The political conference season is upon us, beginning this week with a virtual TUC Congress and ending in a few weeks’ time with the Conservatives in Manchester. Occasionally, such conferences can be host to watershed moments for the economy. In 1976, Jim Callaghan announced the end of the Keynesian economic agenda that had dominated since the Second World War; then, in 1980, at the height of a deep recession, Margaret Thatcher told us that the lady was not for turning, embedding Thatcherite economics that dominated policy thinking up until this pandemic.
Equally notable was the address in 1988 by Jacques Delors, the European Commission president, to the TUC. In just 30 minutes he turned the Labour movement from eurosceptic to pro-Brussels. In response, two weeks