If Gordon Brown says “future” one more time . . .

Election 2010: Guffwatch.

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So we all know that politicians like buzzwords. The Tories have "change". Labour has "recovery" and "road" and "road to recovery". I think they think that if we hear the same word 14,000 times it will actually take over our brains, so whenever we hear "Tories" we think "change" and whenever we hear "change" we think, "Good: I like change. I like Tories." Actually we're thinking, "Please use a different word. If I hear the word change one more time I'm going to have to lie down in a dark room with ice on my head and a bird soundtrack playing for the rest of the election campaign."

Anyway, today it's Labour manifesto launch day (LMLD)! Basically everyone's favourite day after Christmas. I personally celebrated LMLD by refusing to read any articles about the colours of politicians' ties.

And today's buzzword is . . . "future". Oh, we like the future. Much more than the past. And Gordon Brown really likes the future. He's in the "future business". (WHAT DOES IT MEAN? He's selling the future? Is he actually trying to sell the future to us? You can't do that. That's much worse than MPs' expenses.)

And then there was this:

Our manifesto is written not in the past tense. It is written in the future tense.

Really? A random example from the manifesto: "The world changed out of all recognition in 2007." Sounds like the past tense, but then I am being pedantic when, of course, what he means is something much more symbolic and inspirational. Labour is about the future! Not about the past! Although you'd think they might be more for the past given they've been governing for the past 13 years of it.

But that is not the point. This is the future. Right now. Or more specifically, tomorrow, which famously never comes -- a very clever electioneering trick. Phew. I have one plea. Don't start playing with time. As you can see, it's confusing.

Sophie Elmhirst is a freelance writer and former New Statesman features editor.

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