Are Labour MPs given a bonus for how many times they accuse Downing Street of "incompetence" in a single interview?
In last week's Mail on Sunday James Forsyth explained how painting the Coalition as incompetent is central to Labour strategy:
"Labour’s strategy over the past few months has been to paint the Coalition as incompetent and ideological. But Ed Miliband’s team knows the incompetence charge is the far more potent one. They remember how the Tory Party never recovered from Black Wednesday, despite the years of economic prosperity that followed, and so are determined to use every opportunity to undermine the Coalition’s reputation for effectiveness. They believe that once the Coalition is seen as incompetent, it will be impossible for it to command public support for the cuts or its reform programme. Their line will be: Would you trust this lot to get it right?"
It's interesting to watch Labour spokesmen and backbenchers stick to the lines given to them by Tom Baldwin – Ed Miliband's Comms Chief and a disciple of the Alastair Campbell School of Political Warfare. Labour MP Ben Bradshaw was on ITN earlier and he was relentlessly on message:
The new Downing Street operation is meant to "get a grip" on Whitehall and Ben Brogan's SpAds story has been confirmed to me. Number 10 is moving against under-performing and loose-lipped ministerial aides.