Team Ed Miliband will rightly be thrilled with the way yesterdays speech went down. Ed’s speech received a rapturous reception from Richard Lambert, the ex-Director-General of the CBI, and from Polly Toynbee, the pasionaria of Primrose Hill. An impressive feat.
Mind you, if I were Ed Miliband’s strategic comms guy Tom Baldwin, I’d make a mental note of the “up to eleven” tenor of the latest Toynbee encomium. Past SDP and Labour leaders know the dangers of reaching Peak Toynbee too early, and people keep telling me that if we’ve learned anything from the recent past, it’s that the bigger the boom, the greater the later bust.
It’s not a problem for now, but ghosts of Comms directors past advise a note is put in the “keep an eye on” file. The big crashes are preceded by ripples of doubt that reach you well before the Tsunami strikes. A functional early alert system is vital.
So, a triumph. Nay-sayers discomfited. Party united. Centre ground appropriated. Left flank content. Master of all surveyed.
Here my tendency to dryness can be unfortunate. To be clear: This is genuine praise, not sarcasm. (The Toynbee stuff does come with the hint of a raised eyebrow, however. As you were.)
I know, I know, can’t I just be happy?
Can’t I just celebrate with the colleagues in Manchester? Can’t I just poke the Tories with a stick for their incompetence, mendacity and selfishness?
Well, no. Sorry. I can’t. We deserve the celebration. They deserve the excoriation. Yet I’m restless, because I really, really want us to win the next election, and the Tories are far from dead.
So, my next post will be of the nature of an attempt to test-to-destruction.
I shall try to don the mantle of Cameron, Osborne and Co.
I shall try to tear our project to shreds.
This lunchtime then, I depart into the cave, the better to acclimatise myself to the dark inner recesses of Conservatism, and shall only emerge when I can come out swinging the true blue Tory sword of injustice as hard as I can.
Not because I believe in it (shush at the back), but because preparing for a counter-attack is vital when you’ve just extended your front-lines significantly.
Personally, I’m sure Cameron will fail. I’m sure that their incompetence, mendacity etc will doom any attempt to attack Labour. Their counter attack will surely be Bulge, not Moscow. Still, it never harms to be sure, eh?
So, I depart: I shall not return until I have my arch sneer perfected, Until I can look into an autocue and smile ruefully at the folly of Harvard graduates attacking the great evil of Tuition fees. Until I can compare the national debt to a credit card, and not smirk at my deception.
See, it’s working already. I can feel my soul desiccate, my eyes glint, my lip curl.
The transformation begins. I can feel the exhilaration of low taxes, the wild, untamed passion of the market rushing though my veins.
Leave me now. I shall return.. soon.
(Oh, and I won’t be back till I’ve finished work.
I don’t get paid for this you know. It’s my contribution to the decommodification of the political sphere. See, I’m still Labour really.)