Election '97: Labour go from red to purple

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Labour is to replace the red flag of Socialism with the Union Jack and the purple of "passion," it was confirmed yesterday.

In a move which will place the opposition's tanks squarely on the Conservatives' lawns, Labour's latest election broadcast will show a Tory tide toppling the Union flag to the tune of "Land of Hope and Glory."

Gordon Brown, the shadow Chancellor, said that while the party would continue to use a variety of colours, the emphasis on purple would reflect the fervour in his party for its policies: "Purple is the colour of passion. The passion with which we will be putting forward our cause of education, health and the solutions to youth unemployment and law and order over the next few days is something which I think the whole public will see.

"We are the patriotic party. We stand up for British interests everywhere. We will stand up for British interests in Europe, we will stand up for a better Britain," he said.

The party's new broadcast, to be shown tonight will not feature Fitz the bulldog, the star of last week's show, but will continue the patriotic theme.

"Fitz is doing very well," Mr Brown said. "His moment of glory was appreciated by the whole country." The broadcast is meant to "reassure, reward and remind" voters by calming fears on tax and spending, focusing on Labour pledges and underlining the dangers of re-electing the Tories.

Beginning with shots of Tory party conference-goers singing "Land of Hope and Glory", it moves to a series of pictures of run-down hospitals and schools and crime-ridden streets.

The music continues to play as voters are warned that next time, the Conservatives would stop at nothing. As the music fades, viewers see waves washing over a sandcastle and toppling the Union flag. The broadcast aims to portray Tories as smug, and convinced they have a "divine right" to power.