I remember clearly, it must be all of 30 years ago, Barbara Castle speaking at a Labour Party Rally in Sheffield. One for rhetoric she totally outshone Neil Kinnock for passion and commitment, her rallying cry was “never argue with a Tory about policy, ask them what they have done with the money” – cue rapturous applause.
The same question pervades politics today, the expense scandals, the freebies, the jaunts, the weddings and now election promises. We need to ask what have they done with the money and what will they do with it – if their figures are reasonable assumptions.
We cling to the premise that Parliament serves the people, though in reality we are slave to it, we have entered into a Faustian deal with out elected officials that they conduct any social or monetary experiment they desire, regardless of the cost to ourselves, for the pretence of democracy. We have in effect an elected Dictatorship, and it kinda of works. The fundamental lie about our system is that the Governments ‘gives away’ money, it doesn’t, The Government does not have any money, and when they buy a new Aircraft Carrier or build an new Hospital, then they are spending my money, when they reduce taxes they are telling me, effectively, we are going to take less from you this year – and make it sound like they are giving me something more, rather than taking less.
The debate about the debates in the run up to the General Election are interesting because a lot revolves around whether the political parties have their sums right, and some political parties haven’t even costed their proposals – if elected they will be let lose with national Credit Card.
I do not understand why any Party will not have their proposals costed. If I am to elect a Government then I should be convinced that they are going to spend my money on the things that I want them spent on. It should be the law that every political party with spending plans should have them costed first, and costed against the same base model. It is called accountability.
When they are spending money, and making promises, remember that you are paying.