Although not a heavily publicised as the annual conferences, this weekend sees Labour's Spring Conference and the Welsh Conservative conference take place. Today the leaders offered their set piece. For Brown it was about his vision and his government ushering in an 'Age of Ambition'; "Imagine" he asked delegates "if together we create a Britain where, for all of us, the future is not a fate we can't escape but a common purpose we create". He was rewarded with a standing ovation for his rousing finale "So with the courage of our convictions, With pride in our common purpose, Let us go out with confidence to meet the world to come, Let us embrace this new age of ambition, and let us build the Britain of our dreams". High in rhetoric but a good leader's speech all the same.
The problem is that he did not really comment on the problems that are synonymous with him and his party. He defended Alastair Darling but did not really comment on specific policies. It was all at the macro level, the big ideas and aspirations of his government, it was about building perceptions of him as a man, but it may be seen as an attempt to distract rather than to face critics head-on. Visions are great, but you have to believe the rhetorician is a visionary that can delivery; is this true of Brown anymore?