Mehdi Hasan went into damage control mode over at the Guardian this morning, with a long piece that essentially boils down to “please don’t blame my book for Ed’s nosedive in the polls”. He goes on to offer helpful advice about how the struggling Leader of the Opposition might be able to up his game. But it’s a bit late to be trying to curry favour again.
Miliband’s office deny suggestions that Shadow Cabinet members were told by Tom Baldwin not to attend the book launch on Tuesday. Guido’s sources denied any edict went out either on or off the record. Neil Kinnock pulling out as the speaker at the last moment was unfortunate. Could it be that the former unsuccessful leader of the Labour Party didn’t want to be seen to be endorsing the book about the so far unsuccessful current leader of the Labour party? Seems ungrateful since he got his party back.
Ban or no ban, it’s clear Team Ed are rather angry with their former cheerleaders-in-chief. And they have good cause to be. Take a look at the ICM/Guardian net approval ratings before and after the Mail on Sunday serialisation of the book. The latest Ipsos-Mori data confirms the ICM findings:
The book led the storm of bad publicity for Miliband in the weeks that saw the six point approval-rating drop. Despite what Hasan argues in his piece, the evidence is to the contrary.