Tactical Briefing

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Khmer Rouge v Pot Noodle

So, pretty good week. Great that you're keeping your head down. Very much feels almost spooky how absent you are from the national debate concerning your future. Think this is a good choice. It is a choice, isn't it?

Also great that you're spending so much time sweating over the "Speech of your life". Think we need obviously to prepare a fallback line in case it doesn't turn out to be the speech of your life - although, having looked at the initial draft, I think it definitely will be! The "growth correlatives across the different production sectors" was very compelling. If we understood it right - which I'm pretty sure we definitely didn't.

Anyway, should it not go over (which it most certainly will), think the line is: "Why should GB give the speech of his life, actually? It's just another regular conference for another regular PM, just like Thatcher in '84, and we don't need to give the speech of our life, actually, dickheads."

So, after soundings, it's clear that there are now two well-defined factions in the party. Those who think you should go and that this will lead to a reversal in our fortunes. And the opposite faction, our supporters - who think that you should go, but that this will not lead to a reversal in our fortunes and therefore doubt whether it is worth the upheaval. (There is a rump who don't want you to go at all, but these people are not considered serious players by any serious players.)

So as we see it we have two potential strategies to pursue at this point. One is continuing to put the frighteners on: pitch a future of Miliband, Milburn, Hutton, Hoon. Blairite year zero. Roaming bands of Progress teenagers wandering conference under the direction of Purnell, shooting in the head the careers of anyone who has ever worked outside of media or PR. Invasion of Iran in six months. Bupa to take over the NHS in 12. This strategy has really been working nicely for us and the good thing is that as our support continues to crumble, the more plausible the scenario becomes.

The other route we might want to consider is to play on your levels of unpopularity. We wonder if we could not use this in your favour? You have become not so much a toxic brand as a joke, irrelevant brand. It's like we're in the Apple Store trying to interest people in buying horse brasses from the Innovations catalogue.

But maybe we can build you back up as a cult? Perhaps you could go on Have I Got News for You and get ripped to shreds? Or have Louis Theroux follow you around and smile wryly as he looks in your pants drawer? It's then possible that ironic veneration of you might slip back into the culture via students, rather as has been tried with the Pot Noodle - a brand so universally derided that the manufacturers have embraced the fact that no one likes it?

Let us know your thoughts.

This article first appeared in the 22 September 2008 issue of the New Statesman, The battle for Labour: How to save the party