Ed Miliband is giving a speech in Thurrock this morning, the crucial number 2 target seat for Labour where the party have just lost overall control of the council after taking a battering from UKIP. What could possibly go wrong? Here is Guido’s memo to Ed:
Do not, under any circumstances, engage in any public food consumption.
Do not talk to real people – they may misfire on live TV. Remember Mrs Duffy.
Do not bring Chuka Umunna with you. He is too cool and makes you look even nerdier when you stand beside him.
Do not forget the name of the Thurrock Labour leader. He is John Kent. Maybe write it on your hand.
Don’t console or get pictured with Clare Baldwin, the Labour Party councillor for Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park, she is under investigation for housing benefit fraud relating to properties in Tilbury and Loughton.
Do not mention the fact that Labour’s Thurrock candidate Polly Billington used to be a BBC reporter for the Today programme and is your former taxpayer-funded special adviser, nor that she is a carpet-bagger parachuted in from South West London.
Do not repeat what you said when Labour took control of Thurrock in 2012, that the result showed Labour was “winning back people’s trust and regaining ground”. That didn’t work out so well.
Do not forget to congratulate Tim Aker on becoming an MEP. He is UKIP’s parliamentary candidate in Thurrock.
Do not mention the fact that in 1996 under Tony Blair Labour swept to power in Peterborough, Swindon and Trafford councils, also holding Gloucester, Tamworth and Worcester. You failed to take any of these from the Tories.