Over the past few weeks the Labour party has been attempting to find a solution to the huge challenge facing all political parties during the forthcoming election - how to engage the sceptical and cynical voter during the campaign.
Meetings have been held and ad-hoc discussions have taken place, but they have drawn a blank. Then, late last week, Tony Blair was asked to attend in preparation for the speech he gave earlier this week.
Blair was unusually candid when spoke about what should be done. The party should forget all talk of policies. He said the was little point in debating these, as the Tories don't have any, and when they do produce their back-of-the fag-packet proposals they fall apart within hours. He also made the obvious point that Brown would be a disaster during the TV debates. Blair suggested that the party would engage voters by steering the debate away from politics.
There was a stunned silence while his thoughts were heard. People avoided eye contact. Even Mandelson and Campbell thought the three-times-election winner, having been away for so long, had lost the plot. Then out it came, Blair produced his masterstroke.
England, he went on, have a very good chance of winning the forthcoming World Cup. This, he said, had only been achieved once before under a Labour government. His suggestion was that voters should be reminded of this fact during the campaign. It would engage the minds of millions who follow football and boost turnout.
At this point Alastair Campbell, who is obsessed with football, couldn't control himself. He stood up and cheered. Even Mandleson, who hasn't the slightest interest in sport, joined in. Once the uproar had subsided, Blair continued. All this fairness lark, he said, should be dropped. In its place there should be a slogan that one of his predecessors had used:
Have you ever noticed how we only win the World Cup under a Labour government?
At this point Gordon Brown, who had been working away in the next room on his latest statistical wheeze, heard a deafening noise and burst in on the scene. He demanded to know what was going on. Once told, he became very emotional and then did something that has never been witnessed before. He gave Blair a hug.
The assembled brains of the Labour party immediately realised that this slogan would hit home with voters up and down the land. More to the point, the Tories would have no answer to Blair's brilliant idea.
The meeting concluded with an unfortunate incident. Gordon Brown, knowing that Blair has no sense of history, asked who had told him about one of Harold Wilson’s famous sound bites. Oh, said Blair, a member of the AJ4PM committee had sent him a note.
Brown reached for his mobile phone.