Policy matters. Voters want political leaders to take risks, to set out authentically what we really believe. They want politicians to talk about their priorities and to set out a plan, and be cheerful too. When we play politics as a horse race, when we hold a contest over who can inflict the most embarrassing scandal, we distract our opponent and draw them off message but we also signal that we are more interested in the insider game than the stuff that people really care about. It chips away at trust in the government, but it also chips away at trust in Labour. And as faith in the incumbent crumbles, if the left has failed to make the case for a principled alternative, the only other option becomes a populist wrecking ball.