Congratulations to Jon Cruddas, Labour’s policy review chief, for managing to produce a front page headline. Cruddas is famed for holding lengthy fringe events and interviews where he manages either to say nothing of interest or else says something that needs translating several times before it makes sense – one special adviser recently told me that he’d found, on the sixth time of reading, that a speech by this guru on ‘statecraft’ actually contained some very good ideas – and so the Times front page story that he wants parents to lose their child benefit if they refuse to give their child the MMR vaccine is unusual.
— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) September 22, 2013
Unfortunately, this may be under ‘active consideration’ as far as Cruddas is concerned, but no-one else in Labour knows anything about it. The reaction in the bars and parties in Brighton tonight was one of ‘errr, what?’ and a frenzied tapping on phones to find out what was going on.
And the party’s press machine has just tweeted this:
For those looking at Times story – this proposal is not part of the policy review.
— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) September 22, 2013
So is this really the biggest story to come out of Labour conference so far: something that only one person, albeit the party’s policy chief, knows anything about? Tomorrow is a day full of speeches from big hitters such as Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy, Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna and Liam Byrne, so at least the party has a good chance at moving the agenda on quite quickly.Tags: Jon Cruddas, Labour, Labour conference 2013, MMR vaccine, UK politics