This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Labour Conference: Gordon's speech

As speeches go it was one of his best.

He didn't dwell on past mistakes, although he apologised for the 10p tax fiasco, but instead he looked to the future.

He said, "I'm not going to be something I'm not" and for once you believed him.

The theme of the speech was fairness.

"A Britain of air chances for all and fair rules for all."

At last, you got a sense of what Brown's vision is.

There were some good new announcements too:

- the extension of free nursery places for two year olds
- funding for a million families to get online
- free universal check ups for everyone over 40
- free prescriptions for 250,000 cancer patients

And there was a hint of how Brown will attack the Tories over the coming months. His line,
"My children aren't props; they're people" was powerful and easily the best attack he has made against Cameron in a while. It is also a fair one.

Brown reminded us of George Osborne's reaction to last week's financial turmoil too. The Shadow Chancellor had said, "that its a function of financial markets that people make loads of money out of the misery of others". Classic Tory. Disgraceful. Vile. Wrong.

Brown is right to expose them for it. We need to see more of this over the coming months.

The issue, unfortunately, isn't whether it was a good speech or not. The issue is whether it has done enough to help turn around Labour's fortunes.

On that question, the jury is still out.

Next week, the Tories will have a great conference and Cameron will make a serious, statesmanlike speech that will see him steal the news agenda.

When that happens, Brown's speech may well fade into the background and we will be back to square one.

He has won himself a stay of execution. But that is all.

It will take more than a good speech to turn around Labour's fortunes.

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