Only Ed Miliband offers a vision for a fairer Britain. His party deserves to form the next government
The gap between the richest and the rest was never wider, spectacular mergers produced giant companies that paid minimal taxes, and a democratic stalemate exposed the shortcomings of a political system creaking at the seams. No, not a retrospective look at 2015, but an account of late 19th-century America, a context that gave rise to the emergence of the radical new politics ushered in by Republican President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
In a country increasingly divided and impoverished, he brokered a different kind of relationship between government and the people. The state intervened in a rampant market – driven by rapacious oligarchs – that advantaged big business at the expense of ordinary working men and women. Roosevelt pledged to curb the power of business, support organised labour and spoke out in support of the “common welfare”, and “a square deal” for all. Heaven knows what the early 21st-century press in Britain would have made of Red Ted.
At the heart of Roosevelt’s vision was not economics, but morality. “We must act upon the motto of all for each and each for all,” Teddy Roosevelt said in 1905. “…We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.”