Peter Hoskin

Where’s the surprise?

Where's the surprise?
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Am I the only one who'd care for a bit more uncertainty and surprise when it comes to the election campaign?  I mean, yesterday, Labour released a manifesto which had been heavily trailed for weeks, even months, in advance.  And, today, it looks as though the Conservatives are going to do likewise – with the political barometer saying that their Invitation to Join the Government of Britain won't contain anything substantially new.  Its cover was even published last night.  And, if you want an sense of what Cameron will say today, then just read his article in this morning's Times.

Of course, it's the job of a well-oiled campaign machine to build anticipation in advance, and to keep feeding the media beast along the way.  And its job, also, to ensure that the majority of the ideas in the manifesto have had enough time to root themselves into the public consciousness.  But knowing everything, more or less, does sap some of the electricity from days like this.  And (before the violins kick in) I also wonder whether it could be slightly detrimental for the parties – as there's little for the public and the media to get immediately excited about the following day.

This isn't to say that the Tory launch will sink today.  Put alongside Labour's weary event yesterday, there's every chance for Cameron & Co. to shine – particularly as, to my mind, they have a much more attention-grabbing set of policies.  Yes, even if we have heard those policies before.