James Forsyth

Nothing to offer except personality politics

Nothing to offer except personality politics
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Labour’s press conference this morning highlighted the party’s problem. Labour is demanding that the media cover policy more than process and personality. But when the discussion turns to the biggest policy issue of the day—how to cut the deficit—Labour doesn’t want to engage. This morning, Nick Robinson, Adam Boulton, Andrew Neil all pushed Mandelson, Balls and Cooper on this issue. All of them were clearly frustrated by Labour’s lack of answers.

Ironically, all the memorable lines from Labour’s press conference came when process and personality were discussed. Mandelson raised a laugh when he suggested that if you flirt with Clegg you’ll wake up not only with David Cameron but with George Osborne, William Hague and Eric Pickles.

Labour’s problem is that it has no positive offer to win back the votes it has lost. Gordon Brown is going to have to take a lot of risks on Thursday.