Ed Miliband To Warn Of A 'Quiet Crisis' In British Society

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Ed Miliband is set to warn of a "quiet crisis" in Britain as he attempts to win back voters in his speech to the Labour Party conference on Tuesday.

The Labour leader is expected to say the banking crisis, the phone hacking scandal and the riots that spread through English cities in August point to a society that "too often rewarding not the right people with the right values, but the wrong people with the wrong values."

Miliband will hope his speech will avoid a quiet crisis of his own, as two polls published on the eve of the address suggest the public is far from convinced by his leadership of the party.

A ComRes poll for the Independent found only one in four voters believe he is a "credible prime minister-in-waiting" and showed the Conservatives had moved ahead of Labour for the first time since October 2010.

And a YouGov survey for the Sun newspaper cut Labour's lead to 41 per cent, just two points ahead of the Conservatives on 39 per cent. The Lib Dems were on on eight per cent.

"Labour will always stand as the voice of the people, our people. Their values will be heard. And we will challenge the vested interests that benefit when the wrong values are rewarded," he will say.

"The quiet crisis…points to something deep in our country. The failure of a system. A way of doing things. A set of rules."

It is also reported that Miliband will use his speech to try and win back voters who believe the Labour government was too often on the side of benefit cheats.

"The hard truth is that we still have a system where reward for work is not high enough, where benefits are too easy to come by for those who abuse the system and don't work for those who do the right thing," he will say.

Ed Miliband has dispensed with the modern convention of releasing large chunks of his speech to the media the night before delivery. 

It will prompt questions of whether the final speech will include surprise policy proposals, or if he merely hasn't reached a final draft which accommodates both the centrist wing of his party and the union leaders who are clearly spoiling for a fight.

At one fringe event in Liverpool on Monday night attended by all the leaders of the main unions, one union official was heard to refer to "Tory bastards" adding he would be prepared to face a prison sentence over looming strike action by unions in a few weeks' time.

Ed Miliband's keynote speech to conference will be delivered shortly after 2pm on Tuesday.