24 April, 2015
The Art of Manifesto Writing
As a writer, this article in The Guardian tickled my fancy. It's about which manifesto is most "nicely written". (For those who aren't in the UK, you should know The Guardian is a left-wing newspaper, but it's a flippant, rather than campaigning article.)
A taste of the tone of the article can be summed up with this quotation: "Not a single manifesto has the guts to declare its intention to discriminate against people with freckles, strip the inhabitants of Swansea of their civil rights, deport Bruce Forsyth or promise a free bottle of whisky a day to every household."
Apparently the Conservative effort is full of photos of "random, anonymous human beings grinning at the camera, to show that it is humans, rather than rabbits or dishwashers, that politicians care most about." Although they do also avoid cliches, which has to be a plus!
The Labour manifesto tells us what our country is good at... "That we are also good at haranguing immigrants and puking all over each other in city centres goes tactfully unmentioned." While the Liberal Democrats might be suggesting either that we should be "a closed, backward-looking but confident and optimistic nation, or an open, forward-looking but diffident and nihilistic one." The SNP's offering is boring but "more literate than Ukip’s manifesto, however, though so is the average 10-year-old."
And so it goes on.
The prize for stylishness should, according to this article, go to the Green party. For balance I should point out that, while the Green party are left-wing and therefore more likely (though not necessarily - don't shoot!) to be favoured by artists of all kinds, they have stirred up a bit of a fuss by proposing some worrying changes to copyright law. (If anyone has any thoughts on that, I'd be interested to hear them!)
This has got me thinking - what writer-friendly policies do you think should be introduced in your country? Personally, I'm working on a free chocolate allowance to anybody working on the first draft of a novel, plus one paid day off work or free day's childcare per month for anybody who's submitted a piece of writing to more than three places in the last six months. What do you think?