No I’m not going to get anywhere with those Manifestos, they make for depressingly repetitive reading.
Can’t someone else read them for me? Well yes, they can and they do. Journalists and commentators, people without proper jobs, have plenty of time to read them and give everyone the outline. All we really need then and I think everyone has a lot of more important things they want to be doing with their time than reading what is fundamentally, the same drivel… Like going to work and keeping this recovering economy ticking over…
And speaking of similar drivel, there is the ongoing fall out from the TV debate and we have a lot of bitching going back and forth from Labour and the Tories, occasionally going for the Lib Dems because of the polls. In the Independent yesterday, Mandelson attacked the Conservatives saying only Gordon Brown set out a ‘clear mission’ to secure economic recovery, protect public services and reform politics.
No, hang on now Peter. That isn’t any different to what either of the other two parties are saying. You’ll find all of that in the Tory manifesto (and I know from only a cursory glance at it…). They are just using different terms and phrases to describe the same objectives and in the debate they didn’t set them out in ‘clear’ sound bites, like Gordon Brown.
“This way Gordon, we’ve got to find you a personality before Thursday! I’ll give you bloody substance..!
Is it a mistake not to be as annoyingly clear and repetitive? Perhaps, but we’ll see what’s been decided during the next debate; which of them changes aspects of their approach or even hijacks tactics. It could be Brown with the anecdotes and Cameron with the statistics.
It could cause a bit of a scrum at the end, when one of them breaks to go for the audience!
Things turn ugly when Brown drags Clegg in close to drop the nut on him..!
But similar to the likes of ‘No more Tory boom and bust’, if I hear Brown repeat that Labour will protect ‘Hospitals, Schools and Policing’ one more time, well I’ll… I’ll… Well I’ll probably just moan about it on here again, but at least that’s a bit better than screaming at the TV… Maybe I’ll Twitter some ****er.
These repeated mantras are the ‘substance’ the Labour party are talking up after being forced to admit that their man did not win the debate, because personality does count and Brown is clearly a social cretin. In which case, it would be fitting if they just focus on the internet campaigning they’re doing…
Mandelson mentioning this ‘clear mission’ and the talk of substance; should cause people to look more closely at the policies and maybe they will see that there are more similarities than clear differences between Labour and the Tories. In areas such as education, health and policing, the very areas Brown chooses to highlight, the talk is very familiar, give or take the odd budgetary commitment and Cameron’s talk of the ‘Big Society’.
In terms of employment and economic structure they don’t seem to differ greatly, aside from some changes (e.g. temporary workers’ rights) that Cameron wouldn’t yet reverse, we’ve seen that clearly over the last 13 years.
I’ve mentioned this convergence in our politics already and I will look at it again, it’s part of the reason so many people are sick of both parties.
In Milton Keynes on Saturday, Brown said that David Cameron and his party were like ‘the old Conservative party with new public relations’. So a bit like New Labour then Gordon? When they got into power Labour just added an inflated public sector and expanded welfare state (that was the social justice part of the 3rd way…).
So Nick Clegg has every right to be confident after the debate and at last the Lib Dems are able to offer some choice. Personally I do feel there are some dubious policy areas, but at the end Clegg called for a consensus on public sector pensions and deficit and that got me interested. Whatever happens during the election, the likelihood is Brown won’t be able to hold on radical change in the public sector for long…
I think the extent of the shake up caused by the debate will have surprised a lot of people and though you can’t be certain about the accuracy of some of the polls and how the support will hold, it is amazing when you compare it to previous campaigns.
If they maintain an increased share then it could starkly illustrate the gross unfairness of the electoral system. It appears that Labour could actually come 3rd in the polls and yet retain the most seats. No matter how much people like the First Past the Post System for its local representation and its past propensity to produce strong Governments, such a paradox cannot be allowed to stand.
So in the long term and the short term, the Lib Dems’ improved standing is what's needed and it’s just good to see this election becoming a genuine three horse race with a new dynamic.
But I still find it slightly concerning that it took a selection of TV performances to make people consider them. In past I thought people were put off by the wasted vote, but all that was needed were a few good lines, a slightly different angle on the issues, some name dropping and a few winks to camera…
“That’s right, I’m talking to you”
If that’s the way it is then so be it, it is the digital age. As long as it doesn’t involve too many cartoons for YouTube purposes I can handle it!
I don’t want to read the manifestos, but I can handle a synopsis and I would hope that most people of voting age can. I may have a three minute attention span and the manifestos (at some 70 to 130 odd pages) make my head hurt, but the cartoons made me want to tear out my eyes and throw them at the screen!!!
I exaggerate only slightly, they just sadden me really. They fit in perfectly with Labour’s patronisingly optimistic attitude. ‘No, there’s nothing wrong here…’
More to come on the ‘clear mission’ and the ‘substance’, hopefully this week, but of course most of the week will again be dominated by the debate and it’s shaping up nicely.
Cameron sums up
“I’ll be there for you…”
Steady on now Dave… And didn't you say that you’d reduce the size of government with increased community involvement? So who will you be sending to “be there” for us..?
Gordon Brown learnt his presentation skills from the team behind Tony Blair’s best moves…
“I’ve got two thumbs aloft, Blair only ever managed one at a time!”
Yes Gordon, but even through the deliberate, broken delivery and bleeding heart sentiment, Blair seemed effortless. Like a man who knew what he was talking about, a man you could trust.
He even convinced himself that military action could be used a force for change... Shame really...
Nick Clegg reaches out to voters
“Come with me if you want to live…”
Do I have a choice..?
Saturday Seven Up
4 minutes ago