What to watch for in Bournemouth
Gordon's first Labour conference as Prime Minister begins today: it could conceivably be his last. Just as last year's gathering of the party in
Should Labour rewrite Clause Four again?
Cabinet rising star Andy Burnham tells the Fabian fringe that Labour should revisit its statement of aims and values, so that an inspiring mission underpins Labour's agenda for the next decade. Should Labour have a new Clause four debate? What would you put in a new Clause Four, or should we stick with the one we've got?
Remember the members
Labour 07: We should be wary of recently proposed reforms: they chip away at the party's democracy.
Not a barnstormer of a speech from our new Chancellor, but I don't think that the Silver Fox does rabble-rousing. He did get his standing ovation at the end, but that seemed more out of courtesy and production planning than a genuine admiration for his delivery. Still, I want a calm hand on the economic tiller, not tub-thumping, so I'll settle for that.
The news that Peter Mandelson thinks Gordon Brown is doing a good job is the rib-tickler of the day so far.
Should Gordon go for it?
Labour 07: The polls look good for Labour, but thanks to the peculiar workings of the British electoral system, that is not necessarily good enough.
The new Labour split
In the conference hotel bar, there is but one subject under heated discussion, and it is, like treason, a matter of dates. The old Blair-Brown conference clash (RIP) has been replaced this year by a rather different sort of division: the Octobrists versus the Mayites, the 'go now, Gordon' camp versus the 'wait and see' crew.
Brown Says a
When I finished listening to Gordon Brown's speech I felt I had been assaulted by a wet lettuce. I am afraid I got distracted at various points so I didn't hear it all, but the bits I did hear could easily have been spoken by a Conservative. The new policy announcements tumbled out like a machine gun rat-a-tat-tat. The sheer audacity of much of it had to be admired, even if the delivery left something to be desired.
I've heard too many leaders' speeches, whether Tory, Labour or Lib Dem, than I care to remember, and I have to say today's, from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was the dullest and most boring I have ever heard. In fact it was brilliant. This was clearly part of Labour's strategy for a fourth term in Government. Cameron is not seen as credible because he reminds voters of Tony Blair and after 10 years the electorate is ready for a change. You couldn't get a greater contrast than Gordon Brown and to the electorate it must look like a significant change has taken place.
I've lost count of the number of Brtiain's in Brown's speech. Got to 26, and as Guido notes, only one mention of
Artful but uninspiring
Labour 07: The prime minister's speech pressed all the right buttons, but never soared. Above all, it left us guessing at Brown's vision of