refreshing. The man is clearly a listener - which is just what the country needs.
Disappointing write up. Yes, he was careful not to overpromise - something he went to great pains to explain during the event: people are sick of broken promises, so it's important to not overpromise and underdeliver. Issues are complex - when faced with a question like 'Will you repeal anti trade union laws' you cannot possibly give a one word, 'yes' answer. It's true that not everyone will be convinced by his performance; but more than a little disappointing you didn't interview anyone like myself - who felt his performance was not unimpressive, but actually quite refreshing. The man is clearly a listener - which is just what the country needs. Marco1982

4:50pm Sun 10 Apr 11

Old Town says...

Unfortunately this country (because of the previous Labour administration does not need a listener, it needs a doer !!
.
Anyone who thinks we can listen our way out of the mess Labour left us in is as daft as Ed himself !!
Unfortunately this country (because of the previous Labour administration does not need a listener, it needs a doer !! . Anyone who thinks we can listen our way out of the mess Labour left us in is as daft as Ed himself !! Old Town

5:16pm Sun 10 Apr 11

Gooey says...

I'l be voting Labour next time for sure.The "labour got us into this mess" arguement is wearing very thin. At the time When Gordon Brown was making the decisions he did,The Tories were in agreement with alot of it.Only when their sham of a coalotion took over did they blame everythging on Labour.
Labour made mistakes for sure,but at least they repeired alot of the damage caused by the previous Tory government.They'll have to repair it all again when they walk the next general election.Let's hope the Lib dem sheep,and the tories get bloody noses in May.VOTE LABOUR!!!!!
I'l be voting Labour next time for sure.The "labour got us into this mess" arguement is wearing very thin. At the time When Gordon Brown was making the decisions he did,The Tories were in agreement with alot of it.Only when their sham of a coalotion took over did they blame everythging on Labour. Labour made mistakes for sure,but at least they repeired alot of the damage caused by the previous Tory government.They'll have to repair it all again when they walk the next general election.Let's hope the Lib dem sheep,and the tories get bloody noses in May.VOTE LABOUR!!!!! Gooey

5:50pm Sun 10 Apr 11

SpeakUp says...

Old Town wrote:
Unfortunately this country (because of the previous Labour administration does not need a listener, it needs a doer !! . Anyone who thinks we can listen our way out of the mess Labour left us in is as daft as Ed himself !!
Anyone who can step on his own brother in the way 'good listener' Ed did is a lot more ruthless than they first appear. Glad he did though, his brother was a far more able politician and more serious threat to the Tory's.
[quote][p][bold]Old Town[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately this country (because of the previous Labour administration does not need a listener, it needs a doer !! . Anyone who thinks we can listen our way out of the mess Labour left us in is as daft as Ed himself !![/p][/quote]Anyone who can step on his own brother in the way 'good listener' Ed did is a lot more ruthless than they first appear. Glad he did though, his brother was a far more able politician and more serious threat to the Tory's. SpeakUp

6:02pm Sun 10 Apr 11

Gritter says...

I find it hard to believe some people still swallow the Labour diatribe. Milliand was close a close Allie of the disastrous 'Brown'. He walked over his own brother by agreeing to be the 'mouthpiece', of the Unions. This man is no more to be trusted than the Labour Party.
I find it hard to believe some people still swallow the Labour diatribe. Milliand was close a close Allie of the disastrous 'Brown'. He walked over his own brother by agreeing to be the 'mouthpiece', of the Unions. This man is no more to be trusted than the Labour Party. Gritter

9:57pm Sun 10 Apr 11

reality_check says...

Funny how the lefties just cannot accept that the world has moved on, the spending has stopped, and Labour will not be taken seriously again for years to come. Certainly with 'Ed' at the helm there's no chance of this bunch regaining any credibility anytime soon. His appraisal of the odious snelgrove reveals his fundamental lack of judgement and understanding of what the electorate expects from their representatives.
Funny how the lefties just cannot accept that the world has moved on, the spending has stopped, and Labour will not be taken seriously again for years to come. Certainly with 'Ed' at the helm there's no chance of this bunch regaining any credibility anytime soon. His appraisal of the odious snelgrove reveals his fundamental lack of judgement and understanding of what the electorate expects from their representatives. reality_check

12:51am Mon 11 Apr 11

SpeakUp says...

Oh reality_check, where is that like button :-)

Although the May elections will almost inevitably feed the Labour PR machine the fact (or at least hope of many) is that you are absolutely right.
Oh reality_check, where is that like button :-) Although the May elections will almost inevitably feed the Labour PR machine the fact (or at least hope of many) is that you are absolutely right. SpeakUp

6:54am Mon 11 Apr 11

Captain Sensible says...

The odious Snelgrove woman, whatever happened to her? Any mention of that useless woman should ensure Milibands barmy army remain out of power in Swindon.
The odious Snelgrove woman, whatever happened to her? Any mention of that useless woman should ensure Milibands barmy army remain out of power in Swindon. Captain Sensible

7:09am Mon 11 Apr 11

Robfm says...

Gooey, I think you will recall Labour when in Government blamed the Tories for a good 10 years of their reign, right up until the proverbial hit the fan and then they blamed the world economic crisis.

We had Blair who couldn't do any wrong and Brown who couldn't do anything right, or say sorry. Well that's what most in the country believed.

The Iraq enquiry has revealed how duplicitous Blair turned out to be, and Browns legacy will be with us for 50 years.

EM is a union puppet, if Labour ever got back in again we would see a repeat of the 70's very shortly after.
Gooey, I think you will recall Labour when in Government blamed the Tories for a good 10 years of their reign, right up until the proverbial hit the fan and then they blamed the world economic crisis. We had Blair who couldn't do any wrong and Brown who couldn't do anything right, or say sorry. Well that's what most in the country believed. The Iraq enquiry has revealed how duplicitous Blair turned out to be, and Browns legacy will be with us for 50 years. EM is a union puppet, if Labour ever got back in again we would see a repeat of the 70's very shortly after. Robfm

7:38am Mon 11 Apr 11

The Real Librarian says...

Marco1982 wrote:
Disappointing write up. Yes, he was careful not to overpromise - something he went to great pains to explain during the event: people are sick of broken promises, so it's important to not overpromise and underdeliver. Issues are complex - when faced with a question like 'Will you repeal anti trade union laws' you cannot possibly give a one word, 'yes' answer. It's true that not everyone will be convinced by his performance; but more than a little disappointing you didn't interview anyone like myself - who felt his performance was not unimpressive, but actually quite refreshing. The man is clearly a listener - which is just what the country needs.
So Miliband is "listening." Bully for him. I listen to the wind in the trees but I don't do anything about it.
.

.
Of course Labour won't repeal Thatcher's anti Union laws. Blair didn't and Brown didn't so we can assume those laws are here to stay. I'm glad.
Repealing the necessary controls implimented by Thatcher would be like giving a loaded machine gun to a homocidal maniac and panting a target on your chest.
.
.
So funny that Ed namechecked 'B'Anne'dwaggon Snelgrove. If there was a more useless, invisible, pointless MP n the last Parliament I would be stunned.
Is she standing again Ed? IF so, then Swindon will be staying blue at the next election for sure.
.
I see that Derek Montaut got his little moment of glory. Its only a few weeks since he was a mere protester in a rally Ed was addressing and before you know it, the great (cough) man is here in Swindon. His mum would be so proud.
[quote][p][bold]Marco1982[/bold] wrote: Disappointing write up. Yes, he was careful not to overpromise - something he went to great pains to explain during the event: people are sick of broken promises, so it's important to not overpromise and underdeliver. Issues are complex - when faced with a question like 'Will you repeal anti trade union laws' you cannot possibly give a one word, 'yes' answer. It's true that not everyone will be convinced by his performance; but more than a little disappointing you didn't interview anyone like myself - who felt his performance was not unimpressive, but actually quite refreshing. The man is clearly a listener - which is just what the country needs.[/p][/quote]So Miliband is "listening." Bully for him. I listen to the wind in the trees but I don't do anything about it. . . Of course Labour won't repeal Thatcher's anti Union laws. Blair didn't and Brown didn't so we can assume those laws are here to stay. I'm glad. Repealing the necessary controls implimented by Thatcher would be like giving a loaded machine gun to a homocidal maniac and panting a target on your chest. . . So funny that Ed namechecked 'B'Anne'dwaggon Snelgrove. If there was a more useless, invisible, pointless MP n the last Parliament I would be stunned. Is she standing again Ed? IF so, then Swindon will be staying blue at the next election for sure. . I see that Derek Montaut got his little moment of glory. Its only a few weeks since he was a mere protester in a rally Ed was addressing and before you know it, the great (cough) man is here in Swindon. His mum would be so proud. The Real Librarian

9:24am Mon 11 Apr 11

stratton man says...

Why the unpleasent abuse of Anne Snelgrove by tory toadies when the story is about millibands visit to Swindon.When will the invisible man justin tomlinson do something for the town is he still waiting for instructions from his mummy.
Why the unpleasent abuse of Anne Snelgrove by tory toadies when the story is about millibands visit to Swindon.When will the invisible man justin tomlinson do something for the town is he still waiting for instructions from his mummy. stratton man

10:02am Mon 11 Apr 11

Captain Sensible says...

Rather like Snelgrove then, a fauning slavish toadying lacky to her political masters, desperate to curry favour to keep her pathetic career aive.
Rather like Snelgrove then, a fauning slavish toadying lacky to her political masters, desperate to curry favour to keep her pathetic career aive. Captain Sensible

10:07am Mon 11 Apr 11

Mr Blackwell says...

It will all come down to the state of the economy at the time of the next general election.
.
If the current coalition plans work out, and the economy is running at a decent level, they will be able to show they've put right Labour's economic mistakes and helped the country back on track.
.
If the economy is still in the toilet, Labour will, unfortunately, be given the keys to Number 10 again.
.
Most people in this country really don't care about 'Left' or 'Right', they're only really concerned about the money in their pocket and the roof over their head. It's why Labour won three terms but then lost so badly in 2010.
It will all come down to the state of the economy at the time of the next general election. . If the current coalition plans work out, and the economy is running at a decent level, they will be able to show they've put right Labour's economic mistakes and helped the country back on track. . If the economy is still in the toilet, Labour will, unfortunately, be given the keys to Number 10 again. . Most people in this country really don't care about 'Left' or 'Right', they're only really concerned about the money in their pocket and the roof over their head. It's why Labour won three terms but then lost so badly in 2010. Mr Blackwell

10:30am Mon 11 Apr 11

Robfm says...

At least Justin Tomlinson has done more than Anne Snelgrove ever did, and that is vote against the party line on a number of occasions already, something Anne never did.

The closest she came was abstaining, once I think.

Remember the save the post offices campaign. Photo shoot one day supporting the campaign, voting with the Government the next to cut 3000 more post offices. I think Anne's record speaks for itself.
At least Justin Tomlinson has done more than Anne Snelgrove ever did, and that is vote against the party line on a number of occasions already, something Anne never did. The closest she came was abstaining, once I think. Remember the save the post offices campaign. Photo shoot one day supporting the campaign, voting with the Government the next to cut 3000 more post offices. I think Anne's record speaks for itself. Robfm

10:53am Mon 11 Apr 11

Baldrey says...

Ed Miliband made the point that you listen in opposition and then devrelop senisible policies closer to a general election. Of course the Tories had policy suggestions when they were in opposition, such as de-regulate the banks even further than Labour. So the situation we find ourselves in today would be even worse if the Tories had been in power during the noughties!
Ed Miliband made the point that you listen in opposition and then devrelop senisible policies closer to a general election. Of course the Tories had policy suggestions when they were in opposition, such as de-regulate the banks even further than Labour. So the situation we find ourselves in today would be even worse if the Tories had been in power during the noughties! Baldrey

11:40am Mon 11 Apr 11

Gooey says...

I hope Labour dont stick with snelgrove.She took it on from Julia Drown who I found to be a very good and honourable mp.I dont think she was anywhere near as good and was just a career mp who towed the party line.Time for a change Mr Milliband
I hope Labour dont stick with snelgrove.She took it on from Julia Drown who I found to be a very good and honourable mp.I dont think she was anywhere near as good and was just a career mp who towed the party line.Time for a change Mr Milliband Gooey

2:04pm Mon 11 Apr 11

itsamess says...

Unfortunately Labour is backed by the unions and history tells us that despite
clear facts that a strike was liable to damage companies and was counter productive they went ahead--the companies then went to the wall. The business went to emerging countries. We have lost the market in many areas due to the loss of apprenticeships and sadly educational standards have dropped. On the other hand the Tories destroyed our railways wholesale due to the then transport ministers passion for roads--mainly because he headed a road building company--he transferred that to his wife to avoid a conflict of interest. So the railways were cut and roads were built. That is politics. We used to be world leaders in technology and manufacturing. Now asian countries
are way ahead of us with high speed electric trains--bulging economies and improved cost of living--succesive govts
simply let us down. It is time that all credible parties used their experts in the important issues to debate between themselves how to get this country back to the great country it once was.
Unfortunately Labour is backed by the unions and history tells us that despite clear facts that a strike was liable to damage companies and was counter productive they went ahead--the companies then went to the wall. The business went to emerging countries. We have lost the market in many areas due to the loss of apprenticeships and sadly educational standards have dropped. On the other hand the Tories destroyed our railways wholesale due to the then transport ministers passion for roads--mainly because he headed a road building company--he transferred that to his wife to avoid a conflict of interest. So the railways were cut and roads were built. That is politics. We used to be world leaders in technology and manufacturing. Now asian countries are way ahead of us with high speed electric trains--bulging economies and improved cost of living--succesive govts simply let us down. It is time that all credible parties used their experts in the important issues to debate between themselves how to get this country back to the great country it once was. itsamess

5:38pm Mon 11 Apr 11

The Real Jarvis says...

I'm not a fan of Anne Snelgrove but I'm not about to let the Feal-Martinez publish yet more lies without being challenged.
.
http://www.publicwhi
p.org.uk/mp.php?id=u
k.org.publicwhip/mem
ber/1866#divisions
.
Clearly shows that Anne Snelgrove rebelled against her government at least 7 times in one 14 month period alone.
.
Robert Feal-Martinez never seems to rebel against his friend Justin Tomlinson though, perhaps he should be known as "Wrong-Party-Robert"
, 'cos he doesn't seem to belong in UKIP at all.....
I'm not a fan of Anne Snelgrove but I'm not about to let the Feal-Martinez publish yet more lies without being challenged. . http://www.publicwhi p.org.uk/mp.php?id=u k.org.publicwhip/mem ber/1866#divisions . Clearly shows that Anne Snelgrove rebelled against her government at least 7 times in one 14 month period alone. . Robert Feal-Martinez never seems to rebel against his friend Justin Tomlinson though, perhaps he should be known as "Wrong-Party-Robert" , 'cos he doesn't seem to belong in UKIP at all..... The Real Jarvis

6:11pm Mon 11 Apr 11

Robfm says...

I sincerely apologise she rebelled on life changing decisions for the majority of the UK.
I sincerely apologise she rebelled on life changing decisions for the majority of the UK. Robfm

7:04pm Fri 15 Apr 11

cindymatthews says...

This is the first time I have read these Adver posts and I am really shocked at the abusive and vitriolic nature of them. Clearly the contributors concerned are happy with the label "nasty tories"!
This is the first time I have read these Adver posts and I am really shocked at the abusive and vitriolic nature of them. Clearly the contributors concerned are happy with the label "nasty tories"! cindymatthews

10:23pm Fri 15 Apr 11

itsamess says...

cindy
Welcome--took you long enough to come here the article began last sun.
cindy Welcome--took you long enough to come here the article began last sun. itsamess

10:55pm Fri 15 Apr 11

SpeakUp says...

Welcome Cindy.

If you stick around you'll soon see the abusive and vitriolic comments are not the private domain of "nasty tories" - pretty equally shared by contributors of all colours, creeds and persuasions. Often goes way off topic and gets personal too - very little moderation by the Adver.

Sometimes it's OK though. Just not often.
Welcome Cindy. If you stick around you'll soon see the abusive and vitriolic comments are not the private domain of "nasty tories" - pretty equally shared by contributors of all colours, creeds and persuasions. Often goes way off topic and gets personal too - very little moderation by the Adver. Sometimes it's OK though. Just not often. SpeakUp

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