Ed Miliband’s “Nightmare”
Our text of the week is Torsten Bell’s email to Greg Beales and others, as published by the Mail on Sunday:
As an example of why we’re having problems on EB messaging – this is his current three-part argument:
Cost of living
Recovery built to last
Economy works for working people
There has been a lot of comment about this, initially on the assumption that it had been leaked, which meant that people focused on the evidence of factional warfare. Bell is Ed Miliband’s economic adviser; Beales is his head of strategy. Then it emerged that the email had become public because it had been copied in error to James Morris the Conservative MP instead of James Morris the Labour pollster.
That left most people, including Dan Hodges, scratching their heads trying to work out what it was about EB’s (Ed Balls’s) “messaging” that was a “nightmare”:
The three main lines Balls was planning to use – highlighting the cost of living crisis, calling for a “recovery that’s built to last” and an “economy that works for working people” – all seem pretty reasonable in the circumstances.
I have no inside knowledge on this, but I can guess from past history of Balls’s way of working, on his own account and on Gordon Brown’s, that Bell found the machine-gun delivery of familiar sound bites frustrating. Balls’s style is assiduous, continuous, relentless – and rather boring for other party apparatchiks, and for journalists.
Balls’s messaging tactic is the bludgeon. Keep saying the same things. Flatlining. It’s hurting but it’s not working. Tax cut for millionaires. But it is possible that there are those in the Labour machine who think that this approach lacks creativity, imagination and the human touch.
In other words: Nightmare.
Picture: General BolesTagged in: ed balls, ed miliband, kremlinology, labour party
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter