David Blackburn

Labour’s spin machine needs a service

Labour’s spin machine needs a service
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Has Alastair Campbell lost his touch? In his heyday, Labour’s spin was mesmeric, with the godlike Campbell blowing smoke and manipulating mirrors. Now their tactics are as obvious as Britney Spears. Having prepared the ground with Piers Morgan last weekend, Brown will attempt to divert attention from the dreadful state of the economy; his government’s collusion in torture; the steady increase of casualties in Afghanistan; the Labour party having a slanging match before the Chilcot Inquiry; Argentine posturing; James Purnell’s awkwardly timed resignation; and indeed the spectacle of Brown himself doing a Derek and Clive skit in the nude, which, if you want to make eating Sunday breakfast impossible, will be splashed across the Observer.

Alas, Brown’s electoral language is more sobre – a mixture of platitudes and invective. The Tories are “hateful” and “rich”, whilst Labour stands for ‘the many not the few’, a ‘stable recovery’ and ‘protecting jobs’. Expect precious little detail beyond the vague promise of ‘prosperity not austerity’.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men – in reality Brown will bequeath austerity to posterity. The Tories want to make light of this. Labour’s clunking tactics, trailed across the media weeks before the event, enables the opposition to rain on Brown’s parade. Paul Waugh has received an email purportedly from the Birmingham University Conservative Future organisation, which seems to have been cajoled by CCHQ into holding a rally next to Brown’s launch. Providing the email is genuine and that the rally is not just a few masked students, you must conclude that the Tory operation is sharper than Labour’s.