The political manifesto

Promises or hype, how can we tell?

It does what it saysIt does what it says.

The Ronseal company has always been proud of its advertising slogan 'it does what it says on the tin'. However, this sort of integrity does not extend to politics. It takes a great deal of effort to research, create and then promote a coherent manifesto.

But if it no longer has any value would it be such a bad thing to get rid of it? Perhaps it would be sensible and not a sign of politics dumbing down. For if the political parties are no longer bothered about the manifesto then this brings direct democracy a step closer.

Because small local groups could form with a view to taking power and would be spared a great deal of effort. In other words a political party is no longer something so special because of its huge resources.

So why bother with a manifesto at all? Tradition has it that a political party seeks credibility by
making a promise and then carrying it out. This brings trust, support and loyalty and so the party grows. The manifesto today is an altogether different thing. Not least because credibility is deemed old fashioned.

Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats made promises about student tuition fees that could not be kept.

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