BEWARE the promises from politicians that will flood our newspapers and TV screens from now until election day.
Easy pledges will drip off the tongues of party leaders. In what will be the first “celebrity” election campaign – far more intensive than anything that went on in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s – a drooling PR campaign will be worked up around Dave, Gordon and Nick!
Speeches will turn on who has best thought through how to soften the blows to our standard of living in the coming years.
Our standard of living? Well, “We’re all in it together,” as Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, put it – or are we?
Judging by the unprecedented and disastrous growth of inequality in national incomes since the 1990s, it seems as if far larger numbers will feel the pinch than the protected few at the top.
How times have changed!
A year ago, public anger welled up around Britain’s bankers. Banking became a dirty word.
Then the banking system could have been turned upside down. Banks could have been properly nationalised, as even the Lib-Dems argued. New banks, people’s banks, could have been set up. But what happened? Slowly, banks, propped up by public money, have been allowed to return to their old casino ways.
Now, public debate has been turned upside down.
The popular media and commentators in tabloids and TV have closed the curtain over the banks. Discourse turns on the national debt, and who will cut public expenditure the most.
Here, certain sacred cows, such as defence, are taboo.
Since the 1950s mainstream parties have continued to see Britain as a world power, and for this mindset little has changed!
This is a subject beyond debate. As such Britain possesses a nuclear defence despite its crippling cost – a policy that confounds that of other powerful European economies.
In the run-up to the election in Camden the alliance of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives could fracture.
Not on national issues. There, each party, as well as Labour, will echo their masters.
But a breaking point, caused by a kind of political fatigue, is already emerging over who has done most for the borough – the Lib-Dems or the Tories?
For instance, each party – illogically – claims credit for a Zero Council Tax rise though the policy has been allowed to sail hitherto under a common mast.
Such is the fate of what – at times – may be thought of as an unhappy marriage.