Monday, 12 April 2010

High in Saturated Colour, Low in Policies

So far this election campaign, a week old tomorrow, has held little in the way of surprises. It’s just been a collection of jabberjaws you either don’t believe or don’t believe can win saying the things you expect them to say. These usually involve figures that are either so ridiculously simplistic that they would make a primary school reception class roll their eyes in boredom or so arcane and involved that trying to penetrate them would probably even wear down that battery that makes Stephen Hawking work.

Hurray for something unexpected, then. The Labour Party have finally made a radical left-turn. Not in terms of policy or politics, it must be said, but more in the general area of what they’ve been up to lately. So far, as you might expect, they have concentrated on activities pertaining to the upcoming General Election. Today, however, they took the bold, radical and interesting step of launching a new brand of margarine. Here’s the lid:

I assume it's margarine. It certainly looks like it is. I know "A Future Fair For All" probably seems a little odd, but since "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" opened Pandora's Box of tedious zany names 15 years ago, that sort of shit's been all over the place.

Somebody I was listening to seemed convinced that this is in fact the cover of the Labour manifesto, but that's just crazy talk. Unless the Future referred to is the one that happened just after 1945, when the picture appears to have been drawn.

So yes, margarine. Or perhaps I'm mistaken and they've just released an album of Lemonjelly covers. Either way, it's not Politics As Usual and - goldarnit! - isn't that what the public want?


Due presumably to some sort of mix-up in the marketing department, Labour also chose today to launch their manifesto. I haven't actually seen a copy of it yet but as I understand matters it's deliberately short on big ideas. Big Gord has gone for low-key, realistic, boring in the hope that that appeals to the British public. This is the same British public, remember, who voted Jordan as Mum of The Year, so I'm not sure his faith is entirely well-placed.

Still, no matter how understated, every manifesto needs its core idea. To put into context exactly how low-key Labour have gone, the central policy this time is as follows:

"We undertake, within the five years of the next parliament, to scare away all the crows in the field."


In the meantime, I fear that this may be the very last of my blog entries for the foreseeable future. I realise what a blow this must come as - I assure you this is not of my doing and there is little that could tear me away from my either of my loyal following, but "there comes a tide in the affairs of men when something something something." Shakespeare. Or one of those. What I am saying is that I have been called to A Higher Duty. Modesty would normally prevent me and all that, but I am too excited to keep it in.

I shall have to stop clapping my hands in glee for a moment and concentrate on typing. What do you think I received this evening? Have a look at this:

Well, I mean, obviously this is a tremendous honour but I think it's the vote of confidence in my abilities that I find most affecting. I never would have thought that relentlessly twittering or spending two hours out of every five trying to master the B-side of Abbey Road on Beatles Rock Band were the kind of qualities that most would-be Prime Ministers might find attractive in a potential cabinet appointee, but this just goes to show how little I know about the inner workings of politics.

Golly, you just wait till I get my feet under the ministerial desk; that guy down the road with the over-sensitive car alarm isn't going to know what hit him. Oh yeah. Him and his ever-trampolining children. Backyard ASBOs coming your way as Policy Number 1. Tax on Findus Crispy Pancakes is Policy Number 2. I am going to crush those noisy bastards.

I mean, I assume that Conservative Central Office have run a full background check on me. I assume my views are in line with what they deem acceptable. You wouldn't want to invite just anyone to be part of a government.

Unless I've got this wrong again and it's actually a thuddingly heavy handed pitch at having us believe that they'll give a rat's second-best ass for what anyone outside of Whitehall or the Cayman Islands thinks about anything from roughly May 7th onwards. It can't be, can it? Lord, that would have all the subtlety of a sequoia falling on your house.

So no, I shall brush up my policies. Number 3... Hmm... 1% extra income tax for people whose wall-mounted plasma screens illuminate the street after dark, I think.


  1. I cannot WAIT to get to the looks sunny...hope there's candy flosss...

  2. Are you giving up because the Now Show has already done the best manifesto joke known to man ? (see Radio4 trail)

  3. Thank you for the update. Pls to assure us to let us know the result of election also. I don't want to have to miss the re-run of series 1 to 8 of "Dynasty" on the Desperation Channel in order to watch the coverage on the BBC.

  4. At least labour avoided the bright primary colours that the BNP trot out in an attempt at seeming patriotic. It took me a while to realise that the last leaflet I got from them (before burning it) wasn't actually a pizza delivery menu. A 3 year old could have designed something better using a tub of glue and sticky back plastic.

  5. When Labour launched its election slogan, I misread it as "a _future fair_ for all" (as did Katylui), and thought immediately of the Dome. The poster seems to confirm my worst fears. Self-supporting tents across the country will provide the extra housing we need and allotments for all. Or is it an H-bomb going off in the countryside...

  6. Hmm. Tom, glad it's not just me. They *have* cropped the mushroom cloud off the top of the nuke blast on that manifesto cover.

  7. I'm looking forward to taking up my position in a Cameron Govt. I will push forward a challenging agenda, delivering minimum 5-year sentences for incorrect use of indicators at roundabouts, dovetailed with a crackdown on BMW dealerships. The policy will be entitled "Tough on minor road traffic infringements, tough on the causes of minor road traffic infringements."

  8. The margarine tub is missing: a railway train in the distance, a small black car with one window rolled down and the barrel of a gun pointing out, and a huge image of of Georgia's finest, Uncle Joe Stalin, sorry Fife's finest, Uncle Gordon. And the slogan: "Uncle Gordon, knows what to do". Andrew Graham-Dixon showed a number of these during: - you can see examples here too: - though not the country image with Uncle Joe that Graham-Dixon showed.

    As for the Tories effort, the typeface is reminiscent of the cover of The Beeching Report: - woohoo - let's party like it's 1963, MacMillan had been PM as "SuperMac", just succeeded by Douglas-Home, a truly magical time for the Tories! If I received that through the door, I'd expect the STASI to knock and whisk me away to a secret torture chamber, sorry, think-tank in deepest, flattest Lincolnshire.