Ed Miliband's PMQs plan makes for good politics, but poor public relations
The more I see Ed Miliband during Prime Ministers Questions, the more I begin to see parallels with William Hague when he was Tory leader as the Conservatives struggled to cope with life on the opposition benches.
Hague was, and still is, brilliant in the House of Commons. He could run rings around Tony Blair. But his impact outside of Parliament was minimal. He just didn't connect with the public.
While it can't yet be said that Miliband is brilliant - or anything close - during PMQs, he has found a way of irritating prime minister David Cameron. He's spotted a Cameron weakness and exploited it. Rather than going for a scatter gun approach with his questions, he drills into one issue and tries to find that nugget of information Cameron isn't sure of, and then tries to exploit it.
It's a good tactic on one level, in that it takes advantage of Cameron's salesman-like approach to policy - he knows the headlines, but only appears to get involved in the nitty gritty when he has to. When Cameron is well briefed ahead of a speech or public appearance on a specific issue, that's not a problem. The bear pit of PMQs is a little different.
But the problem for Miliband is that such an approach isn't making an impact outside of Westminster. This week, the main story is all about strikes tomorrow. Miliband focused on the government's poor handling of the NHS.
Gordon Brown was a master of detail, but he too struggled to win over the public over a period of time. There's something laudable about Miliband paying attention to detail in PMQs rather than going for a quick headline, but the problem is that it won't do him any favours in the long run.
And it won't be long before the Labour backbenchers who didn't want him as leader begin to get fed up of that.