That is the jokey advice of Matthew Parris in this morning’s Times:

"Now that John Reid is taking his speech notes on immigration from old 2005 Tory election posters, here’s another soundbite idea for the Home Secretary, in case he missed the poster first time round: “How would you feel if a bloke on early release attacked your daughter?” He could put it on a Labour billboard.

Next we could have a speech from Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, in which she declares: “I mean, how hard is it to keep a hospital clean?”

This would be followed by a press conference given by Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, against a printed backdrop message: “What’s wrong with a little discipline in schools?”"

Mr Parris’ conclusion: "Perhaps the Conservative Party should quit the unequal struggle to win power in its own name and relaunch itself as a top-flight research organisation for new Labour."

Labour’s tendency to steal Tory ideas is one of the great challenges facing Oliver Letwin, party policy chief.  Within the Conservative grassroots there is some impatience for ‘policy beef’ but early policy ideas risk being stolen by Labour.  ConservativeHome’s search for 100 policy ideas begins on Monday.

Related link: Governing by proxy

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