Next in line for a manifesto analysis is the Liberal Democrats’ Jane Brophy. Cllr Jane Brophy is, it won’t surprise you to know, a councillor. More specifically, she’s holds a bit of power in the Timperley Ward of Trafford Council. She’s had a long history of campaigning, with a particular emphasis on the environment in her earlier days, and since then she’s campaigned for mental health, better public transport links, and 20mph zones, among other causes.
Two things strike you immediately when looking at her manifesto – the colour scheme and the pictures. The Lib Dems colour scheme is inoffensive but not particularly nice, and the colour used for the name doesn’t quite match with the Liberal Democrat’s yellow symbols used as bulletpoints, which is, for some reason, particularly annoying. The pictures are odd for a couple of reasons. Firstly, her smile seems to be quite insincere and sickly. Like someone’s just said “Come on Jane, smile”, and she’s quickly grimaced to get it out of the way. There’s also a picture of Jane with Tim Farron, the Lib Dems’ leader, with a caption telling you he’s the Lib Dems’ leader. An insight into party confidence there, I think. “Oh…should we put Tim’s name and standing in there just so we’re sure people get the significance of the photo?”
Her campaign slogan, “step forward”, is great, because it appears to be full of meaning without having any meaning. But I do like the manifesto, as a piece, because it’s to the point. She’s gone the opposite way to Andy Burnham. Where he was wordy, she’s concise. However her content is a little shabby.
Here’s what she promises to deliver:
- Local green spaces protected from development (obviously going to be a biggy with her environmental past)
- Rising crime levels tackled (easy cop-out promise (pardon the pun) – no mention of what crimes in particular or even a nod to how it might be handled)
- Local jobs protected from the threat of a hard Brexit (packed with buzzwords and buzztopics – meaningless because there is no way of knowing how Brexit will go)
That’s all the mention she makes of issues she is concerned with. Then the second page has a few points on who Jane Brophy is. Despite having already mentioned a brief bit about her history, the manifesto leans on it once more. It seems she is relying heavily on reputation and history rather than actual ideas or actionable promises.
Compared to Andy Burnham’s offering, it’s a more pleasant read visually, perhaps, but it lacks substance. So in my personal ranking, Burnham, for now, sits top.
Running league table:
1st – Andy Burnham – Labour
2nd – Jane Brophy – Liberal Democrats