Ed Milliband and Ed Balls over the weekend try and say they will rein in their spending tendencies.
Labour are making exactly the same mistake that the Tories made in 2007 when they said they would look at ways of sharing the proceeds of growth the same as Gordon Brown. By matching spending plans to the opposition you remove any wiggle room.
Of course, I think they are wrong for the opposite reason to where most Lefties think they are wrong. Not that they are ruling out spending more, but that by giving the Tories a stamp of approval for the current austerity programme which is not delivering any real terms cut to either deficit or debt.
Perhaps they think the voters are going to be encouraged that Labour can supply Tory toughness on budgets with Labour's supposed extra caring for the working class? They may well be right today. But today it is 2013 and not 2015.
In 2015 we will be in a very different economic place. The world and UK will either be int he next recession or teetering on it. This recession will not be a low-interest rate recession unless things have gone so wrong in the economy that everything is being felt purely in terms of a rapidly collapsing Pound with no interest rate rises to offset the real terms loss of purchasing power. This would be suggestive of high inflation...its hard to see how this will work.
It is most amusing politically to see Labour fall into the same trap as the Tories. If the Tories had stuck with their traditional messages of lower state spending then in 2010 they would have been a lot more credible. Similarly if Labour said nothing now and kept their powder dry for another year they would be in a much better position to decide what the policy for 2015-2020 needed to be. I can tell you its going to be an emergency period of quite distressing economic choices and impacts. Labour could say they will need to raise taxes and cut pensions (including early raising of the pension age) to defend welfare for all; but now they will have to do it from a position of weakness.