The economy was the main subject of debate at Labour Conference today. We had a Q&A on the economy followed by debate and a speech from the Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling. Last year he was dealing with the fallout from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. This year, the backdrop was an economy that has been in recession but that would have been in depression had he not made some crucial decisions over the past 12 months.
His speech contrasted Labour's actions with the Conservative's record over the past year. They are calling for spending cuts now, before recovery has taken place. This shows that the Conservatives remain vulnerable on the economy. This is serious stuff, a matter of jobs and future prosperity. The economy is not simply a subject for opportunistic soundbites.
Peter Mandelson's speech this afternoon was well-received. The mood this Conference so far is serious minded but united.
CSM's fringe event on tax dodging and poverty was well-attended with 77 people at the meeting. Tomorrow evening I am speaking on Morals and Banking at another CSM event organised with the Cooperative Party.