Peter Mandelson received a well-deserved ovation from the party conference this afternoon for a brilliant morale-boosting speech. I first worked with Peter back in the 1987 election, when I was a press officer during the campaign, and have always being impressed by his skill and political judgment. Today's speech was just what the party needed to hear in the midst of a media narrative that has written the party off for next year's election. We need to set a clear sense of what a Labour government would do for the future, as well as showing where we have delivered in the past. As the BBC reports, he said:
"You win elections on the future not the past. This will be a change election. Either we offer it or the British public will turn to others who say they do." The new Labour project, which Lord Mandelson helped devise in the early 1990s, was "far from complete", he insisted. He said Labour needed to "explain with confidence, clarity and conviction" the differences between it and the Conservatives, saying the election was "still up for grabs".....Labour would win the next election if "we show the British people that we have not lost the fighting spirit and appetite for change".