15/09/2012 07:05 BST

Ed Miliband: Capitalism Is The 'Least Worst' System We Have

Labour leader Ed Miliband said on Saturday he had nothing against the rich - as long as they made their money "the hard way", adding he felt capitalism was "the least worst system we've got" but needed saving from itself.

Miliband, who has been at pains to shake off his "Red Ed" tag and whose father Ralph was a Marxist historian, acknowledged the merits of Margaret Thatcher's aspiration agenda.

"My dad was sceptical of all the Thatcher aspirational stuff, but I felt you sort of had to recognise that what she was talking about struck a chord. I want to save capitalism from itself," he said.

The Labour leader said the "creativity" of capitalism had to be harnessed and made "more decent" and "humane".

"I believe capitalism is the least worst system we've got," he said.

Miliband said the light-touch regulatory regime accepted by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had proved inadequate.

"The consensus around regulation turned out to be really problematic," he said.

Miliband also said the last Labour government had been "too easy and accepting".

"It's just not true that all the top CEOs will leave the country unless we pay them whatever they demand," he said.

And he dismissed the suggestion that socialism was dead, describing it as "a set of values" and "a tale that never ends".

"While there's capitalism, there'll be socialism, because there is always a response to injustice," he said.