Labour are bringing back their pledge card, that most potent of electoral weapons from their giddy 1997 campaign. But what will feature on Prime Minister Brown's New Plastificated Pledge Sheet? We get a sneak preview:
- Pledge 1: Lord Mandelson Will Run The Government, For Ever ... no matter how often he is forced to resign for mortgage fraud or whatever. Only little people worry about such matters. What are you, a little person?
- Pledge 2: Labour's Machine Will Smear You If You Disagree With It ... whether you're an old-age pensioner in a hospital, or a train-crash survivor and campaigner, or a weapons' inspector, Labour are totally committed to the politics of personal destruction, and guarantee to ramp it up to new levels in this year's exciting election campaign!
- Pledge 3: Labour Will Focus On The Important Topic of Immigration ... at least as far as getting a few good headlines is concerned. They won't actually do anything about controlling numbers, because they're such nice people, who reserve the charge of 'racist' for that real enemy of the people, Rose Addis (see Pledge 2).
- Pledge 4: Labour Will Run Out Of Your Money And Leave Your Children With The Bill To Pay ... after all, in this fast-moving world, where so many cherished shibboleths have had to be abandoned (poor Clause 4), it's comforting to have one Labour pledge which has always been delivered, whenever they've been in government.
- Pledge 5: Gordon Brown Will Serve A Full Term As Prime Minister, When And If The Grateful Citizenry Elect Him ... unless, of course, he decides that this pledge is as valid as the one his predecessor made, right until the day he broke it. Or until Lord Mandelson decides otherwise; whichever comes first, really. [Ed: ask Whelan to check this one with Unite].
In fact, according to The Independent, Brown proposes to pledge five meaningless bits of drivel about families, ASBOs, cancer, schools and so on. None of which he means from his heart, and all of which are designed to provide some of his ghastly 'dividing lines', those fictitious differences he invents in order to give him something to scream about at PMQs and to ramble on about when his advisors force him onto a daytime telly sofa: - You asked me about the deficit, Andrew, and I'd just like to take this opportunity to point out that the Conservatives' plans would lead to the lingering, painful death of every basket of kittens in Christendom, and I think when people know that, they'll blah blah blah. Pledge away, Mr Brown. Or use Mr Sheen. Mr Sheen shines everything clean! Except you.