Posts Tagged ‘Woodward memo’

Ed’s not that daft – but we didn’t know that

01/09/2011, 12:00:37 PM

by Dan Hodges

False alarm. Stand down.

Ed Miliband is not going to start attacking the government for being too harsh on rioting arsonists. There will be no call for a blanket amnesty for illegal migrants. Or for benefit fraudsters.

The Woodward memo, a sort of stamped and self-addressed Zinoviev letter, certainly caused a bit of a flap. “Labour’s new line of attack on David Cameron revealed”, exclaimed the Observer. “The opposition believes the prime minister has abandoned the centre ground in recent months to adopt a more orthodox conservative stance on issues such as law and order, immigration and welfare”. “Labour’s new strategy will highlight the Conservatives’ most popular policies”, reported Conservative Home, gleefully adding, “We’re not making this up”.

Well, they were to an extent. “It’s not a strategy document”, said one Labour insider, “it’s an assessment of where Cameron and the Tories are. It provides analysis but it doesn’t advocate a line of attack”.

That statement is certainly borne out by the sections printed in the Observer. Woodward’s document is heavy on psychoanalysis, but light on prescription:

“Analysis of Tory party policy, carried out over the summer, convincingly demonstrates the Conservatives are shifting to a distinctly rightwing strategy, in both their chosen focus on issues and their solutions… Cameron clearly recognises some of the danger he faces in his repositioning. He is still seeking to separate himself out from a toxic Tory brand and has assumed a presidential role and style”. (more…)

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