Friday, 24 December 2010

Ed on manouevres

I like Peter Hoskin at the Spectator's Coffee House blog. His writing is very much in tune with how I perceive matters and his (to some extent) insider knowledge means he can write perceptive yet still very accessible posts on a broad range of political topics.

Take his writings over the past day or so. First, we have here a perfectly good assessment of our good pal Ed Miliband's sudden media/public visibility. Guido knows what lies behind this, of course: the appointment of Tom Baldwin (from The Times) as Red's communications bod (well, one of them, it would seem) has propelled Miliband's lacklustre presence into something a notch or two more visible and perhaps even more memorable. Kudos to Red for realising that he needed such people if he wasn't going to fade into the background. Here's some more from Guido on Baldwin.

Back to Peter Hoskin: today he writes about the Telegraph's "sting" operation, and how Labour (including Red Ed) can and inevitably will use those disclosures to attack the coalition and in particular the Liberal Democrats - their target for months now. Being the sharp cookie that he is, Hoskin realises that this approach could misfire as, if anything, the disclosures could actually strengthen the coalition.

This is one of those interesting "heads they win, tails we lose" scenarios for Labour: whatever they do or don't do will, because of their very nature, have a negative impact on their fortunes. Even with Tom Baldwin and others spinning for them, and pulling all manner of rabbits out of the hat, it is the destructive nature of Labour that is likely to be their undoing, come what may. They just can't change their spots, any more than the leopard can.

The likes of Hoskin are clearly very well aware of all of this, and through a factual and plain-speaking style (along with a little insight) can convey the all-important messages such as the Lib Dem achievements in coalition, not trying to make it look a failure, and can thus help a wavering and uncertain public realise who it is who are doing good things for the country and who are pursuing purely their own selfish (and negative, regressive) ends.

Ed's manoeuvres might be grabbing some media attention for the moment, but there's still no substance in them, merely knocking his political opponents. The British public will rightly want more than that, and no amount of spin and/or public exposure will substitute for a positive and credible message from Ed and his team.

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