Sunday, 3 May 2015

General Election: Lies, More Lies and Manifesto Promises

Party Manifesto's are often considered a useful way for us to make a decision on Election Day. But how helpful are they when a Party is not held to the promises it makes to secure our vote and our loyalty?...

I never bother reading through any of the party manifesto's before a General Election, its a waste of time. Yes, it can give you an indication of what a Party says it wants to achieve should it be gifted power, but so what? Since there is no law that states the leading members of a Party will be subject to torture and death if they lie to the electorate, the Manifesto is the biggest waste of paper since, well since, paper was invented. When we are celebrating Blair's Government for keeping 90% of its Manifesto promises and lambasting Cameron's Government because it hardly kept a single one you have to wonder why they bother at all. Surely it would be more honest to produce a single sided piece of A4 which bears the following legend: 

"We believe that you, the Electorate, are a load of mindless, pathetic sheep. Yet, in order to retain or gain power (delete as appropriate) we need your tacit approval and we need you to vote for us. Under these circumstances, we are prepared to offer you any promise or tax break so that you will lend us your support. The previous sentence is subject to the the following Caveat, anything we promise you is likely to not occur and is probably a total lie." Signed, which ever Party it is attributed to.

Seriously though, I am really not that cynical, actually yes I am, but I do believe that not all the rubbish that you read on the Manifesto is intended to fail. Some of the broken promises can be put down an over exuberant (desperate) Election Campaign team. They are not paid to find out whether a statement is attainable they are simply paid to make it sound believable. Both the Conservative and Labour Party Manifesto's contain lofty promises and exciting details of how they will deliver a country that is fixed and not broken. Yet. they also contain huge inconsistencies and promises that were just made to be broken. Remember the Tories promise to balance the books by 2015 and that, through crippling the poor and the needy ( I think they may have worded it differently) they would claw back the massive economic deficit the evil Labour Party had caused. Not making much of an issue over the fact that they have dramatically, spectacularly, failed in this rather basic issue. In fact, the Conservatives have increased the deficit and have borrowed more than the previous Labour Government did. Yes, Osbourne is a liar and yes he is a manipulator of statistics so that his severe failure in delivering on a key manifesto promise is left hidden. But what was he supposed to do? Tell the truth would have been a good starting point. But we are talking about Politicians and to tell the truth would have probably meant losing the Election. Yes, I know they didn't actually win in the first place but we have to work with the sewage pile we are given.

Conservative Party Leaflet Used During The Last General Election
It's not just the Conservatives though, Labour has the same issue and so does every other Party. Their Manifestos are designed to set out a better, healthier Britain yet we will be lucky if we see even a fraction of the Brave New World they so eloquently set out. There is another issue here as well, the real people that run our country are not the faces we see emblazoned on the posters or the sides of the battle buses. Its not even the MP's who leaflet us with their, more localised, promises of how Recycling collections will improve under their, sage direction. It is the unelected advisers, those shadowy no faces who form the Think Tanks and whisper behind the backs of those men and women who will form the next Cabinet. It is these Advisers that will decide whether a change can happen and whether it is in the best interest of the country. As if that was their primary concern, neither is it the health of the Party they serve or even the Democracy and liberty of our land. If you seriously think that this country is run for the majority, to make a stronger and healthier community of equality, populated by smiley,happy people then you are as delusional as the Puppets who work in Westminster. What motivates the Advisers will be things like the share prices of whichever organisation they are paid to safe guard. Which oligarchy or corrupt regime it suits them to turn a blind eye to so that they can continue with whatever trade agreement they have brokered. All Political systems are inherently corrupt because they are run by "the human condition" and we are all tempted by the lick of power and the whisper of control. At least Dictatorships are honest in their display of who makes the decisions. 

If you want to know who to vote for, don't read a Manifesto because you will only end up disappointed in a few years time. Instead, vote with your heart or your mind and vote for the candidate or Party that seems more believable. Because, if it sounds too good to be true, then the chances are it is. Everything needs to be paid for, so if a Party are promising an increase in benefits or the minimum pay rate then it will need to be financed from somewhere. If the quoted source of finance sounds unlikely then you have a right to be concerned as to whether it will materialise.

David Martin is a firm believer in wider reading but also spends his time watching horror films and going to the theatre. He has been known to venture outside but prefers worlds he can imagine. Follow him on Twitter at @ventspleen2014

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