The buzzword of this election is “trust.” Who do you trust to deliver promises made on the campaign trail? Who do you trust with our economy, NHS, public services and defence? Who do you trust with the keys to No 10?
In that sense it is no different to other contests – I’ve reported every general election but one since 1970 – but this is certainly not business as usual.
The ideological differences between Boris’s Conservatives and Jeremy’s Labour have not been as stark since the hapless Michael Foot took on Margaret Thatcher in 1983.
Jeremy Corbyn promises free broadband for all without saying how it will be paid for, while the PM promises a spending splurge to end austerity without mentioning it was his party who slashed and burned spending budgets.
The Tories promise £34 billion extra cash for the NHS, while Labour has earmarked £40 billion. And the Lib Dems still promise to reverse Brexit.
What all parties seem to ignore is that – according to the YouGov Index – trust in the established parties has never been lower in modern times.
And, of course, Brexit is the major factor on this. Corbyn’s see-sawing on the biggest issue, indeed the main reason we are going through an election, has alienated both legitimate sides of the debate.
The Conservative slogan of “Get Brexit Done” also seems hollow – who has been in power for the last three-and-a-half years of omnishambles?
If, as currently seems most likely, Boris keeps the keys to No 10, Britain will leave the EU at the end of January – rather that the Halloween deadline he first promised.
But what party spin doctors don’t like to admit is that that will merely be the belated start to another long process to renegotiate Britain’s future trade and security relationship with our “friends” across the Channel.
Boris insists there is “bags of time” to do that and he is right but be careful of what you wish for. Even if a new Boris administration gets a proper parliamentary mandate to push through his EU divorce deal, don’t expect Brussels and Strasbourg to play ball.
That could mean – and you read it here first – that in the run-up to NEXT Christmas, we could be facing again the prospect of a No Deal Brexit.
Meanwhile, all sides continue to play true to form in undermining their “trust me” mantra.
Tory candidate Nadhim Zahawi claimed £5,000, it was alleged, for heating his horse stables. Labour candidate Maria Carroll, it is also alleged, ran a Facebook group which advises Holocaust deniers how best to challenge charges of antisemitism. And Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson continues to claim she WILL be PM on December 13.
I really am not making this stuff up.
- Elegant two-tone wooden cabinet with burled wood veneers
- Plated die-cast houses and hotels
- Recessed Faux-Leather Rolling Area
- Two Integrated Storage Drawers
- Gold Foil-Stamped Game Path and Rolling Area