NEW Labour RIP – Ed Miliband is so intent on turning the party back to old Labour values that even its election broadcasts are now in black and white.
The party’s latest broadcast, released ahead of the looming local and European elections, is set around the government’s cabinet table. But class war seems to be the first item on the agenda: the sketch caricatures Conservative ministers as sneering toffs and posh Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg as “the un-credible shrinking man”, who gets smaller as the jeering Tories demolish his election promises.
Ho ho. Sadly Labour’s claim to be a twenty-first century party gets a bit diminished by an exercise in old school Tory-bashing that rehashes decades-old cliches instead of, you know, offering policies of its own.
The script runs through all the cringe-worthy tropes in the book – a Brylcreemed politician begs Cameron to let the cabinet hunt the diminished Clegg, while another asks: “Haven’t our brave bankers suffered enough?”
As it ends, Cameron says his plan for the rest of the day is to have “an afternoon nap, close a few A&E departments, and then dinner”. It’s a pretty cheap gag for a party of big spenders.
Clegg is left to be chased by the Downing Street cat, called Socks, rather than Larry – did the campaign team fear a feline libel action?
Miliband may think this weird butchery of a classic film will rally his base to throw tomatoes at the rich rather than the screen. Let’s hope not.
Though now proud to bash the City, Labour are more than happy to use it when it suits them. The film was shot at Brewers’ Hall, home to one of the square mile’s oldest livery companies.