There have been plenty of crazy political ideas over the years, but the news in today’s Observer is without compare:

‘Ed Miliband has commissioned a giant stone inscription bearing Labour’s six election pledges that is set to be installed in the Downing Street Rose Garden if he becomes prime minister. The 8ft 6in-high limestone structure is intended to underline his commitment to keep his promises by having them literally “carved in stone” and visible from the offices inside No 10.’

It’s laughable, but it’s also somewhat revealing – the modern Labour Party is positively unhinged, lost in a weird world ruled by dogma, the demands of Len McCluskey and above all an obsession with vacuous symbolism. If you’d asked me yesterday what Miliband’s Britain would look like, I’d have had plenty of predictions to make – but “an eight foot six inch monument to the Labour manifesto will be unveiled in the Rose Garden” would not have been one of them. At best, it’s an odd priority and a troubling sign of hubris.

Perhaps the final judgement on the idea is best left to Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Milibandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”