Ed Miliband's speech wasn't great, and I can't see him as PM, but there were a couple of good points buried in there, such as the recognition that in the last 30 years we've been distracted by the glamour of the kinds of businesses that are built on nothing of any substance. Financial businesses that exist purely to enhance the short-term interests of speculators and bubble-chasers at the expense of wider economic stability, playing a game of pass-the-parcel with a bomb, where each person in the chain snips a bit more off the fuse and passes it on to the next person, safe in the knowledge that even though it'll explode in someone else's face later, it isn't their problem.
Coming down hard on the wayward financial services industry isn't being anti-business. There will always be a need to connect those with resources to invest with those with the skills to generate more value from those resources. The entire financial system exists solely for this purpose, although you wouldn't really know it from the tangled web we have now. The two parties at either end of this transaction are the important ones - the investors, and the businesses. What's happened in recent years is that somehow the middle-men - people whose sole purpose is to act as a conduit between the people adding real value to the system - were progressively under-regulated and almost revered, giving many of them the free reign to express themselves as the cocky, greedy, selfish bastards they are. They got it into their heads - these traders, hedge fund managers, and bankers - that they were the important ones in the equation, and that they deserved to make a killing, just because they could, even if long-term the effects were that everyone else got screwed. Such a halo of success (transient though it was) surrounded them in the good times, that a large group of people started to revere these jobs and pursue them above those that involved actually producing real things. As a society, we started to put the middle-men - essentially leeches on the economic bloodstream - on pedestals, just because they had found a way to buy fancy cars and expensive watches without even being able to explain what it was they contributed in return. (Of course, there are strong parallels with the vacuous pseudo-celebrity culture of recent years, where it doesn't matter if you can do anything so long as you're on TV).
We need to return to a mindset where professions and businesses of substance are respected above those that just involve leeching money from a larger process. Real businesses and jobs that create value - products that have a use, services that people want, and so on. This is what the economy is really about - being a glorified middle man is not something we should aspire to or respect above the alternatives. Sure, the real players on either end still need those guys in the middle, but they're basically just plumbing. Let's not get crazy about how much value they add to the process, OK?