13th April: The Labour Party launch their manifesto, promising to cut the deficit every year.
Today Labour is publishing its manifesto, and the critics are divided.Guardian Books calls it an “optimistic work of social-realism”, The Times Literary Supplement calls it “a densely-written work of fantasy”, and Tom Paulin hated it.
The Tories launch tomorrow, and Guardian Books calls the Conservative manifesto “a pessimistic depiction of a dystopian future”, The Times Literary Supplement calls it “a considered and assured work of fluent prose”, and Tom Paulin hated it.
No-one’s bothered reading the advanced copies of the Lib Dem Manifesto, but Tom Paulin hated it.
14th April: The Conservatives launch their manifesto, claiming to be the real party of working people.
Over lunch at Labour Headquarters, the Tory manifesto is greeted with derision.
“They’re not the party of working people,” scoffs Ed Balls. “We are!”
“No wait,” interjects Chuka Umunna. “I thought we were the party of fiscal responsibility.”
“I thought we were the Judean People’s Front,” mutters Douglas Alexander with a resigned tone, as he looks through a brochure for potential constituencies south of the border.
15th April: The Lib Dems and UKIP unveil their manifestos, the Lib Dems from Battersea, and UKIP from Royston Vasey.
The hour is fast approaching for Nick Clegg to make his case to the nation, and he will do it in a trendy venue in Battersea. It has been a rough campaign for the Lib Dems, and indeed a rough week. Not only are people ignoring strong performances in debates and TV interviews, but yesterday their battle bus broke down as well, leading to many obvious jokes at their expense. Nick strides out onto stage filled with energy and vigour, and gives a characteristic performance from this campaign in that:
a) He is confident.
b) He is gutsy about his record.
c) No-one is listening.
“We will add a heart to a Conservative Government and a brain to a Labour one,” says Clegg, suggesting that the Lib Dems are a sort of Frankenstein’s Monster of British politics. “We will add a gall bladder to David Cameron, a spleen to Ed Miliband, and an appendix to History.”
16th April: Opposition leaders prepare for a debate, whilst David Cameron has revealed his anger in an interview with Evan Davis.
“Are you going to watch the debate tonight?” asked Samantha.
“Debate? What debate?” responded the worried PM. “I didn’t sign up to any more debates. I told them – one debate where I could be aloof and distant and wave photocopies about, whilst everyone shouts at each other. Debates make me angry. I’m a very angry man. Did you see me with Evan Davis last night? I was a vision of fury.”
“Calm down dear,” said Samantha. “It’s the Challengers’ Debate. Everyone apart from you and Nick. Remember?”
“Oh yes,” said David, recalling his dreams of Nicola Sturgeon tearing Ed Miliband apart. “They’re not empty-chairing me are they?”
“Don’t think so.”
“Empty chairs make me angry too. I’m adding them to the book,” he said as he took out a little notebook engraved with the title: The Little Book of Rage.
17th April: There is a muted reaction to the Challengers’ Debate, whilst UKIP officially join the Dark Side.
Bit of a POET’S Day feeling (Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday) to today’s campaigning. Nevertheless, the press and the pollsters are ensuring that the important questions are asked. To that end, they have polled: what are the parties’ views on Star Wars?
With a new trailer for The Force Awakens being released yesterday, Star Wars fever is gripping the globe, and we now have comprehensive data on how the parties relate to this, courtesy of The Daily Telegraph’s Asa Bennett.
Lib Dem supporters like the series the most. The Conservative supporters like Han Solo the best, which is odd because he is a smuggler and tax evader. Labour supporters also like Solo, because he is someone he starts it sticking it to the establishment, and then ends up becoming part of it.
However, the standout stat is that UKIP’s favourite character is Darth Vader, despite the fact that he is an immigrant to both the Dark Side and the Galactic Republic. Intolerant, pro-military, and driven by a dark heart of hate, UKIP won the European elections last year.
18th April: Nigel Farage compares himself to Gandhi.
Nigel Farage is not a man for understatement, and this weekend he has been at it again. He’s compared himself to Gandhi.
Speaking on Saturday, he said: "I am taking on the status quo. I am taking on their very, very comfortable lives. But if you look through history anybody that challenges the status quo, whether in business, science or politics, they have a go at you. And it was Gandhi, of course, who said 'first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win'."
A rather extraordinary comparison, particularly considering that Gandhi was a one-time expatriate, ascetic, and tee-total. Whereas, Nigel Farage dislikes all expatriates, is given to self-indulgence, and thinks tee-totalism is something to do with golf.
But you have to applaud the gutsiness of the man. Keep going Nige, because first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they laugh at you some more, and then you compare yourself to Gandhi and they roll around on the floor pissing themselves.
As if to reinforce the questionable strength of the comparison, a UKIP councillor was arrested this weekend in connection with an alleged assault at a meeting of the anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate. Hard to think of anything less in keeping with the life of Gandhi than an act of violence against a peaceful group.
19th April: David Cameron is grilled by Andrew Marr, and Ed Miliband is graced by a hen party.
Angry David Cameron woke up the nation this morning with another raging performance on The Andrew Marr Show. The first question was whether the Tories’ private polling said that they have close to no chance of forming a majority. Cameron insisted that private polling does show a chance of a majority, adding that the research also shows that Elvis is alive, pig-aviation is more probable than not, and reports of bear defecation in the woods have been greatly exaggerated.
Time is running out for the Prime Minister, with recent polls seeming to give Labour a small lead. He still has to persuade very many people, and Cameron refers to such moments as an “essay crisis”, which means that over the past five years he hasn't done any of the reading, has been partying too much, and is now running on an ungodly combination of Red Bull, pizza and Haribo.Read the full article here.