Most discussion of Ed Miliband's leadership campaign has been about three questions: the psychodrama of his decision to stand against his brother; the vague and usually unsubstantiated claims that he was lurching ultra-leftwards (please answer Next Left's Red Ed challenge if you wish to propagate this), and, in the last fortnight, whether he could really win the horse race.
Ed Miliband's political and policy agenda will surprise those who project a caricature on to him. Since this focuses strongly on how Labour values can connect to majority concerns, it is no surprise to see that he begins with a pitch to the "squeezed middle" in the Sunday Telegraph. Read Ed Miliband's piece here.
That is not about positioning as centrist. This is at the core of his thinking about what Labour is for, for similar reasons as those set out by John Healey last week.
There will be no abandoning of "mainstream" opinion - but there will be a focus on trying to make sure that the idea of Middle Britain does not exclude those who really live there, such as those on the median income of £21,000 in prosperous southern towns like Reading, in seeking to build the broadest possible coalitions around insecurity and aspiration.
If Ed Miliband were simply a "soft left" "heart over head" candidate interested in talking to the party and not the country, then why on earth did he ask John Denham MP to lead on long-term policy work for his leadership campaign? Denham, the hard-headed Southampton MP is respected across the party, and has had most to say about Labour's "southern discomfort" and English identity challenges over several years.
Sure, Denham did resign from the government over Iraq, also winning respect for the way he worked his way back to ministerial office including as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. His primary domestic focus has been on how Labour ensures that its arguments on inequality understand and connect with a robust public "fairness code" which sees reciprocity and contribution as central to the deal.
Ed Miliband spoke from the start of the campaign about "a welfare state based not just on need but on contribution", and has been influenced by the Fabian Society's work on public attitudes to fairness and inequality (including the potential tensions berween them), and our advocacy in The Solidarity Society about the need for contribution and reciprocity to be central to any inequality agenda which hopes to take the public with it.
* John Denham will join Jon Cruddas, Gisela Stuart, Yvette Cooper and Kwame-Kwei Armeh to debate Can Labour speak to England in Manchester Town Hall on Sunday night at 6pm on the Fabian fringe.