Sunday, 17 May 2015

Inside the Milibunker: the last days of Ed

Spectator (Dan Hodges)
Labour’s failure to realise the true state of the ‘ground war’ was crippling. In the last days of a campaign, it is vital for the parties to have an accurate picture of what is happening in constituencies, so they can allocate workers and other important resources.
It used to work perfectly: in the old days, the Labour spin doctor Damian McBride used to win favours with journalists by sharing the party’s confidential internal polling, which was always spot on. This time, it failed. Miliband’s troops were effectively fighting blind. Blame for this abject failure of basic intelligence gathering has been viciously apportioned to several areas. Some are quick to point the finger at Labour HQ. ‘It wasn’t fit for purpose from day one,’ a shadow cabinet adviser told me. ‘The first day we turned up, we were told there weren’t enough workstations and some of us would have to spend the campaign working from home. Then someone discovered there was one mid-level official who still had a company car because he’d been with the party since the 1970s and that was still written into his contract.’      .............Ed Miliband was an idealist until the end. He surrounded himself with academics, took inspiration from political textbooks and had an extraordinary ability to detach himself from the hue and cry of daily politics. He created his own world and lived in it. This explains his preternatural calm and his astonishing self-belief — but it also explains why he drove his party over a cliff."

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