Since 1983, socialists have craved a red meat Labour manifesto that they could vote for. Now is the chance for them to come out in their millions and ensure that Mrs May doesn’t achieve a landslide.

Labour has improved its poll rating since the election was called, but the gap remains large. There are many attractive features in the manifesto around energy prices, housing, university fees, nationalising the railways and world peace. Labour is tapping into a feeling that business and the rich should contribute more. After all it is ordinary people who have been paying for the excesses that caused the crash in 2008.

But the party remains vulnerable on the cost of it all. Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey is the Shadow Business Secretary, and touted by some as a future leader of the party. She will need to do better than in a radio interview on the manifesto launch day. She was asked how the ending of the benefits freeze, not raising the retirement age beyond 66 and scrapping the housing benefits cap was going to be paid for. In each instance, she casually said they would be subject to review when Labour was in government. It isn’t good enough. The party knew the Tory hawks would be looking for unfunded promises, but Corbyn has gambled that his vision for a socialist Britain will pay off.

Meanwhile the transformation of the Tory Party from an organisation run by posh boys to one where strong and stable Theresa is in charge is well under way. Pledges on workers rights, council house building and intervention in the energy market may seem brazenly opportunistic, but the Prime Minister has forged a link with northern working class people that may pay off spectacularly.

This is because the Regressive Alliance bringing the Tories and UKIP together was demonstrated in the recent local elections, whilst the Progressive Alliance of all those parties representing the centre left isn’t working so far. The rallying point should be around the Lib Dems call for a second EU referendum. Leader Tim Farron should stick to that. Putting the legalisation of cannabis in the manifesto just plays to his enemies stereotyping of the party.


What does post war history tell us about surprise General Elections? The story is mixed for incumbent Prime Ministers. Clement Attlee came a cropper when, having won narrowly in 1950, he called another election the following year to increase his majority and lost to Winston Churchill. As soon as Anthony Eden succeeded Churchill, he successfully went to the country in 1955 to get his own mandate, a course not followed by Gordon Brown when he took over from Tony Blair in 2007.

Harold Wilson performed the double election trick twice. He increased a small majority in 1964 to a large one in 1966. Then in February 1974 Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath went to the country in a similar manner to Theresa May seeking a specific mandate. Heath’s was to defeat the miners. He lost and Wilson, after a summer of minority government, gained a slim overall majority in the autumn.

More recently the Lib Dems could have refused to serve in a coalition in 2010 but the fear always was that David Cameron would have formed a minority government and won an overall majority in a quick return to the polls.

Would he have done? Will Mrs May’s landslide gamble pay off? We shall soon know.

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I pose the question because of the sacking of David Moyes. An issue that has had at least the same amount of coverage as David Cameron’s fall will eventually attract. Even the staid Today programme on Radio 4 kept having items from Old Trafford awkwardly introduced by John Humphrys.


In football the personality of the manager is almost always crucial to success. They need to have a knowledge of the game and man management in equal measure. A media persona also helps. It didn’t always. Sir Alf Ramsey had as much charisma as Clement Attlee but both understated men had enormous success. The former led us to World Cup victory, the latter led Labour to its landslide triumph in 1945. But that was in the age before rolling news.


Now managers have to feed the hungry news beast. Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea boss has this off to a tee. But David Moyes looked haunted from the start. His excuses became repetitive. He looked overwhelmed.

So are United now going to join all the other clubs, bar Arsenal in a constant managerial Merry go round. The fans like this constant change. So says Alyson Rudd, a football columnist with The Times. Do they? Is it actually good for clubs to change their manager every three years are so? Is it good for business to have constant changes in leadership? Let’s remember we used to praise Manchester United for sticking with Sir Alex Ferguson even when the times were bad around 1990.


Sir Terry Leahy had fourteen years at the top of Tesco. He’s been gone three years now and last week’s figures weren’t so good. Is that because Leahy is not in charge or because the economics of superstores is changing?


Do critics of David Cameron’s leadership take into account that he has no majority and came to power in very difficult economic circumstances? Do critics of David Moyes take into account that he was handed a team past its sell by date and with the old boss still around the boardroom. There is also the inevitable cycle that afflicts football and business. No team or company can always be at the top.


The pressure to succeed takes its toll, the product goes out of fashion, and succession planning fails.

Sir Alex Ferguson will have some explaining to do at the Harvard Business School where is now a guest lecturer. Continuity in business and football management is hard. When United last screwed up their succession planning, it was nearly twenty years before Sir Alex came on the scene. For business and football, once you are knocked off the top, it can be a long way back. Liverpool fans know that.


We don’t just need to look in the Premiership. Sean Dyche has just taken Burnley back to the Premiership. He’s one to watch. Meanwhile at Leeds United the lesson that you can be a long tome away from glory is still being learnt. Just because you make one mistake with business leadership, doesn’t mean you can’t fail again and again and again. Good luck with Massimo Cellino, United.