Peter Hoskin

Europe as a campaign message ... for Labour

Europe as a campaign message ... for Labour
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As I said earlier, today's PMQs was all about giving the various parties' campaign messages a walk around the block.  Cameron's questions reduced down to "They've failed – give us a go".  Clegg pushed the Lib Dem's Labservative prospectus.  And Brown droned on about "£6bn being taken out of the economy," as well as about Lord Ashcroft and "securing the recovery".

In which case, it's striking that Denis MacShane used a question to denounce the Tories' alliances in Europe.  Indeed, Peter Mandelson did exactly the same in a speech this morning.  Here's how he put it:

"David Cameron chooses to sit alongside the xenophobes and homophobes in the European Parliament.

He rejects cooperation with mainstream Centre-Right allies like Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy.

And this from a party that used to think statecraft was its birthright. This parochial policy alone should disqualify them from high office." For all of Labour's claims about fighting a positive campaign, it's already clear that they hope to exploit situations like this – and Chris Grayling's comments last week –

to caricature Cameron & Co. as the "same old Tories".