Damian McBride may be gone, but his spirit lives on in Labour's latest party political broadcast (watch it after the jump). It features a young chap in a suit (boo! class enemy!) who goes into an empty room and starts hitting a punchbag. Then it comes up with all sorts of claims that could have been drafted by McBride (and, come to think of it, probably were). "David Cameron would leave young people like me on the dole" runs the first - palpable nonsense.
It grows progressively more absurd. Then, finally: "What David Cameron would do is give £200,000 to 3,000 millionaires." That's a lie, rather than an exaggeration. He's referring to inheritance tax, the "millionaires" he refers to would be (how you say?) dead and rather than "give" money, Cameron would propose that the state would not take it from them. The word "lie" is often overused, so let me put it this way: if this claim were made in a document regulated by the London Stock Exchange, then Mr Brown would go to jail. But this, alas, is the type of person we're dealing with: someone who plotted his way to No10 and who tries to stay in power by spreading lies and smears about his opponents.
Even I could produce an advert about some positive things Labour has done: choice of hospital, for example; or City Academies giving better opportunities to deprived neighbourhoods. But, to Brown, politics is just about "see that posh bloke in a suit, he's a nasty Tory, he'd give thousands of pounds to millionaires". What a better place Labour would be in if it was led by someone who had actually had the courage to fight an election solo, even a leadership election, that would teach him the limitations of smear and attack. It's a thoroughly unpleasant advert, which reminds you how Labour's good points (and no, that wasn't a typo) have been buried by this stapler-hurling, printer-throwing bully. And how successful will it be? Let's wait until next month's elections.