Daily Archives: April 13, 2010

Jim Pickard

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.

On the Tory manifesto:
All in this with Cameron? – Adam Boulton on Sky
David Cameron: You can do more with less – Ben Brogan in The Telegraph
Don’t underestimate communal politics – Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian
Beneath the veneer of the Tories’ people power – Seumas Milne in The Guardian
The big idea competition – Spectator Coffee House
Willfully, terrifyingly, ludicrously unrealistic – Hopi Sen

On the election:
Alan Sugar gives a £400,000 donation to Labour – Reuters
UKIP is lucky that no-one takes them seriously – Christina Odone in The Telegraph
Lib Dems: Smaller bonuses, smaller city? – Robert Peston on the BBC

Jim Pickard

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. Read more

The top one is 2010.

 Read more

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. Read more

Jim Pickard

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. Read more

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. Read more

Brown and Cameron trapped by their party’s past – Philip Stephens in The FT
Labour lacks the will to shrink the state – FT editorial
The Labour bunker: “Not unlike a casino – but less fun” – Jim Pickard in The FT
Big state control vs march of the small platoons – Rachel Sylvester in The Times
Manifesto shows Labour haven’t given up the ghost – Bagehot’s notebook
Labour manifesto plays it safe – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian
Show us the numbers Gordon – Institute for Fiscal Studies
Nick Clegg will win the election debates – Guido Fawkes’ blog
Big Tory swing in key regions (but Libs hold out) - Political Betting