Tories try to speak language of Blair, Miliband and Macron

Written by David Singleton on 18 May 2017 in Diary

The Conservative party's election manifesto is not short of lofty rhetoric.

The Conservatives have launched a sober-looking general election manifesto with large chunks of rhetoric - and the odd policy - stolen from Ed Miliband from Tony Blair.

As Theresa May launched the document in Halifax there was also evidence of a slogan-grab from Emmanuel Macron. With an apparent nod to the French president’s En Marche movement, the Tory manifesto slogan unveiled this morning was “forward together”.

The Tory manifesto is available in full here. It ties together several campaign themes that mirror pledges made by Miliband during his time as Labour leader. They include a cap on energy prices, worker representation on company boards and a higher minimum wage.

The Spectator editor Fraser Nelson has even suggested that the Tories should apologise to Miliband "for all areas where the Conservatives, upon reflection, think he was right".



It follows the revelation that Miliband’s former policy guru Maurice Glasman recently held talks in Number 10 with May’s manifesto chief Nick Timothy. One passage in Tory the manifesto with Glasman’s fingerprints all over it states: “We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality.”

The manifesto goes to ape the language used by Blair during his Labour leadership, when – inspired by the work of sociologist and political thinker Amitai Etzioni - he made repeated references to “rights and responsibilities”.

“The essence of a community is common rights and responsibilities. We have obligations in relation to each other,” said Blair in a 2004 speech, justifying military action in Iraq.

Likewise, today’s Tory manifesto states: “We know that our responsibility to one another is greater than the rights we hold as individuals. We know that we all have obligations to one another, because that is what community and nation demands.”



Picture by: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images.

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