03/10/2012 Party Political Broadcasts - Welsh Labour Party


03/10/2012

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Transcript


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Every young person should feel they can have a career, a future.

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Like I had.

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You know, it shouldn't be the lucky few.

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In the early '80s, I was the deputy head

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of a local comprehensive school called Haverstock

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in the London Borough of Camden.

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And that's, of course, where I met Ed Miliband.

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I think the education that I got in this comprehensive

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was so much more than how to pass exams.

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It was about how you look after yourself,

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it was about... that the world is a complex place

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with people of all kinds and all nationalities,

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all classes, all races.

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And, you know, that is a really important lesson in life.

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I kind of hung around with Ed from about the age of 12 onwards.

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He was, like, a very bright guy. Picked everything up so, so quickly.

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To be honest, when it came to maths, kind of,

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the way that his kind of brain worked was incredible.

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There is no doubt in my mind that Ed gets what these schools need.

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He's someone that could be trusted.

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And someone who was, you know,

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quite quietly but determinedly,

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getting on with what needed to be done and not being influenced,

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not needing to change who he was.

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I'll always be grateful to Haverstock.

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Because I honestly don't believe I'd be leader of the Labour Party

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if it wasn't for the grounding, the education,

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the learning about life that I had from this school.

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Ed was an incredible lecturer.

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He's got this incredibly wide-ranging knowledge,

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and thirst for more knowledge.

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And I think to make a journey like that

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from your local comprehensive school to teaching at Harvard,

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you've probably got to have that knowledge.

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So my sophomore year at Harvard, I took a class called What's Left.

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And there was Professor Miliband.

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It was a really difficult class to get into, actually.

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I had to stand in the hallway for the first class,

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because it was so packed.

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You've got to reflect all sides, all different points of view.

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Because if you're a teacher, you're not somebody who is

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trying to, sort of, tell people, "This is what you should think."

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And so you've got to listen to all sides, but in the end,

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you've got to say to people where you're coming from,

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and what you believe.

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And I had a blast, it was fantastic.

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Coming from a comprehensive like I did, and like Ed did,

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maybe that does give you a slight different perspective,

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when you end up somewhere like Harvard. I don't know.

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All I do know is

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he came across as very down-to-earth and like a decent bloke.

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One common theme from Haverstock to Harvard to training in economics,

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is hard work. And that came from my parents.

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Not because they said all the time "You must work hard,"

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but they instilled in us a sense that, you know,

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if you wanted to get something out, you need to put something in.

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If you're appointed, well, in my field, head teacher,

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it's sensible to get to know the people

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you're supposed to be guiding, leading.

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If you're a teacher,

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it's sensible to get to know the children that you're moving on.

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If you're going to be Prime Minister, well, for heaven's sake,

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if you don't anything about most of the people in the country,

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how can you make a rational decision?

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So to start your life in local schools, you know,

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meeting a huge range of people,

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a cross section of that part of London,

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had to have been an advantage to him later in life as a politician.

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I think anybody with Ed's experience and background

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in that kind of school environment must be good for this country.

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I want every kid at Haverstock, at this school,

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who can, who wants to go to university

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and has the qualifications, to be able to do so.

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But equally I want those who don't want to go to university,

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but have huge talent and ability in other ways,

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I want that to be tapped into.

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I want them to be able to not be bored at school

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or just drift through life with no qualifications.

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Let's get them the best qualifications,

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the best vocational qualifications.

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Let's celebrate what they can do.

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When I have people coming up to me saying, "I'm a young person,

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"I can't find a job, I've sent off my CV to so many people

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"and nothing seems to be going right for me,

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"banging my head against a brick wall."

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You know, that makes me angry and frustrated and think,

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actually, I could be doing a much better job than this lot

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and we could be doing something about it.

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