* Labour leader Ed Miliband says recovery is unequal, unfair
* Leader under pressure to lift morale, boost dire ratings
By Peter Griffiths and William James
BRIGHTON, England, Sept 22 Britain's opposition
leader Ed Miliband accused Prime Minister David Cameron of
stoking a cost of living crisis on Sunday, attempting to
overcome dire poll ratings and convince sceptical voters that
Labour can be trusted to run the economy.
Three years into his leadership, Miliband is under pressure
from party activists to assert his authority and give a clearer
idea of what he stands for after Labour's lead over Cameron's
In an attempt to draw the battle lines ahead of the 2015
election, Miliband will try to use the party's conference to
blunt Cameron's message of prudence as the economy recovers from
its worst crisis since World War Two.
"For generations in this country, when the economy grew the
majority of people got better off," Miliband told the BBC in
Brighton, a seaside resort on England's south coast where
Labour's annual conference is being held.
"Now that vital link between the growing wealth of the
country and people's family finances has been broken and the
question is, for the British people, is there a party that's
going to tackle that?"
Miliband has struggled to establish economic credibility
with the voters since he beat his brother David for the
leadership of Labour after Gordon Brown's 2010 electoral defeat
ended 13 years of Labour governments.
Promising a stronger minimum wage, Miliband said his party
would not borrow more for day-to-day spending, but repeatedly
said it was too early to give details of Labour's fiscal plans.
The Conservatives said Labour's policy plans undermined
their claim to financial discipline and that their commitments
over the last four months would mean 28 billion pounds ($44.80
billion) of new borrowing.
'COST OF LIVING'
Despite the slowest economic recovery on record, one poll
showed the Conservatives and Labour are level-pegging. Another
poll for the Observer newspaper gave Labour a seven-point lead.
But those polled thought Cameron was more capable, better at
making tough decisions and clearer about the future of the
world's sixth largest economy.
Asked about his poor personal poll ratings, Miliband, a
43-year-old Oxford-educated son of a Marxist intellectual said:
"Polls go up and down, one thing that goes up and up is the cost
of living of ordinary families."
Facing a hostile press that caricatures him in cartoons as
the hapless animated character Wallace, from the Oscar-winning
Wallace and Gromit films, Miliband has faced calls from senior
party figures to shout louder to grab voters' attention.
"If you are leader of the opposition you've got to reach
through the television screen and grab people by the lapel,"
Matthew Parris, a former Conservative lawmaker who is now a
columnist for The Times newspaper, told Reuters.
"You sometimes get the impression he sees politics like one
of those amusement arcade games where you have to drive and
avoid touching any of the obstacles - it's as if he's just
trying to get through it without commitment."
Miliband refused to match Cameron's promise to hold a
referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.
Attempting to reconnect with voters, Miliband posed for
pictures with his wife Justine and his young sons Daniel and
Samuel on Brighton's windy, overcast beach on Saturday.
But the start of the conference was overshadowed by a former
Labour adviser's lurid claims about the feuding between former
Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor Brown.
According to the adviser, Damian McBride, Miliband now
insists on being called 'The Leader' by his colleagues. A source
close to Miliband dismissed that claim as nonsense and said
Miliband liked to be called Ed. ($1 = 0.6250 British pounds)