James Forsyth

Getting shirty with the media won’t do Labour any favours

Getting shirty with the media won't do Labour any favours
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The news that the Sun was endorsing the Tories deflated the mood of conference last night. And Labour hang-overs can not have been improved by Brown’s performance on Sky today, which Pete referenced earlier.

The Prime Minister was clearly irritated by Adam Boulton’s line of questioning, using the phrase ‘let me finish’ more than any other.  But watching it you couldn’t help wondering if this was a preview of the election campaign: a defensive Brown railing against the media.

Andrew Marr asking that question and The Sun endorsing the Tories have bated Labour into running against the media. But there are two fundamental flaws with this strategy.  First, Labour does not have an alternative way of getting its message out. The Republicans could do it in 2004 because Bush had an army of activists to spread the word and talk on the radio. Second, it makes Labour politicians look particularly unappealing on TV. The viewer is left wondering why the politician is so angry and defensive. If Labour carries on with this strategy for the next seven months, then it will worsen its defeat.