Yesterday was a good day. John Humphrys got nowhere with Gordon and the press conference went well. You were friendly to the hacks; Brown was relaxed and dealt with the questions about Sarah without getting defensive.
You have taken the correct decision to drop the word “deception”. Do keep using the sound bites: "The Conservatives are basing every policy on a myth."; “plan with the strength of a house of cards”; and “back-of-an-envelope calculation”. They are very effective.
As luck would have it, there are are a few nuggets that should help over the coming days:
- You will be pleased to know that NI isn't a tax on jobs. Chris Dillow has the evidence;
- The IpmosMori/Reuters poll of marginal seats has some good news about Brown’s leadership. Although taken in Labour held seats, there is lots of useful stuff that should be used against Cameron;
- Your old mate, Ken Clarke, is not convinced about the Tory party’s marriage tax policy; and
- The Tories have began to frighten the horses over public sector job cuts.
A few other matters:
- You need to be a little careful about sending out signals to the LibDems advising them how to vote at this stage of the campaign. Although this is shrewd tactics, the media will conclude Labour have given up winning the election outright. It will also upset Nick Clegg, who you need keep on friendly terms with until the election;
- For the moment, keep Paxman at arms length from Gordon. Let’s see how he performs during the first of the TV debates. Besides, the interview will only benefit Brown if has something new to say during the final stages of the campaign; and
- Brown gave a good speech, without notes, last night with much humour too. This is good news and hopefully these events will get wider media courage during the campaign.
Keep your spirits up. This campaign has a long way to go.
Events Dear Boy, Events
PS. Nearly forgot. If you get asked about the story on the front page of The Times, use Harold Wilson’s classic response: