So the Prospectuses are out; the written promises are made.
Do they actually matter?
Will they actually make a difference?
One of Tony Blair’s Manifesto’s promised no introduction of University Top-up Fees … ?!
This Government’s last one promised no rise in income tax … ?!
And so much for a referendum on the European Constitution from both sides!!
Historically the Lib Dem one was a Document of Protest but hey! it’s for real this time … they might hold the balance of power and the price of parliamentary co-operation is in their Manifesto.
The Conservatives give a written promise to give us our power back and get out of our lives … but there are enough questions left unanswered to allow a horse and cart oceans of wriggle room.
All three have failed to address in terms two of the biggest issues our Country faces over the next Parliament.
Firstly, they are all heavy on public spending; cutting it, not cutting it, ring fencing it, increasing it even!
Not one word on making the stuff in the first place! Only Business generates taxation; when profit is made a business can only do one of three things with it: reward those who took the risk of the enterprise, the shareholders or partners, and they pay tax on it; or keep it in the business as retained profit and pay tax on it; or employ people, who pay tax on it!
Taxation (both direct and indirect, paid by private and public sector employees alike) has its origins in the wealth Business creates.
And yet, here, at a time of National Peril, when the only way out of this mess is to trade our way out and help Business create wealth and jobs, no-one is talking about helping businesses do the job.
Taking the milch cow for granted or what!
One side puts up the tax on jobs; the other would partially cut it!
How about abolishing it completely and then increasing tax-take on profits after the money is made?
One side says they should have regulated more; another says “See, you’re to blame!” whilst the third says “I told you so!”
We do not need more regulation (especially on a “go-it-alone” isolated basis); we do not need more rules strangling the lifeblood out of non-financial sector small business; we need what we’ve got better enforced and that which emanates from Brussels strictly implemented in other EU member countries where compliance is a voluntary event!
So far in this campaign Politicians have shown a remarkable ignorance of the issues preventing the wealth creators in our Society from getting on with the job-in-hand.
Secondly, has there been any meaningful publicity about this country’s dirty little secret? Has any manifesto highlighted the debilitating cancer in our society? After eleven years of full-time, compulsory, free education (and how many billions of children in this World would love to have been provided with that start in life?!), nearly half the young people who take a GCSE this summer will not get Grade C or above in English or Maths; and they’re the ones who take it! Nearly half the new recruits for the world of work are leaving our education system not fit for purpose.
Colleges of Education have to spend the first term in remedial training! Employers (in both private and public sectors) have to teach people to read and add up before they can train them for the job they’re paid to do; just imagine what that does to national productivity and efficiency…precisely at the time when we need a Public Sector that can be equipped to provide more with less and a Private Sector that must take on India and China in global markets and win!
20% of the adult population of the UK cannot read to the standard expected of an 11 year-old and 30% of them cannot add up two three-figure numbers.
Does this disgraceful situation get a mention in the Manifesto’s? Has any Party explained in terms what it’s going to do about it? Don’t make me laugh!
Sadly I’m not laughing; on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people who will be ill-equipped to deal with 21st century Britain for the rest of their lives, impacting on their social standing, health and ability to get on (far more than so many initiatives shouted from the rooftops at the launches this week), I feel like crying.