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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some election trivia

The Labour party launched its manifesto and already the cover looks eerily familiar. The Inside Out Swansea website was not slow in producing its own version (left) but I think The Guardian had the real inside story in comparing the cover to that of the Tory manifesto:

From one perspective, this cover calls to mind illustrations found in The Watchtower, the Jehovah Witness house journal, in which perfect 1950s-style families picnic in Elysium fields surrounded by lions and lambs happily lying down with one another.

It's hard, though, not to get the feeling that both parties are sending themselves up. Labour's image of a heroic Soviet-style family, circa 1950, seems to be an in-house joke by someone who enjoys Private Eye's lampoon of Gordon Brown as the Supreme Leader of a half-cock, Soviet-style state. The cover of the Labour manifesto looks for all the world like a kind of run-of-the-socialist-mill poster, promising loyal workers, fecund farms, all-year sunshine and cities that appear like New Jerusalems over far hills crowned with a nationalised halo.

The Tories appear to have opted for a plain blue cover rather similar to the colour of those bags of salt we used to find in crisp packets. The title is pretentious proclaiming 'Invitation to join the Government of Britain' (not the United Kingdom, note), as if they really are going to listen to us and let us dictate their priorities.

It is not as pretentious though as the fact that the Tory manifesto will be on sale in all good (?) bookshops in a hard cover, as if it were high quality literature. I have not read it but I am willing to bet that it does not reach the standards of Dickens or Shakespeare in its use of prose or even in its ability to grip the reader.

I missed Jeremy Paxman interviewing Clegg last night but I understand that he acquitted himself very well. Those waiting to watch Paxman interviewing Brown or Cameron may have to wait though. Apparently, they bottled it.

Equally, those of us in Wales looking forward to Plaid Cymru leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones being quizzed by former Welsh Tory Leader, Rod Richards will also wait in vain. As Freedom Central points out, he bottled out of that interview as well.
I feel I need to correct you on a very important point. The blue bags full of salt in crisps you describe are still on sale. They've never been out of production. It's a common myth that they are now off the shelves.
Jo is obviously not as old as I am. I remember Smith's (late of Fforestfach) removing the separate salt, then relaunching it in a blaze of publicity a few years later.
But excellent analysis of the two manifesto presentations. The only thing I would add, following the religious theme, is that the Cons hardback rmminds me of the hymn-books in some churches.
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