Miliband: no more Mr Gloomy - introducing Mr Positive

As Labour’s election campaign kicks off at Olympic Park, Ed’s spin doctors try to inject a little sunshine

The Mole

Ed Miliband will seek to shake off his ‘Mr Gloomy’ image when he kicks off Labour’s general election campaign today at London’s Olympic Park with a message of hope that Britain can “do better” under Labour than the Tories.

One of the first questions Miliband had to deal with from the Sky News audience last night was: “Why are you so gloomy?”

It’s not just Ed's saturnine appearance that’s to blame. It’s Labour’s campaign message, too.

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Miliband’s spin doctors have clearly recognised that a campaign that relies so heavily on attacking David Cameron for an uneven economic recovery, leaving some parts of Britain out in the cold, does little to warm the cockles.

So they’ve been briefing the two Labour-friendly newspapers - The Guardian and the Daily Mirror - to expect an upbeat message full of sunshine.

Both papers report that Miliband will claim he is the optimist and Cameron the pessimist, and that the spirit of optimism – “Britain can do better than this” - will be at the heart of his campaign.

The Guardian’s political editor Patrick Wintour reports that, in an attempt to get the Labour vote out on 7 May, Miliband will tell his supporters: “Like so many races here during the Olympics, it will go to the wire. Neck and neck.”

The Mirror says Miliband will say the general election is not simply a choice between two different parties and two different leaders - but two different visions of our country: “That Tory vision that says Britain succeeds when only a few at the top do well, with tax cuts for the very wealthiest and public services cut back to the very bone. Or a Labour vision based on the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed.”

It’s also a campaign about two different brothers. Ed made it clear during last night’s TV event that he had fought and beaten his brother David for the leadership because he doesn’t share David’s vision of New Labour.

Ed has pinned his colours firmly to closing the gap of inequality that grew under New Labour: he believes, unashamedly, in redistribution, from the middle classes to the poor, from the south to the north.

The trouble is, that message may sound optimistic to the poor bloke in the North East that Ed said he wanted to help. It might not sound so cheery to the London family who discover that the notional value of their home has just risen above the £2m mark on Zoopla and they’ll have to pay the mansion tax.

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is the pseudonym for a London-based political consultant who writes exclusively for The