Sitting opposite Labour members has been an instructive experience over the last fourteen months. For them debt - and the accumulation of it - is an alien concept. To every cut they shout "shame"; to every saving they accuse us of attacking the vulnerable and dispossessed. But to the central question of the national finances, they offer little comment - other than a repetition of whatever Ed Balls is offering from his wonderland that day.
Labour didn't do a very good job with its manifesto pledge and didn't do very good job of implementing Home Information Packs and there must be lesson contained within this very recent history.
Ed Miliband made a big mistake last week when he condemned the teachers going on strike. I know he thought he was being very clever. The Tories and right wing media would be demanding: do you support these strikes or are you willing to distance yourself and the Labour party from them? Will you condemn them as all right thinking people will? So Ed caught them out by attacking the strikes before anyone had asked him to
What I write in my diary at night gets published some years down the track, in a different context for different times. The raw and immediate can sometimes look a bit odd when even the author has forgotten all about it.
Miliband didn't address one big issue though. Leadership. He didn't want to reform the way in which the Leader of the Labour Party is elected. Hardly surprising, as the section which you would reform (union voting), is the part which elected him. But Labour is more popular than Ed.
The Conservatives' struggled to regain the trust of the British public, going through 3 leaders before coming to the now Prime Minister, David Cameron. For Labour, this process is just beginning with projects such as Refounding Labour now underway. Despite the evidence of the previous two governments, this process is not inevitable. Coalitions may be the answer.