British election challenger carves pledges in stone
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
AP PhotoBritish Labour leader Ed Miliband unveiled a 2.5 metre-stone monument engraved with his election promises on May 3 in a bid to convince the public to elect him prime minister.
Miliband, whose party is neck-and-neck with Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives, said he would install the limestone slab in the garden of 10 Downing Street if elected on May 7.
"These six pledges are now carved in stone. They are carved in stone because they won't be abandoned after the general election," Miliband said as he unveiled the monument.
"I want the British people to remember these pledges, to remind us of these pledges, to insist on these pledges, because I want the British people to be in no doubt, we will deliver them.
"We will restore faith in politics by delivering what we promised at this general election."
The six promises include "controls on immigration", "higher living standards for working families" and "a strong economic foundation".
But the monument was mocked by Miliband's opponents and on social media, where the slab was dubbed the "#EdStone", and users edited photos of it to include joke policies such as "outlaw the goat".
Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley described it as "the biggest suicide note in history" while Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson said the idea was like something from the bible.
"I think it's absolutely crazy you've already got the Labour leader commissioning great stones that are going to be engraved like the commandments of Moses," said Johnson, seen as a potential future leader of the Conservative party.
Although politicians have been trying hard to minimise gaffes by avoiding unpredictable situations, Britain's most uncertain election in decades has resulted in a number of comical moments.
The Labour press team announced "Everybody should have his own owl" in a Tweet in June -- later claiming their Twitter account had been hacked.
Last month, Cameron forgot what football team he supports, urging an audience to cheer for a rival side in an incident he blamed on "brain fade".