Themes which came out in the Rebuilding The Economy debate: 'Certainty' and 'stability' - these are things which a (Labour) govt can provide, but the Coalition is not. They are vital to enable people and companies to plan and make investments for the future, which is why the Coalition 'shambles' is having such a negative impact on the economy today. Examples kept cropping up of this affecting such topics as: green energy, public transport, recycling, food production.
A second common thread was that even though Labour is not in government yet, there are still practical things we can do to make things better for the British public. Interesting ideas included: a new Switch Together initiative to drive down domestic energy prices; and supporting food banks (scandalous though it is that these are now needed by so many people) via fareshare.org.uk. More details will be coming out, I am sure.
The billed 'bust up' between the Shadow Chancellor and the Unions turned out to be something of a "love fest" in the end, underlining the drive for unity in the Party. Great speeches were made by both Len McCluskey of Unite and Ed Balls (the best I have seen from him so far). Ed asked, will history recall us as the people who wasted the talents of a generation of young people; dismantled the NHS, and so on? Or the ones who rose to the challenge and built a better, fairer Britain.
Quite rightly he is still talking about making tough decisions, and he invoked the memory of the 1945-1951 Labour Government which continued rationing, and introduced prescription charges. But pointedly he steered away from public sector pay freeze as one of the decisions he had in mind. It will be interesting to see what the media made of it.
Ps. Some humour: "Butch Cameron & the Flatline Kid" - Ed Balls' new one-liner put down for Cameron and Osborne - after Cameron had said the Shadow Cabinet was not 'butch' enough. Presumably 40% of its members being women is partly what gives him this impression. Ed mocked Cameron for telling Caroline Spelman she was "too old" (age 54) to be in the cabinet, then replacing her with a 56-year old man!