Sorry to disturb, but there are one or two small matters that we need to discuss.
- Labour is not fighting the 1997, 2001 or 2005 election, when it was in the bag before HMQ fired the starting gun. This campaign will be rather different. Dave and George are serious about winning. As you correctly predicted, Labour are the “underdog”.
- Your press conference yesterday was obviously planned in advance and, presumably, publicised. This allowed George Osborne to think up a wheeze, which succeeded. It’s a trick you have used many times.
- There is little point getting annoyed and upsetting a few business people, who will do whatever it takes to look after their own interests, especially if they think the other lot will win.
- When you hold a press conference don't get all tetchy with the media. It’s nothing to do with you that the BBC had a half a dozen hacks present. Also call people by their name, don't say “you”. Labour need to keep the press on side during the campaign.
- Avoid using words like “deception” and don't describe Osborne as a “kid”. It causes offence and sets off aftershocks. Labour has enough problems on its hands.
- By all means take the odd pot-shot at Osborne, but not when he scores a political hit. At these times concentrate on their policies, which don't stack up. We both know that they put up VAT after the election. That needs to be hammered home.
A general point. Don’t let Brown get to you when the Tories hijack the agenda. You are Labour’s main asset during the campaign. If you fail, Labour will lose the election.
Remember at all times what Tony Blair said the other day and concentrate on exploiting the weaknesses in the Tory policy agenda.
Have a good Easter break and try to relax, especially when you appear in front of the media.
Events Dear Boy, Events
PS. Oh, nearly forgot. Use Alan Johnson rather than more than you intend during the campaign. He wasn't on top form during last night’s Question Time, but dealt with the difficult issues well and can communicate. You and he would work well together.