Two things strike me about this. Cruddas has a habit of popping up at inconvenient moments and being disloyal while giving the appearance of 'only trying to help'. This is the man who has now refused office in a Labour government twice. The more liberal elements of the media interpret this refusal to dirty his hands as an honourable move of one of the few remaining idealists in politics. I choose to interpret it another way. He's frit.
The second thing is that reading this interview, you get the impression that here is a man who really fears he is about to lose his safe seat. He gave as one of his reasons for refusing office the fact that he wants to concentrate his fire on the BNP in his constituency. So far he has done it to remarkably little effect. He knows that the BNP are not taking votes away from the Tories. They're taking his, and there's precious little he is doing about it. The most revealing sentence in the interview was this...
Mr Cruddas expressed concern that Mr Cameron was invading Labour's natural territory and being advised by so-called "Red Tories" urging a return to traditional, One Nation Conservative policies and community-based solutions, such as a people's bank. "It is very, very sophisticated, very worrying for us," he said. "It is not just about policy but language. We [Labour] still have a one-dimensional take on Cameron. I think Cameron is doing well."Cruddas knows Cameron is doing well from the voter reaction in his own constituency. The Conservative candidate, Simon Jones, needs a 7.8% swing to dislodge Cruddas. He's one of the party's best grassroots campaigners and Cruddas knows he has a fight on his hands.
So his interview today was almost a cry for help from a very "frit" man. And he has every reason to be.