Well we didn't see that coming. Rachel Reeves delivered what many consider to be her best speech yet.
According to Freddie Hayward in the New Statesman, "This was the best speech of her career so far. She spoke with seriousness and conviction. OK, there was little new substantive policy. A commitment to crowding-in private investment, a reduction in the government's use of consultants, a new team to claw back the money fraudsters stole during the pandemic. Restrictions on ministers use of private planes.
A few million here or there is not going to change the purpose of the state. But it still matters politically."
Reeves's key objective is reassuring voters that Labour won't crash the economy, but the Tories will. "The biggest risk to Britain's economy, is five more years of the Conservative party."
Richard Partington writing in the Guardian, distilled five key takeaways from the speech.
1 Labour is open for business ...
2 Reeves is opposed to tax increases ...
3 Labour Backs Spending Discipline ...
4 Business Investment is a Labour Priority ...
5 Starmer wants to build not block ...
And business was there in support or out of curiosity. Exhibition stands for Google, Ineos and Specsavers; slick videos for Amazon and Uber, fringe events sponsored by Deliveroo and Goldman Sachs. The parliamentary lounge was sponsored by Lloyds Bank.
Make UK were impressed. "I'm very impressed by Rachel Reeves. She seems extremely competent" says Stephen Phipson, the chief executive of the manufacturing trade group Make UK. "What we've seen from the Labour party is a really strong commitment to making things in this country. We never saw that last week at the Tory conference. The whole thing about stability ... it was perfect. We have been calling for this for years."
Greg Fitzgerald, the chief executive of housebuilder Vistry said, "We are encouraged by the moves which seek to deliver short, medium and long-term changes to unblock and reform the planning system."
Sir Nigel Wilson, group chief executive at Legal & General, says: "We welcome Labour's approach, which seeks to take a holistic view of barriers to deliver ambitious outcomes [in the housing sector]."
It was Mark Carney who delivered the surprise intervention into the Reeves presentation. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England between 2013 and 2020 in a video message ahead of her speech, described Rachel Reeves as a "serious economist"
"She began her career at the Bank of England, so she understands the big picture," he said. "But, crucially she understands the economics of work, of place and family. It is beyond time we put her energy and ideas into action."
Well we didn't see that coming either. He didn't say that about Jeremy Hunt. Maybe all that glitters, can be sold after all, with a little bit of central bank sparkle.
Ready To Serve, Ready To Lead, Ready To Rebuild, Ready For Action ...
Let's Get Britain's Future Back on Track ...
The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for updates on the UK and World Economy.
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