Friends. It’s great to be here on ConHome, being spoofed as part of their coverage of our conference.
But while this article is about me, this isn’t about me – it’s about ordinary, working people all over the country.
It’s about Ken, who found himself out of a job in 2008 and tells me about his struggle to get it back.
It’s about Len, who’s trying to buy up an organisation to expand his current enterprise, even while it seems like the modern world has left him behind.
It’s about Chuka, a young man who just desperately wants to get ahead, to climb to the top of the tree, but can’t get that promotion in the bag.
When I think of modern Britain, I think of people like Ken, Len and Chuka. The people Britain left behind. The forgotten.
When I meet them they’re full of questions, friends: “Please can I stand in London again? What’s Labour going to do for me? Would I step down if we don’t win the General Election?”
And to them I say this:
“No, sod off. We’re giving it to Eddie Izzard.”
“Lots, sir, sorry, sir, coming right up.”
And, “Seriously, Chuka? Can we at least live out the formality of me standing to be Prime Minister before you do a carefully choreographed jig on my political tomb?”
Friends, let me tell you about my Britain.
That wasn’t a sentence, sorry. Friends, if you want a guy who can speak in sentences, then vote for the other guy.
Two years ago I promised to freeze energy bills. Energy bills, I promised to freeze.
Now, I want to go one step further. If we win next year’s General Election, I won’t just freeze prices. I’ll freeze Britain. We’ve stockpiled the ice already.
Imagine it, conference. Every ordinary, working person, buried up to their forehead in ice cubes.
No more dreaming of the past, Ken. No more ambitious takeover plans, Len. No more battle to get ahead, Chuka. Chill out.
Some might say it’s the easy solution, a cop-out from taking the tough decisions, or a lunatic scheme. To them I say this: Yes, probably. But if you want a different future, you’ve got to think big.
Who remembers Gillian Duffy?
I’ve got a message for her today. Gillian, you were right. Where are all these polls flocking from?
YouGov, ComRes, Ipsos MORI. Wherever you look, there’s polls on every street corner. They’re menacing. People don’t trust you on the economy. People think you’re weird.
Friends, I want to tell you about my vision of Britain.
A Britain free of gangs of threatening polls.
A Britain where we don’t just say “There’s no money left” – we prove it.
A Britain where you get a second chance.
And that’s what it comes down to: a second chance.
The Tories want us to think that if you wreck the economy, devastate the public finances and destroy public faith in politics, then you should just be consigned to the scrapheap. Friends, if the Labour Party stands for anything, it stands for the idea that you can come back from that, and get a fair crack of the whip to do it all again.