HOW daring is Keir Starmer going to be today?

In her speech to the Labour conference yesterday, his shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, portrayed herself as the iron chancellor, who will be tough on spending in her bid to give Britain economic security once again. Unsmiling, unflinching, Ms Reeves continued Labour’s bid to reassure the country that the party has changed and is once again run by sensible, level-headed adults.

But is that enough? Does the nation only want reassurance, or does it inspiration as well?

Love him or loath him, in 2019 Boris Johnson presented a compelling vision of Britain as a place of hope where our local towns – our home towns where many of us have invested our life’s savings into bricks and mortar – were not in terminal decline and where the boarded up buildings would soon be levelled up and welcoming once again. It was this hopeful attitude that inspired many in the red wall to think that it was time to make a generational switch and vote Conservative.

It later transpired that Mr Johnson was not personally equipped to run a government that could fulfil that promise, and one of the most telling parts of Ms Reeves’ speech was about the creation of a Covid Corruption Commission to claw back £2.6bn of fraudulent grants and contracts handed out during the pandemic.

In our area in 2019, many voters made huge personal decisions, and to really win them back, Mr Starmer needs to put some colour on his grey promises of stability. He needs to give them hope that, as they feel poorer in their pockets and as they see their public services going backwards, better times really can be just around the corner.