Its been a funny old week for the Labour Party. Their Party Conference seems to have been a bit of a disaster. Didn't begin well when Andrew Marr asked the Prime Minister a question about whether he popped pills to' help him through'. Whether this was simply crassness on Marr's part or cynical set-up as some have suggested is neither here nor there. The issue dominated the Conference opening. Personaly, I reckon the sheer stupidity of the question probably helped Gordon Brown as much as it annoyed him. But it did distract from what happened in the Conference.
We then had the Prime Minister's speech itself, which was full of uncosted promises, but by all accounts, well received in the Conference Hall. But a few hour's later, the Sun newspaper overtook all the coverage of the speech by announcing that it intended to support the Conservatives in next year's General Election. I don't think that the Sun's decision was totally unexpected, but its timing came as a shock to Labour. It swept away the Prime Minister's speech, and suggests that the Sun is going to become an influential opponent of Labour during the seven months up until the likely date of the General Election. But I was surprised by the reaction. Instead of smiling sweetly in mild disappointment, as if it was no big deal, Labour went ballistic. Gordon Brown himself displayed a childish level of petulance in interviews which have caused him electoral damage. And then we had the dramatic tearing up of a copy of the Sun by Tony Woodley - ensuring that nothing else that happened at the Conference was reported all day. Self-indulgent and stupid.
And today, we saw David Miliband lower himself into the gutter of sleazy politics by his personal attacks on the Conservatives. William Hague has responded to this. Its clear that William was much angered as Miliband displayed his unfitness for high office. Must admit that I hadn't realised our Foreign Secretary was such a nasty piece of work.
Not sure what we learned from this Conference. We now know that the General Election is going to be held on May 6th - but we knew that already. We now know that Gordon Brown will lead Labour into that Election - but we knew that before. We learned that Labour are not going to enter into an honest debate about public spending, making it difficult to hold such a debate - but we knew that before. In truth, we learned nothing new at all.
Now its on to the Conservative Conference at Manchester. Personally, I hope there will be little reference to Labour and Gordon Brown, or the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg. There's a more serious job to be done. Up until now, David Cameron has single-mindedly and successfully striven to change the perception that voters have of my party. Next week his aim will be to deliver the speech of Prime Minister in waiting. I have not the slightest doubt that's what he will deliver.