Unpicking the Corbynist manifesto


BRITISH election campaigns are usually carefully choreographed affairs. They are short and sharp: just a few weeks of formal campaigning compared with America’s year or so. And they are divided into two parts: before and after the publication of the party manifestos. Before the publication politicians fend off pesky interviewers by saying, “You’ll have to wait until we publish the manifestos.” After the publication they fend off pesky interviewers by saying, “It’s all spelt out in detail in the manifesto.”

The campaign this year has certainly conformed to the first part of the dance. By calling a snap election against most people’s expectations Theresa May crammed everything into just six weeks—not just the campaigning itself but also the selection of candidates. Late on May 10th the second part of the dance turned into chaos. Drafts of the Labour Party’s manifesto were leaked to several newspapers. Thursday morning news programmes were dominated by tit-bits from the manifesto and Labour hacks desperately trying to think on their feet.

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