David Shearer’s biggest problem is just stringing coherent sentences together. Should he master that, and Brian Edwards doesn’t think he can, then the next thing he has to do is work out how to connect with Waitakere Man:
Politicians must have the knack of speaking for people, not just to them. Sometimes this means talking, or dog-whistling, to your natural constituency. Mrs Thatcher pulled off this trick. Having spent the first 50 years of her life aspiring to poshness, she realised that it was the lower middle class that would keep her in office, so a Grantham growl reappeared in her voice. Also, she had Poujadist policies to match.
Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan aren’t fondly remembered, but there were moments when they discovered their voters’ G-spots and even, at times, how to speak to the nation. Ditto John Major before disaster overtook him.