Labour have launched a new campaign poster comparing Tory bosses David Cameron and George Osborne to X-Factor stars John and Edward Grimes. The tag-line is "You won't be laughing if they win".
Does this mean that Labour are accepting that the Conservatives are set to win the next General Election?
Are they accepting that people vote for Jedward because they fill the John Sargeant quotient - so bad that it's funny to see them win?
Is there are real danger that electors might take the same point of view when it comes to the General Election?
I just can't see it. I think there are two real possibilities. Either that people will continue to be so hacked off with politics that they just won't bother to vote (or, if they do, they will cast a lot of votes for 'none of the above' style parties such as the Greens, UKIP and the BNP). Or they will be so desperate to get rid of Labour that they will vote for anyone they feel can get rid of Labour - nationally the Tories are best placed, but locally the Lib Dems will be the main challengers in many seats.
So what should the Lib Dems feel about this poster? Is anything that damages Labour good for us?
I think the effect will be pretty negligible. While the poster is amusing, it's a bit ambiguous and it won't be appearing on too many billboards near you (too much danger of Jedward being voted off the X factor and being forgotten).
The only lasting effect is likely to be that politics in general (and the Tories in particular) will be cheapened. This is hardly an issues poster. It simply trivialises things in the way that morphing William Hague's head on to Margaret Thatcher's body did in the 2001 election. And you also have to remember where the message is coming from. Nothing that Labour says at the moment has much credibility and descending to photoshopped images is hardly adult.
If Labour are determined to take the campaign this far down market then I really don't think they have much left.