This was a very important Labour conference.
Ed Miliband solidified his leadership. Last year in Liverpool many
party members were asking, "Did we pick the wrong brother?" Very few
are asking that now.
And it was the week Ed Miliband said Labour needed to become the party
of the south, not just the north. A one-nation party.
This is what delegates from our region have been waiting to hear. That
part of his script could have been - indeed might have been - written
by the Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, who has been one of Ed
Miliband's closest advisers.
Ever since he became an MP in 1992 Mr Denham has made it his mission
to make Labour electable in our region. The strategy succeeded
spectacularly in the 1997 landslide. But Labour's gains were wiped out
Mr Denham knows Labour won't win power until they can regain seats in
Kent, in Brighton, in Reading...and that was the message Mr Miliband -
and his deputy Harriet Harman - have been preaching all week.
It's one thing saying it, it's another thing doing it, of course. But
for now at least our region seems to be at the top of Labour's agenda.
As Ed Miliband to us outside the Rovers Return, just a few hundred yards
from the conference centre in Manchester - "Labour must be the party
of Coronation Street, and the party of the south".
Meanwhile the soap opera known as the party conference season moves on
to Birmingham. David Cameron will be hoping the Tory fightback starts