The Telegraph characterises the coming fight as 'Big Government versus Big Society', and though Dave's pledges to decentralise the State owe more to the principles of homeopathy than political economy, it's a fair summation.
For Labour's draft manifesto, revealed in the Guardian, is an unequivocal plan to strengthen even more the State and the Leviathan of Big Government and to disempower even further the British people;
Provisions for the management of inefficient police forces to be taken over by efficient forces. "Where service is not good enough, it will be taken over by the best," the draft says
The Home Office have been trying for a decade to strong-arm police forces into merging, in a long effort to wrest control of the police from citizens to the State. We've proven stubbornly resistant to Labour's vision of a National Police Force under the control of central government - but here's Labour's devious work-around. Simply set the efficiency bar to 'fail' half the existing forces over successive years and within a Parliamentary term you can pretty well create a National Police Force.
Simultaneous referendums on a new voting system for the Commons and a 100% elected second chamber.
After having enjoyed all the benefits of skewed electoral quotas under the FPTP system, even Labour realise that our unequal constituencies can't continue for ever. In a sop to a potential alliance with the LibDems, Labour are embracing the AV system - a system that will give even more power to central metropolitan parties, and detract from the local constituency link.
A national youth service alongside votes at 16.
The idea of a national youth service fills me with horror; it will have a Minister, and no doubt a new quango - the National Youth Agency? - to run it, with a dozen Regional Directors on £200k a year each, all faithfully parroting Whitehall's central diktats. Perhaps Gordon even has a uniform in mind ...
Rights for football supporters to take over football clubs.
This is the reintroduction of Labour's oldest and most fondly held tenet - the Right of Nationalisation. Clause 4 is back. Expect Labour to extend the 'right' to all sort of privately-owned enterprises, not just football clubs.
A living wage of £7.60 in Whitehall, funded by a cap on the salaries of the most highly paid public sector employees.
They just can't resist central command and control, can they? What's the free market reward package in London for unqualified admin workers? Why pay more than this? This is an obvious sop to Mark Serwotka and the PCS Union; with Jack Dromey and eleven other TU reps on Labour's NEC, the Blairites need to pay-off the Unions. With our money.
Same old same old Labour. This could have been Michael Foot's manifesto - all that's lacking is a commitment to unilateral disarmament and a score of scruffy lesbians on the platform.