The Conservative Manifesto 2017 is a very different creation. I slogged through it for at least ten hours trying to extract its essence and then gave up.

To be fair - it has a lot more stuff in it than the Labour Manifesto, but it is presented as a collection of blurred overlapping incomplete bits and pieces - not as a joined-up integrated system. I think that is why it was so hard to work out what it is about.

It identifies difficult problems, some of which the political system has been systematically ignoring for a long time - the need for innovation in the economy, a smooth orderly exit from EU, tackling enduring social divisions and injustices, how to respond to the needs of our aging population, harnessing the new technologies for the common good. (Unfortunately it doesn't list all of the systematically ignored issues, or address why our current form of democracy is prone to ignoring serious issues, but it is a start)

It talks about the need for government to take practical decisions, balancing and regulating competing interests in the interest of the whole country - not just a privileged few. It says it will be pragmatic and realistic - not driven by dangerous extreme delusional outdated ideologies of left or right (or anywhere else).

It identifies the need to balance: the rights and desires of the individual against the needs of a healthy sustainable society - the private sector and the public sector. (That's good - they have been reading Jonathan Haidt's Righteous Mind - they should have made more of it though.)

It recognizes that people want a meritocracy - good schools for their children, access to training and technical education to equip them with the changing skills needed in the changing workplace, a fair chance with no obstruction.

They recognize that people are concerned about the cost of living - want a fair deal as consumers - security in their jobs, care and accommodation and old age. They want world class public services, secure pensions and protection and security against Terrorism.

They want government to listen to their legitimate concerns and stand up to abuses of power and privilege.

It talks about the conservative's underlying beliefs and values - they reject selfish individualism, untrammeled markets, social division, injustice unfairness inequality, abuses of power, extremism, delusional ideologies, violence because of race, faith or sexuality.

They will stand against climate change, habitat degradation, species loss, modern slavery, child poverty, disease resistance and emerging tropical diseases.

They stand for - a global role in promoting democracy and tolerance (within reason hopefully), the Rule of Law, Free Trade, Sound Finances, Low Taxes (generating higher receipts) Fair Tax Collection. Fair Balanced Regulated Markets, a better deal for consumers - keeping down the cost of living, personal responsibility and accountability, support for the economy, support for business, balanced regional prosperity, prosperous town cities and rural communities, contented communities, investing for / not borrowing from the future, rebuilding respect for our institutions.

They believe that 'Work is the best way out of Poverty' (as opposed to...subsidy?) - hence work should always pay. So they propose a National Living wage - a world class meritocracy with opportunity for talent and hard work, great schools - great education for skills and technical training - and opportunities (a right even) for life long learning.

They have a lot more to say than Labour about the housing problem, its causes and what to do about it. They even acknowledge that it is a supply and demand problem - not just a supply problem. They propose to free up land, speed up the development process, encourage modern methods of construction, encourage diversity in who builds, promote estate quality and sustainability, ensure quality developments that add to rather than distract from what is there now, and are thus be more welcome (well less opposed) by local communities. Promote integrated communities, stand against poor estate and community infrastructure designs, protect the Green Belt and National Parks, rebalance housing growth across the country. New fixed term social housing, (sold after 15 years (who to, the most recent temporary tenant?) and reinvested), reformed compulsory purchase orders, public and private builders to capture the increase in land values to incentivize and fund building (that's clever). £2.5B flood defense program (hopefully they will stop building in flood plains and upstream soil erosion too). They also acknowledge but not address the problem that a lot of private money is going into property because it is seen as a safe rising asset - which would be better invested (for the good of the nation) in other more productive economic areas.

As regards the economy it recognizes that we need to invest in infrastructure, education, innovation, and R&D, (but there is not much detail, and no mention of the Emperor's Clothes taboo - what has gone so wrong - and therefore needs to be put right - with education.)

There are passing references to - A Shared Prosperity Fund (from EU returns), a Future Britain Funds, a National Prosperity Investment Fund, new Institutes for Technology, a new Skills Advisory Panel, Local Enterprise Partnerships, a right to lifelong learning, a new National Infrastructure Police Force for counter terrorism and white collar crime, world class public services (more accountable and better employers - reduce the bullying in the NHS for example) - investments in NHS people, buildings and technology. Universities working for local communities (as opposed to?), and a review of the definitions or asylum and refugee status (hopefully moving towards temporary sanctuary).

So here is the diagram I drew as I was trying to make sense of it. The very first box contains the secret of why it was so hard to make sense of it. "Tackle chronic injustices". This says 'We acknowledge that there are some persistent problems but we have not specified what they are, what causes them, why they have persisted despite the best efforts of generations of well intentioned people, what has been tried and failed in the past, what we are going to try his time - or what exactly 'tackle' means, or what a good outcome would look like.'

Tackling it - could mean, commission yet another 'neutral freethinking independent' academic study (!) - send a few people to prison - what? The whole document is full a phrases that hint at, but don't clearly define a problem, express a desire for things to be better, but don't spell out what (pragmatically) they think needs to be done about it.

I tried colour coding the boxed to identify - problems and causes, goals, principles and methods, things to actually do - but I gave up because it is so full of 'tackle chronic injustices' style phrases.

Having said all that - there is actually a lot of interesting refreshing stuff in this manifesto - problems acknowledged - principles and beliefs about how best to approach these issues, and the appropriate roles for government, and the public and private sectors.