Oh dear, Ed. You’re making a mess even of your own feeble Big Idea

Further to my post this morning, Ed Miliband has exacerbated his feeble ‘Big Idea’ by refusing to confirm that the £6,000 student fee would be a manifesto commitment, nor would he confirm that £6,000 would be the maximum that Labour would support. His performance on the Andrew Marr programme will have hardly inspired. Watch it here if you can bear it.

I supported Ed Miliband for the leadership, and still believe that David Miliband would have been a disaster. David is, and always will be, associated with the worst aspects of Blairism. The Tories are keen on him for one or possible two reasons – he is more right wing that Ed, and there are sufficient suspicions about his record in office to allow him to be truly independent. The problem with Ed, he may have a cleaner past, but he is falling over himself to appear safe and to compromise.

On the other hand, Harriet Harman, Ed Balls or Yvette Cooper …?

25 days to go and the Greens are everywhere

I tuned in to the Andrew Marr Show, and there was Caroline Lucas, impressive, charming and authoritative. Then there she was on Sky with Adam Boulton, surprisingly, impressive, charming and authoritative.  Later I turned on the Politics Show, and there was Caroline Lucas once again, surprisingly impressive, charming and authoritative.

This contrasted with the Tory Amanda Plattell who ‘contentedmummy’ described on Twitter as looking “as evil as she sounds”. Together with some non-descript journalist, they attempted to rubbish the Greens and their prospects, but came acros as bitter and sectarian.

And immediately after the Politics Show, as if by imaculate planning, there  was a knock on the door – a Green Party worker. Yesterday I bumped into several Green Party workers.  The mood of all is upbeat and positive.

By contrast, the mood amongst Labour supporters is one of demoralisation, in Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown, and in Hove.

As for the Conservatives, The SussexSquare (Geoffrey Bowden) tweeted to Charlotte Vere last night, “its amazing that the majority of your tweets are devoted to attacking Caroline Lucas. You must be scared of her!”.

So I looked at the previous 10 tweets posted by Ms Vere.  Seven related to Ms Lucas!  Ms Lucas is everywhere – even having the highest profile on the Twitter account of her Conservative opponent. 

And what about Ms Lucas herself?  How many of her tweets made reference to Ms Vere?  I looked at her tweets, not just the last 10, but every one over the last 10 weeks (I must get a life!).  How many referred to Ms Vere?  50%?  More?  Well, none actually.  Not a single one.  Zero.  It is as if Ms Lucas is not even aware of the existence of Charlotte Vere.

The amazing thing about Caroline Lucas is her energy, and how she remains pleasant and totally focused, no matter who she is talking to.  She has the rare talent to relate to ordinary people and make them feel special, while charming those beasts known as Marr, Boulton and Sopel.

Cameron’s inability to articulate clear policies is eroding confidence in his ability to be Prime Minister

Am I alone in cringing every time David Cameron avoids giving clear and direct responses to clear and direct questions?  He says he opposes various Labour proposals and then, when pressed, will not say what a Tory government will do?  On the Andrew Marr programme this morning, for example, he said the Tories opposed Labour’s plans for VAT, but would not commit to reversing them.  Why can’t he just come out and say precisely what the Conservatives will do?

The reason is is that his policy base is shallow and the cuts planned are so severe.  When pressed on a specific policy, at this early stage in the general election campaign, he is crackingd. Last week he said the Tories would definitely introduce tax credits, then he said they wouldn’t, then he said they would, then he said he definitely would.  What was his excuse for his muddled mind?  That he does loads of interviews, and during that interview he was thinking about other things.  Oops.  This is the person who wants to be PM, and he can’t even get a flagship policy right.

I enjoyed the message on one of his defaced posters: “You can airbrush your posters, but you can’t airbrush your policies”.  As the election campaign moves forward, Cameron’s refusal to be specific about his policies will erode confidence in his ability to be Prime Minister.