Labour goes colder on markets
Labour's manifesto represents a significant shift away from the party's belief in a market-based economy and a shift towards much more government intervention.
In that sense, it may well be seen as the death of at least one incarnation of New Labour, or that great mid-1990s political creation of the troika of Blair, Brown and Mandelson.
That can be seen in its formal statement that "continuing modernisation and investment will be needed by the Royal Mail in the public sector" (my italics) - which is an important formal commitment that it would not privatise Royal Mail for at least the lifetime of the next Parliament.
It is also manifested in the pressure it is applying to the Takeover Panel to raise the voting threshold for all takeovers - and not just hostile bids - to two-thirds of shareholders (see my note of yesterday, "Not a Cadbury law").
The market for buying and selling big companies would probably shrink considerably if this new stipulation were introduced.
Also, the manifesto is littered with warm words and half-policies about encouraging the spread of mutuals and employee-owned businesses, and colder words about subjecting bankers' pay to tighter shareholder controls and empowering the FSA to "quash executive remuneration where it is a source of risk and instability".
But perhaps the killer manifesto phrase is this one:
"An activist industrial strategy is needed - learning the lessons from those nations that have succeeded in developing advanced manufacturing and leading-edge service industries. In those countries, the role of the government is not to stand aside, but to nurture private-sector dynamism, properly supporting infrastructure and the sectors of the future."
Some would say this is a pretty extraordinary statement from a party that has been in power for the past 13 years. It rather implies that Labour hasn't been nurturing private-sector dynamism.
So what is this new "activist industrial strategy"?
Well it's a variety of state-sponsored funds for investing in growing businesses, green businesses and infrastructure projects. And it's a series of tax breaks, especially for small companies, to encourage them to invest in capital, research and intellectual property.
As I've been banging on about for many weeks now, this area of industrial strategy and business policy represents - for the first time in some years - a clear ideological and policy split between Labour and the Tories.
The divide isn't yet as sharp as between the free-market Conservatives of the 1980s and the interventionist Labour of yore; but some would see striking parallels.
Update 1350: Peter Mandelson has told the World at One that part-privatisation of Royal Mail isn't ruled out.
So what does that phrase in the manifesto about Royal Mail needing investment "in the public sector" actually mean?
I'll admit to being bemused.