This campaign strategy has been implicitly and publicly disowned by Harriet Harman, Ed & David Miliband, Jon Cruddas and according to rumour, Stephen Carter. This is not a strategy to maximise votes, it is a strategy to hold on to core votes. This is not reaching out to the middle classes or the common ground, the ground that wins elections. It is a strategy only to ensure that Labour does not come third.
Gordon is supposed to have personally authorised the campaign and condoned the tactics. The message being sent out from Labour’s campaign is that the Tory candidate is soft on foreigners, criminals and is an effete posh, multi-millionaire. Having tried the “Boris is a racist, right-wing toff” they are trying the “Timpson is a foreigner-loving, nanmby-pampby toff” tactic to see if that nuanced version of it will work. No positive message is being sent, it is an entirely negative campaign. Gordon has thrown £2.7 billion at this by-election. If it doesn’t work in this Labour heartland seat, it won’t work anywhere. Where then for Gordon?
UPDATE : Tamsin, grand-daughter of Baroness Norah Philips and Morgan Philips, a Labour former General Secretary, daughter of Labour MP Gwyneth, has just told Sky’s live-chat that “I was selected on ability, experience and my fundamental political beliefs”. She also admitted to living on a six acre plot in Wales that she is redeveloping. She will have plenty of time to finish it.
Asked repeatedly during the live-chat she again refused to answer the question(s) as to if Gordon is an asset or a liability, nor would she say if she would vote for 42-days detention.