Harriet Harman's desire to appear more left wing than she really is, is not only a reflection of her desire to be a leadership player when the time comes, she calculates that it will resonate with the country as well as her party. Jon Cruddas makes a similar calculation in his Independent article this morning. It's called positioning. Harman and Cruddas believe that the electorate is fed up with so-called fat cat capitalists and the way that markets have failed the British economy, and they want to reflect that in what they are saying. There are two consequences which result from this.
Firstly, in times of economic difficulty there's always a blame game. The bankers are getting it in the neck this time. In the early 1990s it was the ERM, in the early 1980s it was the unions. This means that those of us who believe in markets and the free market system must robustly defend it and warn against the alternatives, all of which have failed.
Secondly, it would be a mistake to to believe that politics in general has moved to the left as a result of the economic crisis. Harman and Cruddas clearly believe that the use of language designed to appeal to the left might help them achieve their own aims, but the British electorate is a conservative (with a small 'c') beast and doesn't react well to collectivist language.
People understand concepts of 'living within your means' and 'sound money'. They instinctively know what has gone wrong. They know that borrowing and credit got out of control and that the whole economy is now paying the price. They are also realising that yes, there is a global perspective to all of this, but there are also some domestic regulatory pigeons coming home to roost.
The politicians who will emerge from this crisis with their reputations enhanced are not those who speak the language of the collectivist left - they are the ones who sound as if they have some ideas about how to rebuild our shattered economic confidence and make a new market system work effectively for everyone.