The Party Manifestoes 2024: Labour

Politics   As you can see the cover of the Labour manifesto dispenses with the title of the document, most people on the receiving end will know this is Labour's manifesto, and instead offers us Keir Starmer in black and white next to the word "change", the first time a party leader has appeared on the front cover since Tony Blair's repeat showing in 2001.  

Starmer appears throughout the manifesto with his photo on almost every page mostly grinning at people in a way which disconcertingly makes him look like Stephen Colbert (they're same age too) or with his serious face when necessary.  Most of these are with members of the shadow cabinet to show much of a team they all are.  

Along with pictures and quotes from members of the public ("Charlie, cafe owner and former Conservative voter" etc), the general tone is "the Tories fucking suck don't they?"  There's even the famous shot of him talking to Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the D-Day commemoration something the current Prime Minister didn't manage just to really drive in the sword.  They're even committed to privatising the railways, thank god.  Anyway.


No direct mention of the licence fee.  Instead, there's this rather vague paragraph:

And this indirect mention of the World Service in relation to soft power: 

Which is kind of disappointment - the impression is supposed to be that the BBC will have greater protection under Labour but it would have been nice to see something solid on that here.

Global Emissions

I couldn't see a direct target for net zero.  There's a pledge to have zero-carbon electricity by 2030 which is roughly similar:

No specific mentions of putting solar panels on rooftops but they talk about a "Warm Homes Plan" which "will offer grants and low interest loans to support investment in insulation and other improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low carbon heating to cut bills" which must mean the same thing.

They've also pledged to keep the north sea oil fields open for business although they won't issue licences for new field exploration or coal mines and they''ll "ban fracking for good".


Are not mentioned.


Barely mentioned:

This is a bit woolly.  The features of the "creative industries sector plan" do not appear in the document.

Gender Equality

Bit of a mixed bag.

No mention of self-ID, trans people will still need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a hopefully sympathetic doctor.  The modernising of the "gender recognition law" also feels fraught with danger given the statements of some Labour MPs.


Whilst committing to giving 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in all elections they don't commit to abolishing voter ID rules:

There isn't any mention of electoral reform which means they're probably still committed to first past the post.  Boo.

No sundries.

It doesn't matter who I vote for.  It's a safe Labour seat in this election.

The Party Manifestoes:
Plaid Cymru Party of Wales

Politics  Busy morning so let's get to it.  As with all the parties, Plaid Cymru's website is a bit of a mess in terms of navigation.  Nowhere in the visible part of the front page is there a link to the manifesto you have to dig through menus upon menus to find a hyperlinked version and even further to a pdf.  If I was a political party, I'd have a link to the manifesto at the top of the front page in big letters so that a voter can find out what I stand for.  Only the Tories have a direct link even if its at the bottom of the page underneath a scary collage of headlines from newspapers about bloodbaths along with Angela Rippon's face twice.

Anyway, back to Wales.


The corporation isn't directly mentioned by name in the manifesto but there are a couple of things which might impact.  

Sporting events would be free-to-air if terrestrial broadcasters could afford the rights.  The BBC would still have live cricket or premiership football if they could justify bidding for them.  Presumably PC isn't proposing to offer direct funding.

Honestly, I'm not completely against devolving participation in Eurovision.  Perhaps S4C could join the EBU as a separate entity.

Global Emissions

Net-zero targets aren't mentioned in the main text but on one of the title pages:

Wales wants to reach net-zero in ten years, which is immensely ambitious.  But just in Wales mind.  A lot of this manifesto feels like it was written for a Welsh Assembly rather than Westminster election.

They're really scared of pylons and panels fucking up the landscape:

They mention this twice:

I agree with them.  But Plaid Cymru, roof-tops are right there.

Nothing particular about fossil fuel subsidies but the section about farming mentions cutting taxes on renewable liquid fuels.


Never said in the manifesto.

Film Industry

Never said in the manifesto.

Gender Equality

LGBTQ+ has a whole section in the manifesto, and it's brilliant:

Not even the Green Party manifesto goes that hard, especially in its support for trans people.  Well done.  No notes.


On enfranchisement:

It's true, since May 2021, 16 and 17 year olds have been able to vote in the Senedd Elections under a Labour government in Wales.  

On voter ID:

On proportional representation:

So not quite proportional representation in terms of the number of MPs rather more of a chance for people's second or even third choice candidates to win a seat, the system used for Deputy Speakers elections in the House of Commons, Northern Ireland Assembly elections and local elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland (source).

No sundries.

I can't vote for Plaid Cymru.

The Party Manifestoes 2024:
Green Party

Politics  The Green Party manifesto comes in three flavours, the easy read (designed by Inspired Services Publishing for people with learning difficulties), the short version (bullet points and stock photos) and the long version (all text, no filler).  For the purposes of this investigation I shall be consulting the long version although I'll use the cover of the short version with the Obama slogan on the front for illustrative purposes.  


The Green Party Manifesto doesn't mention the BBC or broadcasting at all apart from in the broadest sense of "the media".  They say:

Which sounds fine in theory but depends on how that 20% is measured.  By audience?  By profits?  By the amount of content produced?

Global Emissions

It's the Green Party!  So let's just stick to the three topics.  On Net Zero:

Which is the only mention of net zero in the document but in the section about green energy they propose the de-carbonizing of energy systems by 2030.  

On roof top solar panels:

The short version also has this stock photo:

My guess is roof top solar will only really take off when there's a version which doesn't look so ugly on existing properties and can deal with gables.

On subsidies, you'll be unsurprised to see:

It's worth noting throughout manifesto, unlike some previous years, the Greens are very aware that they're not going to be in government so much of the time it suggests "Green MPs will push for ..."  They're just hoping to have more than one MP in this election of all elections.


The best offer so far:

It's not very specific but it'll very much do.

Film Industry

A section titled "digital rights" calls for the regulation of social media providers and AI plus:

"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Gender Equality

Unlike other parties, the Greens manifesto spreads policies regarding diversity throughout the manifesto rather than lumping it all into a single section.  Some examples.  Under mental health:

They're unfortunately missing a comma between Gay and Bisexual, but they're also the first party to explain the acronym and include intersex and ace people.


When I was at school we were taught that there were two genders and two men kissing on television was still a scandal.  Please can we not return to that era?

On human rights:

A Private Members Bill was introduced in 2019 to abolish the spousal veto and judging by this manifesto pledge it didn't go anywhere.  It's an extremely weird piece of fuckery which was introduced during the coalition government in 2013 that I previously hadn't been aware of and is amazingly stupid.  Here's an explainer from The Pink Paper.  


The Greens are advocating not just for the enfranchisement of over 15s but also for young MPs.

They're surprisingly woolly about PR:

No sundries this time.  Of all the parties, I would have thought the Greens might have mentioned the Sugababes, that most recycled of pop bands.

I might still vote for them nonetheless.

The Party Manifestoes 2024:
The Conservative and Unionist Party

Politics  Ugh.  The Tory manifesto contains a lot of empty space so although the page count is eighty pages, only fifty-two contain actual pledges and of those about seven have only half a page of text and a lot of white space and even then a couple are essentially finishing off a paragraph from the page before.  It feels like a university dissertation which was only been finalised in the few hours before handing in with page breaks throughout to keep the sections together.  

When you hear journalists saying there are 80 or 76 pledges over the coming days, that just isn't right.  There are eight pages with the same image of over a quarter of the union flag and sixteen pages featuring the quote-unquote chapter headings which all begin with "our plan" followed by some fatuous phrase like "for a secure, dynamic and growing economy" and "to get more people into work and build a fairer welfare system".

The cover is giving me the itch as well.  Back in 2010, I was so irritated by the placement of the words on the manifesto I wrote a whole blog post about just that.  Here we are again.  Apart from using the colour scheme of the Republic of Montenegro pre-2004 for the lead lines, the structure of the cover feels off.  The traffic arrows should be further up the page with the title underneath and with the year on a new line and an ampersand wouldn't have gone a miss.  

Anyway, let's get to the "substance".


BBC is used four times in the manifesto in two paragraphs.  This document is much harder to read than the LibDem manifesto (only using bullet points when it feels like it) so I'll just copy and paste the text as is here for ease:

The use of "support" is pretty ambiguous here.  Does that mean you're going to have the foreign office fund the BBC World Service again?  Off topic, but "expand the use of the English language worldwide" is pretty colonialist.  

The BBC already does that, some would say to a fault.  When they say "diversity of thought" what they really mean is "more people who agree with us".  The next sentence is a threat in that regard.  Notice they don't talk about the BBC in anything other than "messaging" terms - nothing about it as a part of the UK's cultural ecosystem.  

By the way, the very next paragraph says:

We're going to control what the BBC says and does through some malign force but the press can do what the fuck it likes.

Global Emissions

The phrase "net zero" is used ten times during the manifesto (which is ten more than the 2015 manifesto) but here's the headline.

The Earth is going to burn to a crisp in my lifetime.  

No notes here.  Baseline what they should be doing.  The moratorium on fracking is welcome even if it isn't an outright ban.

They're going to reduce carbon emissions by ... building more gas power stations.  'sake.


Two library mentions.

How about increasing the funding to councils so that they can keep some of these things running themselves?  

Saying that they want to "protect national heritage - including statues, monuments and memorials" sounds good, but with the culture war as a backdrop is probably missing the phrase "of slave owners and our favourite Nazis".  The public realm is filled with sculpture which is in need of repair and upkeep but there's no direct mention of that.  But I'm off topic, largely because there's nothing specific about how they're going to "support" libraries here.

Film Industry

Ho boy.

Whilst it's nice that Liverpool and Glasgow have become the Vancouver and Toronto of the UK, it's still incredibly difficult for British films to be made and shown unless it's with the help of international backers or a dozen hedge funds.  

Gender Equality

Nothing new, just "look at what we've already done".  The singling out of an AIDS medicine in this section is weird and almost suggests they still think of it as a "gay plague".  Trans rights are about as you'd expect.  They also can't say directly that they hate trans people and think they're weird so we have these three quite lengthy paragraph about how they're otherwise going to demonise them instead without using the word "trans" once:

They say "an increasing number of children have started questioning their gender".  Nope - this has always been the case it's just that now medical innovation has made transitioning a safer possibility and society has changed so that they can talk about how they feel without being ostracized as much (which is something you're working to change).  The following paragraph conflates conversion therapy with transitioning and I just want to get away from this.


The exact opposite of the LibDems and doing as much as possible to disenfranchise voters.  Under 16s are old enough to work full time, have an NI number and join the army as well as apply for a passport but they're not allowed to vote for their own rights to do these things or not.


By "quarters" they must mean neighbourhoods like the "Georgian quarter" or "the knowledge quarter".  No idea why these three cities in particular.  Perhaps the development in our Chinatown might finally be completed.

Despite this, I will not be voting for the Conservative and Unionist Party.

The Party Manifestoes 2024:
Liberal Democrats

  Back in 2015, before we entered this strange dystopian future where AI is rampant and disease and war ravage the earth, I decided to have a look at the various party manifestos during the general election to see how they reflected on various key areas: the BBC, global emissions, libraries, film industry and gender equality.  In an attempt to engage with an election which is still a foregone conclusion in our incredibly safe seat, and out of curiosity, I thought I'd have another go.  

Unlike last time though, I'm going to be focus a bit more on specific elements of each and ask: Is the licence fee mentioned and how will the BBC be funded going forward?  What is their net zero target, will they promote rooftop solar panels and if they'll be subsidising fossil fuels.  Is the plan to open more libraries?  How much does the manifesto focus on supporting film distribution and cinemas?  What protections are offered for the LGBTQA+ community, particularly trans rights?

I'm also adding a sixth topic, "democracy" focusing on reducing the voting age, removing voter IDs and the introduction of proportional representation.  Also bonus points if any of them mention Doctor Who, Liverpool, Shakespeare or the Sugababes.

We begin with the LibDems, the party I hate to love.  For the most part there's nothing especially inspiring or innovative in here.  On these topics it's very "we'd better put something about that in" and bare minimum.  The manifesto mainly focuses on social care, health and education.


The Culture, Media and Sport section of the manifesto is three and a half pages although one of these is a photo of someone holding a steady cam (most of the illustrative images in the document feature hands and hugs).  Here are the three occasions the BBC is mentioned:
"Protect the BBC, S4C, BBC Alba and Channel 4 as independent, publicly owned, public service broadcasters."

"Support the BBC both to provide impartial news and information, and to take a leading role in increasing media literacy and educating all generations in tackling the impact of fake news."

"Properly fund the impartial BBC World Service from the Foreign Office budget and restore its global reach."

There's not direct mention of the licence fee although that would increase a bit with the funding for the world service returning to the Foreign Office budget.

Global Emissions

"Liberal Democrats are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 at the latest."

"Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for households to install solar panels, including a guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back into the grid."

"Implementing the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring a just transition that values the skills and experience of people working in the oil and gas industry and provides good opportunities for them, and takes special care of the regions and communities most affected."
If this is the LibDem approach, I'm not looking forward to the other parties.  It is worth noting that in the 2015, the net zero target was 2050.  The "climate change" section of the manifesto is five and a half pages including a nice picture of some windmills but it still feels like too little too late.  We needed to stop using fossil fuels decades ago but we're still talking here about transitioning out.


Are not mentioned at all in the LibDem manifesto.  For shame.

Film Industry

Neither is the film industry.

Gender Equality

As expected the LibDem section on "rights and equalities" is woke as fuck.  

In terms of LGBTQA+ protections it says they will "respect and defend the rights of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including trans and non-binary people" and "reform the gender recognition process to remove the requirement for medical reports, recognise non-binary identities in law, and remove the spousal veto."  

Elsewhere in the international section:
"Offering asylum to people fleeing the risk of violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identification, ending the culture of disbelief for LGBT+ asylum seekers, and never refusing an LGBT+ applicant on the basis that they could be discreet."
"Developing a comprehensive strategy for promoting the decriminalisation of homosexuality and advancing LGBT+ rights."
Which is all good although in an ideal world you wouldn't have to even mention any of this.  

"Ensure no politician can take you for granted, by introducing proportional representation by the Single Transferable Vote for electing MPs, and local councillors in England."

"Strengthen democratic rights and participation by scrapping the Conservatives’ voter ID scheme and giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote."
Perfect.  I might vote for them, even if they do hate libraries, films, Doctor Who, Shakespeare, Liverpool and the Sugababes.