Daily catch-up: mock election posters, Ed the Unready, and a sorry business

And lots more that you should have read in yesterday’s Independent on Sunday if you haven’t already

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1. Here is the poster by the ad agency Big Al’s Creative Emporium, which was asked to imagine how the Conservatives might make their final pitch for the election campaign in May. For The Independent on Sunday, my colleague Kunal Dutta asked five agencies to design posters for the five main Great Britain parties.

I thought Whistlejacket’s poster for the Liberal Democrats was good, but others found it obscure. See what you think. It will be interesting, after 7 May, to compare these with what the parties actually do.

2. Ed Miliband was on the Andrew Marr show yesterday. If you can’t bear to watch, you can read the transcript, all 5,600 words of Miliband not answering questions.

I said that “weaponise the NHS” quotation was going to be trouble for him, and so it proved. Miliband hadn’t prepared well, which is inexcusable. What else has an opposition leader to do except prepare for speeches and interviews? He must have thought it would come up, in which case he has to decide whether to admit using the word or to deny it. He said: “I don’t recall exactly what I said” (to Nick Robinson, the BBC political editor). This is no good because the next question was, of course, do you disown it?

Miliband didn't answer that and ended up saying: “I don’t think this is about the words we use.” As if his job is about anything else.

As David Mills pointed out, he should have said something like: “Damn right I said ‘weaponise’. What the Tories have done is scandalous. It deserves to hurt them politically.”

3. My column for The Independent on Sunday was another dreadful I-told-you-so: about why there will be no television debates in this election campaign. As everyone got excited in the Sunday politics shows about the possibility of the broadcasters “empty-chairing” David Cameron, I added a footnote on The Independent Blogs on why the broadcasters are most unlikely to deploy this tactic.

Meanwhile, my Top 10 for the Independent on Sunday magazine was Disappointing Famous Places.

I also had a review of Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance, by Daisy Hay, in Saturday’s Independent. I praised it as being like Jane Austen writing for a modern newspaper. 


4. Thanks to Clive Davis for this late addition to my Top 10 War Memorials: People walk near a monument to Red Army soldiers in Stavropol (right), via Moscow Times and Reuters.

5. Still in The Independent on Sunday (there were a lot of good things in there) Phil Johnson, the drummer, is good about drummers (Q: What’s the difference between a drummer and a savings bond? A: One will mature and make money) and about Whiplash, film about a drummer.

Jane Merrick is good on why she doesn’t like things being called women’s issues. And Simmy Richman has a lovely item about John Timpson, chairman of the shoe-repair and key-cutting company. “We don't have a press department or a marketing team.”

6. And finally, thanks to Jason for this:

“I liquidated my sympathy card company. Glad the whole sorry business is over, to be honest.”