Election Blog (5)
The Conservative manifesto was launched yesterday and Michael Howard promises to address "the simple longings of the British people".
I didn't know that addressing my longings - simple or otherwise - was within the remit of Government. But I now know what commitments from my Conservative candidate will secure my vote:
A daily lunch of smoked salmon sandwiches, followed by some good sex.
A walk-on part in Coronation Street.
A strain of Lupins resistant to leaf rust.
A free blogging service that, unlike Blogger, never crashes.
A law to prevent the BBC showing more than one trailer between programmes.
A therapy that would stop me making lists.
What are your simple longings?
Congratulations to Charles Kennedy on his wee bairn. I was just surprised it was only one. When I saw his wife at the royal wedding she looked as though she had an entire kindergarten class in there and I feared she might not make it through the service. Playing Handel's Water Music seemed to be tempting fate.
But the naming of Ginger Junior has slightly shaken my resolve to vote Lib Dem.
Both major parties are committed to saving millions of pounds by cutting 'waste' and causing redundancies on a scale that makes the job losses at Longbridge seem insignificant. But history shows that the scope for such savings is always wildly exaggerated.
It doesn't help that the parties have a string of new initiatives to implement that will need staffing. For example, the Tories plan to open lots of new 'Turnaround Schools' to educate the thousands of pupils that they want expelled from mainstream schools for bad behaviour. Presumably they'll need another tier of schools (Turnaround and Put Your Hands Up Schools) for those expelled from the Turnaround Schools. In any event, it won't be cheap.
The inescapable fact is that you can't provide good quality frontline services without people to administer them. If someone starts a home-based business that becomes successful, the first employee that they recruit is likely to be someone to deal with 'administration', freeing them up to concentrate on delivery.
That's not to say there is no dead wood in public administration. But having worked in the public sector I know that there are lots of people working themselves into an early grave because of ill-thought out cuts in their organisation.
Is digital photo-editing going to claim its first election scalp?
If I'm being uncharacteristically kind to this Tory it's because the photo currently on this blog is highly misleading. For a start, it's over 30 years old and it's also been through a process called 'solarisation' which I thought gave a Warhol-like effect.
(That last sentence has been digitally enhanced).