New measures are required

The annual Party Conference season begins this weekend, days after what is certain to be one of those defining moments that will shape the future of our country not just for a generation but forever.

Today is ‘Decision Day’ for the Scottish people, who will cast their votes to say whether they want their country to become an independent nation or remain part of the family that is the United Kingdom.

Whatever the result, one thing for certain is that the future will have changed forever.

The outcome of the Scottish referendum will no doubt be the topic of conversation on the lips of my fellow delegates as we gather in Manchester this weekend for our Labour Party Conference, as indeed it will surely be for the Tories and then finally the Liberal Democrats.

The growing threat to world security posed by the Islamic State militants will no doubt also feature prominently at all three conferences, but we all must find time to deal with the problems and issues facing our country and, in particular, the ordinary man and woman in the street.

Next year is a general election one and the conference season will give all the main parties the chance to start shaping the manifestos that we will put before the electorate in the coming months.

My wish for my own party conference is we begin to spell out some bold new measures that will appeal to ordinary voters who undoubtedly have suffered under the coalition government we have had to endure for the past four years.

Despite what the prime minister and chancellor would have us believe, people are worse off under their stewardship, struggling to pay power, fuel and food bills, and that is a situation we have to change.

The Labour Party needs a manifesto that will deliver real results for real people and I hope to see the beginnings of that emerge in the next few days.