You are no doubt pleased with how the manifesto launch went. It’s a small matter, but that high tech backdrop didn't come over well on the telly.
First, the good news:
- All the time you have spent preparing Gordon for the TV debates is beginning to pay off. He spoke well, but it was the way he handled the questions that will worry Team Cameron. Keep at it;
- Anthony Wells has noted that “there does seem to have been a slight trend back towards Labour” in the latest polls. There are hints on ConservativeHome that the Tories will have to revise their strategy if the polls don't move in their favour by the weekend. As you will be aware this will a risky just two weeks from polling day, which you should be able to benefit from.
To other matters:
- Ed Balls is causing further problems. His behaviour during the manifesto launch was picked up by Tom Bradby. He than reacted to the way you described the manifesto by saying, “He didn't really say that, did he?”. Unity is the name of the game at this critical time. Moreover, criticisms from others that are not committed to your strategy will not help with morale within the party;
- Why was Ellie Gellard invited to open proceedings at the launch? This has developed into an unnecessary story that stops Labour getting its message across;
- Although Gordon did well, he has to stop taking pot shots at the press, particularly political editors that influence the media narrative;
- The above examples demonstrate that the media operation needs to be more tightly controlled than it has been to date; and
- You implied the other day while criticising Nick Clegg that you didn't know who ‘Del Boy’ was. It was the same yesterday with Gene Hunt. This gives the impression you are rather out of touch with popular culture. The common touch is important during election campaigns.
Do keep an eye on the Tory manifesto launch today. George Osborne is likely to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
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