Economy was the theme of Labour conference day two
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.
The official Labour Party church service was back to its usual time this year this morning. Once again it provided an opportunity for delegates so inclined to start the week off in perspective.
Vince Cable writes an interesting piece in today's Evening Standard about the spending cuts debate, though he misses out one crucial element in the discussion.
Economic confidence may have bounced since the lows of September last year and March this year but unemployment is still rising.