Ed Miliband’s key political strategy adviser Greg Beales told the last National Executive Committee meeting that their private polling showed that the biggest doubts the public has about the Labour Party were over immigration, spending too much and being soft on benefit cheats. This chimes with George Osborne’s strategic dividing line on welfare reform, where Ed Miliband and Ed Balls appear to be happy to be on the opposing side of the argument to the public. The Tories are going to relentlessly exploit this strategic weakness.
On Wednesday at PMQs Miliband went on the attack on welfare and then LabourList revealed on Thursday that the Labour Party was planning an online campaign in 60 key marginal seats. CCHQ was alerted and Grant Shapps ordered a rapid pre-buttal campaign in the same 60 marginal seats. Within 24 hours local newspapers in places like Watford, Thurrock and Blackpool North were flooded with hundreds of thousands of online adverts. Labour candidates looking at the news on their local newspaper websites this morning will be horrified to see CCHQ spending money to support incumbent Tory MPs two years ahead of the general election. It is going to be a long campaign…
Tom Watson used the Labour Party mailing list to send out a characteristically dramatic email over the weekend, calling for the government to “implement the core recommendations” of the Leveson report:
“We will bring to bear every resource, call in every promise, rattle every skeleton in every cupboard. This is a step too far by Cameron. The whole country knows he doesn’t have the moral legitimacy to do it. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we implement the core recommendations of the Leveson report. Cameron wants to sell-out to Rupert Murdoch and powerful press interests because he is scared, and he is weak. But that is why he cannot succeed – because he is weak. And he is wrong.”
Despite the celebrity astroturf group calling for full implementation, Watson is using Labour Party resources to direct people to the Hacked Off petition, where you can sign up as many times as you like, with as many fake names and watch the supporter count grow. Guido signed as Divine Brown.
Team Miliband have rowed back slightly from their hook, line and sinker swallowing of Leveson last week. Apparently there are some data protection worries to deal with. Talking of data, Labour HQ are using Leveson as an opportunity to cynically harvest voter data for the next election. A section of the party website features Maddie McCann and Milly Dowler, asking people to pledge their support. Except the small print reveals the postcode and email data will be used for Labour MPs to contact you. Stay classy…
The new Google Nexus 4 is out tomorrow – 02 sent one to Guido to test. Our app looks great on the 4.7″ screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution – bigger and better than an iPhone. It is now the top of the class Android phone available – scorching fast, it feels more fluid and smoother. The first 50 people in the queue outside 02 at 8 a.m. tomorrow get a free 32″ flatscreen TV as well! Details here.
What is it with MPs called A Mitchell and their inappropriate outbursts? A row broke out this weekend after Louise Mensch’s husband seemed to let the cat out of the bag about why she really stood down in Corby. Like or loath her, Labour’s Austin Mitchell’s tweet is spectacularly patronising. The 19th Century called, they want their MP back…
Seems Sandy isn’t the only storm brewing state-side.
Outraged Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell is not very happy about how his party has treated him. Last night he took to Twitter to suggest that he had been thrown under a bus and then the party ‘peed on’ the body:[…]