A disclaimer at the foot of a Green Party leaflet in Lewisham:
“NO JUNK MAIL” If you have a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox, you might be wondering why a Green Party volunteer delivered this newsletter. We don’t regard political communications as ‘junk mail’, but rather an important part of the democratic process.
David Cameron wisely cracked a joke about saving sketchwriters time by googling Battersea Power Station in advance: as he pointed out, it has been in the Beatles’ “Help” film, in a dalek episode of Dr Who and in Hitchcock’s “Sabotage”. It was also recently used in Ashes to Ashes – a topical gag given the useless Labour attack ads based on the programme.
But Dave missed one obvious gag – here it is.
There’s something to be said for David Cameron’s Big Society; that’s not to say it adds up to a programme for government. It’s one thing to issue a clarion call to the nation’s little platoons. Another to believe that a welcome revival of civic engagement and personal responsibility is a plausible substitute for public provision. The tension running through the Conservative manifesto is the assumption that a proactive state and a flourishing society are necessarily inimical.
A closer look at Scandinavia, from where the Tories say they have drawn many of their best ideas, would have informed Mr Cameron otherwise. The style of the manifesto – an invitation to voters to join the Conservatives in building the Big Society – is a gimmick: clever or silly according to taste. I confess I blanched when I read Mr Cameron’s opening exhortation: “Yes, together we can do anything”. When George Osborne urged the nation to join him in building a new economy, I imagined the lines of the jobless snaking around the Treasury.
Having gutted Labour’s manifesto yesterday it’s now time to do the same for the Tories. Cameron’s speech was supposed take place at 11am but it’s now likely to be after 11.30am. Cam has been preceded by Hague, Osborne, Gove, Lansley, Spelman, (PPC) Shaun Bailey, Baroness Warsi – presumably an attempt to prove he is not a one-man band.
Here is our list – to be edited as more emerges. So far the answer to the question is no: there doesn’t seem to anything new. Not sure that matters though.
Nick Clegg has put a lot of effort into assuaging City nerves over a hung parliament. Britain’s credit rating will be safe in Lib Dem hands, he insists. But, even if that is true, Britain’s investors and bankers will still be poorer for it. Given half the chance, Clegg and Vince the Bonus Snatcher want to plunder the City, break up the big banks and mount Gordon Gekko’s head on a spike.
In Westminster it’s open season on bankers. Osborne, Mandelson — everyone has had a pop. But the Lib Dem plan unveiled today is the high-watermark, the Daddy of all City crackdowns. Most bankers will probably be thinking: Why should we care? Well, if there is a hung parliament, these reforms will be one of the top four Lib Dem priorities.