LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Forget the worries about economic austerity, Scotland's future and Britain's place in Europe. In the wake of last week's British general election, a weightier question looms.
Among Britain's fiercely competitive tabloid papers, the race is on to find out what became of an 8-foot (2.4-metre) slab unveiled by opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband four days before voting day and inscribed with six election promises that he said were literally carved in stone.
The stunt backfired, with critics mocking the so-called Ed Stone as the "heaviest suicide note in history" and drawing ironic comparisons with Moses and the biblical Ten Commandments.
Miliband resigned after losing the election heavily to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, and the monument he had planned to install in the garden of 10 Downing Street has now mysteriously vanished.
Speculation over the whereabouts of what now looks like a gravestone for Miliband's electoral ambitions has become a popular sport on Twitter.
"Well, on the bright side, this new table is wonderful" tweeted user Luke Bailey above a doctored picture of the Ed Stone transplanted into Miliband's kitchen.
Another suggestion was that the next Labour leader should be chosen on the basis of a "Lord of the Rings"-style quest for the stone.
Labour has declined to reveal its fate. After reporters draw a blank with calls to stonemasons across Britain, the Sun newspaper set up an Ed Stone hotline and the Daily Mail offered a case of champagne for information leading to its discovery.
For those looking to own a piece of British electoral history, spoof listings have sprung up on Ebay. One suggests the stone "could be used for all sorts of gimmicks, ridiculous ideas and DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, as was the original purpose".
(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)