Have you been wondering why so few Labour talking heads appear in the media? Certainly, their absence is very noticeable. We often get government ministers on Sky or the BBC without any response from their supposed shadows, and media items actually originating with a Labour figure, with the exception of Ed Miliband, are non-existent. Well, the Mail has the answer. Apparently, if you are a Labour shadow minister who wants to do any kind of media you have to fill in a form and get it approved by the Leader's office first. No, I am not making this up.
For those of you who haven't dealt with broadcast journalists what you tend to get is a phone call asking you to appear on their radio or TV programme at a particular slot and usually at quite short notice. Picture the scene: call to Labour Shadow Minister at 07:00, "hello can you do a slot at 09:00 to reply to William Hague on the situation in Libya"? Response, "er, OK", frantic search for form, furious scribble, desperate delivery to designated person outside of office hours, doesn't get returned in time and, "Sky Newsroom? Really sorry but I can't make it this morning, something desperately important has come up...". So, William Hague gets a clear run because no-one makes him fill in any kind of a form and the Labour party manages to drop the ball yet again.
The only thing that surprises me is that the Shadow Cabinet did not collectively tell Ed to shove off.