Since the advent of New Labour taking sides has been a rather unfashionable political stance. For many party members the past few years has seen Labour, as a party of principle, disappearing into the soggy centre ground. They witnessed Labour ministers turning into administrators and technocrats - competent but uninspiring. The new leader - my hope is that it will be Ed Miliband - needs to portray the modern Tory party for what it is, a group of right wing wolves in sheep's clothing. Our new leader needs to quickly go on the offensive and highlight the fact that David Cameron succeeded in modernising his party - back to the age of Thatcher.
The speech at conference will give the new leader the opportunity to set out some of the key themes and policy areas that a new, renewed Labour party will focus on. I believe that one of those themes should be about the need for Labour to make a preferential option for the poor. In today's modern world there is still an unjust distribution of goods and services whereby a relative minority of wealthy groups and ruling classes use their power and influence to perpetuate macro-economic and political structures which exploit the labour and lives of the vast majority of the planet’s population.
Politics that seeks the liberation of people from poverty, injustice and persecution can be a powerful force for change. At home and abroad perhaps it is time for Labour to make a preferential option for the poor. It is time to take sides and end the political cross-dressing of the 1990s. As a political party it is time to be clear about who we are, who we were and what we want to become.