Tory manifesto - the cross-dressing goes on

David Cameron Image copyright PA
Image caption David Cameron says he wants to guarantee 'a good life' for British workers and families

This week of political cross dressing goes on.

David Cameron tried to re-brand the Conservatives as the party of working people - the day after Ed Miliband claimed that Labour was the party of economic responsibility.

It is not just the language that has changed it is the tone.

Today the Tory leader tried to re-discover the rhetorical "sunshine" he was once associated with - with his promise to deliver "The Good Life" in a country which he claimed was on the "brink of something special".

So, gone is the "age of austerity". Gone too the warnings of red flashing lights on the dashboard. Gone all talk of difficult decisions.

In their place comes not one but three give-aways - an extension of the right to buy, a doubling of free childcare and a promise that tax allowances will rise to ensure that the minimum wage is tax free. This after a series of others - not least the pledge to cut inheritance tax and spend at least £8 billion a year on the NHS.

What today's Conservative manifesto does not spell out is who will pay. Which budgets will be cut (police, colleges, councils…)? Which benefits will be stopped? Whose taxes will be raised?

David Cameron and George Osborne used to warn against unfunded spending commitments. They are gambling that their reputation as protectors of the public purse is good enough to risk looking like they can't wait to get spending again.

There is, of course, a reason the Tories and Labour are trying so hard to look like each other. It is because the two big parties are stuck in the opinion polls. Neither shows any sign of breaking away. Neither can be confident of getting enough support to get a majority government.

The question after this manifesto launch is raised by David Cameron's own rhetoric - do you really see him as leader of the workers' party? Do you believe that the Tories can deliver the Good Life?

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