Since Ed Miliband reshuffled his shadow cabinet in early October, the Labour party has issued 830 press releases.
Out of these, there have been just two on spending restraint / deficit reduction. Two.
In terms of Labour’s media effort since this shadow cabinet was appointed, the party has devoted 0.25% of its output to tackling the reason it lost the last election.
The two press releases came in January, like buses, when Ed Miliband and Ed Balls gave speeches on public sector pay restraint a couple of days apart.
But since then, nothing. In the House of Commons the standard question I ask Labour MPs is, "what would you do? How would you cut back spending such that we only make £300 for every £400 we are spending?"
The reality is that all they do is oppose every single spending cut. Remember this: every single spending cut has been opposed.
As one Labour supporter recently put it:
"Having a hole in the middle of your product might work if you are marketing a polo mint or a doughnut, but it makes less sense when trying to construct a viable economic alternative."
It is for this total inability to understand basic finance that Gordon Brown got this great country hock deep in debt. Last Sunday brought a pivotal result in the polling. One of the intermittent questions asked by YouGov is whether voters prioritise action on the deficit or growth.
In last Sunday’s results, 38% agreed with the proposition that the government should stick to its current strategy of reducing the deficit, even if growth remains slow while 34% agreed with the statement that the government should change its strategy to concentrate on growth even if this means the deficit stays longer or gets worse.
Ed Miliband is a decent man: but until he persuades Ed Balls to accept that you cannot spend your way out of a debt crisis, he will have no credibility on the economy. I want to balance the books and get this country going again. I do not want our children burdened with an ever increasing debt that they should not be responsible for.