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The Independent Online
Stand by for more gimcrackery. After four years of government by gimmick, here come four weeks of campaigning by gimmick. Opening gambit: the bank holiday gewgaw.

Stand by for more gimcrackery. After four years of government by gimmick, here come four weeks of campaigning by gimmick. Opening gambit: the bank holiday gewgaw. The Prime Minister ­ after a low-key celebration of his 48th birthday yesterday ­ summons his Cabinet to Chequers to plan the election campaign while the nation rests.

Never mind that "planning the election campaign" means in practice that they leaf through a magazine-format version of Labour's manifesto and agree to it ­ it has, after all, already been printed. The impression is supposed to be one of dynamism (white-hot), youth (relative), shirtsleeves (rolled-up) and bits (chomping at). The actual impression given is of yet another tired stunt insulting the intelligence of the voters.

Spare us four weeks of this stuff, Mr Blair: fight the election on your record, on the issues and in grown-up debate.

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