The Rt Hon leader Ed Miliband took to the stage to officially launch the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute last night.
Over one thousand people braved the snow and sleet to attend the launch, which was full almost to capacity. The audience listened intently as Ed declared SPERI to be “the right institute, at the right time, in the right place” before echoing the core focus of SPERI’s project: ‘from the ashes of the kind of irresponsible capitalism which led to the crash, we need to build a new kind of capitalism, a responsible capitalism’.
Co-director Tony Payne commented in his opening remarks that it should be part of being at University for students to have the opportunity to see, and engage in debate with, leading figures and commentators. We at SPERI, and indeed the University, are pleased to offer such an opportunity.
As the Labour Party leader spoke, many engaged in the debate on Twitter, and praised Ed for his speech which embodied spirit and charisma. The consensus was that the launch event was a success. There were plenty of positive comments online and there was a great atmosphere in the Octagon after the lecture, which was described by one tweeter as ‘buzzing’.
We thank everybody involved in delivering such a fantastic event, as well as everybody who came, including all the students who engaged with Ed so impressively in the question and answer session following his speech.
We are working hard to make sure some videos and photos are posted online over the next few days. You can read a transcript of Ed Miliband’s SPERI speech on the Labour Party website.
We’ll leave you with a quote from Ed’s speech:
“Anger at the old system’s flaws is not enough to produce change. It needs the ideas and the political movement to transform discontent with the old settlement into consent for a new one. As far as the ideas are concerned, I hope and expect SPERI will make its contribution. I can think of no more urgent project for our country”.
The challenge has been set, and we aim not to disappoint.