Labour’s latest attack line has been branding Tory leader David Cameron as the ‘do nothing leader of a do nothing party’. The line was road-tested by Brown in November 2008 and has been used by ministers throughout January.
But writing on the LabourList website this week, former Downing Street aide Ben Wegg-Prosser said the line was not working and should be ditched.
He advised: ‘Stop repeating tired lines about the Conservative Party being a “do nothing” party. Clearly they have ideas; they’re just not the right ones. The Cameron/ Osborne team is so inexperienced that it is not worth taking a risk on – that has to be the message.’
Wegg-Prosser was backed up by Jim Godfrey, a former ITV corporate affairs director and ex-Labour special adviser. ‘I think the “do nothing” tag is very much about the current economic crisis… I don’t think it is strong enough to sustain a longer campaign,’ said Godfrey, who is now director of PR agency GallieGodfrey.
Speaking to PRWeek, he also warned: ‘Bringing the more experienced Ken Clarke on board could cause problems for Labour, as he is about the only politician who can credibly challenge Gordon Brown on the economy. To address this, Labour needs to exploit the chasmic divide on Europe between Clarke and Cameron, while exploiting Osborne and Cameron’s perceived inexperience on the economy.’
A Downing Street insider said ‘the jury is out’ on whether the current attack line can be sustained. But at Prime Minister’s Questions this week, Brown appeared to be sticking to it as he said of Cameron: ‘The only thing he says is to do nothing.
We will act, they will not act. He is out of step with the rest of the world and he is out of his depth.’