Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ed Miliband speech: business and growth

By Noshua Watson

I’ve just been listening to Labour Party leader Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool this afternoon. 

As well as setting himself apart from previous leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, reflecting on the UK riots this summer, and criticising corporation tax cuts, Miliband said a couple of sentences that really caught my attention….

“You’ve been told all growth is the same, all ways of doing business are the same.

But it’s not.

You’ve been told that the choice in politics is whether parties are pro-business or anti-business.

But all parties must be pro-business today.” 

The reason these phrases stood out is that although Ed Miliband is of course referring to the UK economy, what he said seems to me to reflect the changes we’ve seen over the last few years in international development thinking.

Here at IDS we’ve been looking at the conditions required for growth that benefits poor people. And increasingly we’re examining what types of business models have real development impact. There aren’t easy solutions to these questions, and we’re going to keep working on them. We hope that Ed Miliband will offer up some specific solutions for the UK based on the global evidence.