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Two days, two manifestos

April 13, 2010

If the general election was decided by manifesto covers, and let’s face it it isn’t, Labour would surely so far be the outright winner.

Yesterday Labour launched A Future Fair For All, a document so bright and colourful, it can only be viewed through special glasses. 

With its socialist progressive yet retro leanings I suppose it’s designed to get us thinking about the future rather than dwelling on that nasty massive recession business people keep banging on about. And in fairness, it’s a memorable political image.

Then today, the dark clouds returned. Children, out frolicking in the glow of the Labour manifesto, were hurried inside by anxious parents and shut behind bolted doors as the dark monolith of the Conservative manifesto loomed into view.

Invitation to Join the Government Of Britain, launched symbolically today at Battersea Power Station, sets a very different tone. Austere, serious, businesslike: if it was an invitation to come to a party you’d probably decline.

Again designed to send a message: spending money on fancy election manifestos isn’t our style. It’s policy that matters.

On policy the two parties’ priorities can clearly be seen. The Tories mention planning no fewer than 18 times across the 131 pages and designate whole pages to the issue and their plans. Labour give it four mentions across their 76 pages, indicative that its reform process is on-going but largely complete.  

Tomorrow brings the Lib Dems manifesto. I can barely contain myself.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Wilding permalink
    April 13, 2010 3:02 pm

    The Labour manifesto cover is deeply unsetlling. It looks like a nightmare vision of a robotic family gazing out across a Maoist landscape.

    • Necropolis permalink
      April 13, 2010 7:27 pm

      Anyone in the great beyond ever seen the Fallout series of computer games?

      It’s the same artist for the Labour Manifesto, I swear…

  2. Michael Donnelly permalink*
    April 14, 2010 10:50 am

    Lib Dem manifesto strikes a business-like tone too:

  3. ajs permalink
    April 14, 2010 2:10 pm

    The Telegraph’s letters page gives an interesting view of what is shown in the Labour Manifesto front cover. Taken from two letters:

    Regarding the sun, “you will see that the lines of shadow converge just over the brow of the hills. The only explanation for such a bright light so close is a nuclear explosion.”

    Someone else comments that there are no crops or livestock in the fields, and no wind turbines. The sun is sinking in the west, all hope abandoned, the group being silent, without animation. The letter suggests they understand the disaster inside the cover.

    They can be read in full at Someone in the Telegraph mentioned the Labour manifesto being Maoist. Maybe Mark Wilding is onto something.

    I suppose one advantage for the Conservative Manifesto is that it is harder to misconstrue white lettering on a blue background.

  4. Necropolis permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:53 pm

    I’ve got it… I’ve got the Conservative image now…

    “Keep Calm and Carry On”

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