I wonder who buys these things. There must be someone, right now, walking around wearing a T-shirt with the slogan Big Government = Big Problems on it. That's a Tory one, obviously. As is the slightly more direct: "Release Your Inner Tory" T-shirt, which appears to depict a lock and chains exploding as said "Inner Tory" bursts out of the stomach of the unsuspecting wearer. It's like something out of Alien.
Other gift ideas from the Conservative Party include the Tea for Change mug, the delightful "Bye Bye Bureaucracy" poster, and the must-have Blue is the New Green bag. And then, of course, there's the babygro with "Future Prime Minister" printed on it in bright green capitals. Perhaps this is an unwitting reference to the youthful looks of Cameron and Osborne. Or maybe they're thinking that even Cameron isn't young enough and they should start pitching to the über-youth market NOW by recruiting the under-twos. Either way, the idea of buying one of these for a baby is pretty horrifying.
So how does Labour match up? The list of items is rather short, it has to be said. Compared to the Tories' endless array of dodgy garb and kitchenware, the Labour offerings are paltry.
There's the standard diary, tie, pin badge, postcards, and then my personal favourite: the NHS mug. This comes with the helpful instruction: "Ideal for post-campaign session cup of tea!" No novelty babygros for Labour, then. Just slightly sanctimonious messages hinting at the value of our health service. Happy Christmas!