David Blackburn

A burnt out case

A burnt out case
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Freeing Manchester United from the Glazers is not what I envisaged when Ed Miliband promised ‘a radical manifesto’. But the Guardian reports that a fourth Labour government will legislate so that football fans can buy their beloved clubs. Clearly Brown's granite is plastic to the touch.

I’ll reserve judgement until the manifestos are published, but, as Alex notes, the feeling is that New Labour's zeal is exhausted. Budget initiatives on stamp duty and the retirement age originated in Tory press releases and the Queen’s Speech regurgitated policies dating back to the 2007-08 sitting. I suspect the manifesto will offer the same gristle.

We should be thankful for small mercies because so few bills have made it onto the statute book. A glance at parliamentary records (here and here) shows that the Crime and Security Bill, the Children, Schools and Families Bill, the Energy Bill, the Financial Services Bill, the Flood and Water Management Bill, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill, the Social Care Bill, the Debt Relief Bill, the Digital Economy Bill, the Health Bill and the Immigration Bill are outstanding, and no amount of ‘ping-pong’ could pass all of that into law by Monday. Dropping policy is risky so I reckon these will be touched-up and dumped in the manifesto. In doing so, Labour will forfeit any reasonable claim to represent change they've had 13 years to enact.