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Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 11:54 UK

Poor war?

Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
The Politics Show

Hello and welcome...

This time a year ago the Conservatives were in Corporal Jones land: "Don't panic, don't panic..."

Ruth Kelly and Gordon Brown
A mixed week for the PM - will it be plain sailing for the Tories?

Gordon Brown was about to call a snap election, mutterings about David Cameron's leadership were getting louder, and a big, inky black cloud hung over them.

Spool forward 12 months and now the order as they gather in Birmingham is no smugness, no smirking, no complacency.

That said, given what could have happened (his head on a pike on the city walls), I guess Gordon Brown would have banked what unfolded in Manchester this week.

Yes, he lost a cabinet minister at the end of the week.

And Charles Clarke and John Prescott, on the Politics Show at the start, did their bit to show that the comrades really aren't that comradely at the moment.

But inside the micro-climate of the conference hall all was good - and some old Labour tunes were played again to the delight of the delegates.

Lots of attacks on city spivs - lots of defence of the least well off. It's a given that Labour is the party of the poor. Isn't it?

David Davis
How will the Tories deal with poverty?

Best bet...

Well not according to the Conservatives.

Forget minimum wage, Sure Start and the New Deal - David Cameron's the best bet for poor Britons now they insist.

And we'll be exploring that on the programme on Sunday, hearing from residents of one of the poorest estates in the UK and talking to the one-time Tory Leadership contender, David Davis.

Also on the programme, we'll reveal what's being billed as the first test of Gordon Brown's much-heralded Fairness agenda.

He says he's on the side of the hard-working family - so will he welcome next week's proposal from the European Commission that could land new mums with a cash windfall, but the Treasury with a financial black hole?

There are a few in there already, so it may be getting crowded...

Politics Max

Politics Max
Max is your politics man...

All that and still time for the regular Politics Max round-up of political issues sent in by viewers and an explanation of why the seemingly loony policy of fitting electric shock collars to lying politicians could be law before you know it.

Join me and our (for now) collar-free guests at noon on Sunday on BBC1.

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