James Forsyth

What Dougie didn’t say

What Dougie didn't say
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The New Statesman’s interview with Douglas Alexander is making waves for Alexander’s admission that he was briefed against by Brown’s inner circle following the election that never was. The treatment of Alexander, a man who had been a Brown loyalist for his entire political career and was only following instructions, was particularly brutal.

But what strikes me about the interview is how Alexander, who is still Labour’s general election coordinator, did not produce a single positive domestic policy argument for re-electing Labour that the New Statesman thought was worth printing. Indeed, when the interview turns to British politics, all we hear from Alexander is negative slogans about the Tories: they are “untested” and “outside the mainstream.”

Winning a fourth term is a hard task for any political party, but it is a nigh-on-impossible one for a party that is out of ideas and reduced to warning that the other lot are “untested” and might be secretly more extreme than they let on. The Tories tried this approach in 1997 and look where it got them.