Bob Bury

Will the electorate believe rash promises?

I wasn’t going to bother this week as I’m on holiday. But it’s a Sunday afternoon in Cornwall, it’s raining (again), and my granddaughters are noisily and messily occupied making Rice Krispie cakes with Auntie Kate, so I thought, why not?

Driving down here last week I was as reassured as you will have been to hear on the radio that Gordon is going to shave billions off the NHS budget by cutting back on the excessive sick leave taken by health service staff. It’s so simple, it’s a wonder no-one thought of it before (not least this government, who have, after all, had nearly 13 years during which you might have thought the penny would have dropped). Except, of course, they aren’t going to do any such thing, any more than following through on the promise that every pregnant woman would have one-to-one care from their own midwife. They didn’t deliver on that one, predictably, because they didn’t have enough midwives to sustain the current service, let alone extend it. This latest example of willing the end but not the means, the most recent in a seemingly endless list of empty promises (or targets, as Nulabour spin would have it), really does beggar belief. I begin to wonder just how gullible the electorate would have to be to swallow it. Again.

I’m thinking of bringing the same strategy to bear on my personal life. I’ll be retiring soon (I think I may have mentioned it before), and I had been a bit worried about the consequent precipitous drop in my income, but I realise now that it won’t be a problem. By the time I’ve halved our expenditure on electricity and gas, and reduced the food bills by 75%, I’ll actually be better off than I am now. And of course, the beauty of this approach is that I don’t have to actually achieve the savings. What’s more, I don’t even need to have the remotest idea of how I might go about doing so. All I have to do is say it will happen. Simple.

I wish getting the back off my mobile phone was as straightforward. My children and wife can all do it with ease – they just flip it off with the merest hint of pressure from their thumb, then click it back into place. I push with both thumbs until the sweat runs down my face and I weep tears of frustration, but the bloody thing won’t budge. As my daughter helpfully remarked: “I don’t know how you manage with all that complicated scanning equipment at work.” Quite. As for why I need to get the back off the wretched thing…I just don’t want to go there.

Still, no need to worry about that now. It’s still raining, but it’s six o clock, so I can get to work with the corkscrew. Don’t work too hard y’all.

Bookmark and Share

2 Responses to “Will the electorate believe rash promises?”

  1. Mr White says:

    I’ve just read how the Tories aren’t going to increase NI contributions (as the government proposes) for people earning under £45k. They claim it would cost the NHS £200m because they’re a significant employer. Instead this mythical ‘£200m’ is going to be used to allow patients better access to the latest cancer drugs.

    It’s even better being opposition, you can say whatever populist crap you like without ever having to back it up.

  2. Malcolm Morrison says:

    When elections loom, politicians all turn into Humpty Dumpties – for he said “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean”. So, you see ALL their promises are real (to them); it is just WE who don’t understand what THEY mean!
    No doubt we shall have lots of “Promises, promises” and lots of “lies, damned lies and statistics” – all designed to confuse us, the electorate. Why do they think we are so stupid? Do they not realise, even yet, that they have been rumbled? We all know that “Power tends to corrupt; and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
    Oh for the old-fashioned hustings and some good heckling! But we shall just have to settle for some TV ‘debates’!

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation