Is Labour's intense focus on Jeremy Hunt the right strategy?

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Photo: REUTERS/Olivia Harris

I will grant you that they did not actually punch each other in the Commons this afternoon, but there were times when it felt like it.

Dragged unwillingly to the Commons to answer questions on Jeremy Hunt he feels he has answered many times before (oh, how he hates Speaker Bercow), David Cameron let rip at the opposition leader, Ed Miliband.

It was not very Prime Ministerial, but it certainly was entertaining.

He told Dennis Skinner to retire and brutally slapped down his arch critic, Chris Bryant. His own backbenchers seemed to love it, which may or may not be a good thing.

I have written before that the Labour Party is on rather shaky ground complaining about cosying up to Murdoch, but I assume Ed Miliband has calculated (probably correctly) that sleaze allegations always stick to the party in power and thus it is a line of attack worth pursuing.

But I have not met anyone here of any party who really thinks the controversy around Jeremy Hunt is going to determine the next election and yet almost everyone agrees Labour must win the economic argument in order to stand a chance of forming a majority.

The latest polls suggest that the parties' ratings on economic competence have not shifted much even though we have just entered a double dip recession.

So my question is this; why aren't Labour's leaders using every moment of available airtime to hammer the government on the economy?

Isn't now the time?

In strategic terms, their intense focus on Jeremy Hunt is puzzling.

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