Colin Alcock

Verbal Ramblings.

Keeping promises

Manifestos make promises – keeping them is another matter.
It's easy to make promises when you are unlikely to have to keep them. So why do people seem so surprised when the 'blue' manifesto seems short on positives, beyond the direction the government is already travelling. Whether or not the most likely outcome of the General Election provides a vastly increased majority – or even a smaller one – those with the blue rosettes must assume they will stay in power. They will have to keep any promises, yet what can they actually guarantee before the Brexit deal is done? Or not done.

Sure, the red rosettes can make a sharp attack with populist measures and socialist inspired ideas that take us back to the good old days of high borrowing, high unemployment, high mortgage rates and high taxes, not just applied to the top earners but across the so called middle classes, white and blue collar. Yet amongst them are some good points regarding nationalisation. As a long term Labour voter, turned Liberal, turned Tory (and still not happy with all they do), I am aware of true social values and the need for some national control of the UK's infrastructure; regarding public transport especially. I also agree with a rebalancing of wealth, but not at the expense of inhibiting growth and penalising the very people who strive hard to develop business and provide the jobs the majority of us want. Some, I know, take too much out of the pot, but are they that much worse than the many who choose never to put any in and expect so much to be given to them?

Of course, for the minor parties, it's easy. Just bluntly promise whatever makes a popular statement. The Libs, the Greens and the man with the Purple bus all have their platform to say what they would do in Government, happy in the knowledge that all their promises are empty. They will never get the chance to fulfil them.

So, what is the key issue in voting on June 8? For me it is to ensure that we have a party in power that has the will and the endurance to finalise Brexit in a way that maximises cooperative links with Europe, without destroying the UK's soul. It must be a party with a strong, credible leader who has experience of negotiating at the highest ministerial level. The incumbent doesn't have to be liked, particularly, but needs the energy, initiative and poise to be taken seriously and must have the full support (well as near as possible, in politics) of his or her party. Stability will be important during Brexit negotiations and I hope that those who remain in opposition parties will remember that this factor is just as important as the role of contributing alternative opinions.

Likewise, in the devolved regions, don't let nationalist party issues subjugate the real task of first bringing home the most positive result for the benefit of every member of the United Kingdom. Parochial discontent can be settled afterwards. If there is still the need and/or the will to do so.

And for my promise? It's to vote. To make sure my choice is recorded.