Passing feather-footed through the plashy fens of life, sniffing out curiosities, amusing trifles and scandals from the worlds of culture, politics, news and sport
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Manifesto time in the general election. Yesterday, Labour released their promise book with a cover showing a politically diverse red mother, blue father and two purple children (the last two Ukip supporters, probably) looking out over the fields at the fallout spreading from a distant city that has been eradicated by a nuclear explosion.
"Let's nuke Paris" appears to be the key message. And it is a compelling one. Although I'm not sure I agree with the promise of a free funfair for every voter. There's only so much shying at coconuts and spanking the rat that I can take.
Today we have the Conservative manifesto and this is much more sombre. Hardback, no less, and free of illustrations on the cover. All it says, in grey type on a blue background, is "Invitation to join the Government of Britain". This is a serious manifesto for a serious party. Or a dull manifesto for a dull party.
Still, it is kind of them to invite me to join the Government. No mention of what ministerial brief Cameron wants to give me. I'm hoping for Fish. But if he is inviting lots of people, will the brief be much slimmer than that? I could be the minister in charge of anchovies, for instance. Or the secretary of state for gills.
And Cameron doesn't mention what perks come with the job. Do we each get a Jag or do we have to share? What sort of expenses can I claim? Is there a peerage? Can I duck out of doing GMTV?
The Tories launched this serious ideas book at Battersea Power Station and had teased the voters by beaming an image overnight on to the side of the building that said "Who is the new member of David Cameron's team?"
This got me excited. Would it be Wogan? Perhaps Rolf Harris? Or maybe Tony Blair was going to appear and say "screw you Gordie, Dave's my boy now".
No. It was all a clever game. Apparently the new member of his team is You. And Me. And We. Everyone in the country is a member of his team. We're all in this together, as his new saying goes.
Which is all well and good and very inclusive, but has anyone ordered enough biscuits for the first team meeting?
This blog believes in giving every party fair air-time, so it is only right to point out that other parties are launching their manifesti today.
Ukip want to withdraw from the European Union (well there's a surprise), the Scottish Nats promise "an alternative to the doom and gloom of mainstream parties" (presumably by replacing it with a very Scottish type of doom and gloom) and Plaid Cymru want subsidies for choral singing and rugby players, probably. And a leek inquiry.