Party manifestos

We will not condemn them until we have seen them and all three are due out this week. What are we looking for?

A definition of the leading problems facing the nation, with the priority ascribed to each, and a comprehensible, convincing and costed answer. Economic and environmental action need to be at the top of the list.

Clear unambiguous statements, with figures, about plans for the short, medium and long term future under the party in question.

A committment to electoral and parliamentary reform – maximum proportionality being the minimum that will transform British politics. Having now almost completed a major textbook on the workings of Westminster it is self-evident to me why there are so many and such severe problems with its operation. A 21st century first-world country cannot be governed by some archaic relic from Imperial days garnished with large dollops of feudalism.

A binding undertaking to reduce inequality and poverty by successive annual increments.

Immediate legislative action to require a majority unwhipped vote in the Commons before committing the UK to military engagement.

Let’s make our own lists and read the manifestos with a critical eye and then comment.

The campaign to date has been a festival of posturing and misdirection. The country deserves better than this.

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