A letter a day to number 10. No 1,054

Friday 10 April 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Elections – voter beware – a guide. The problem with elections is that, in general, they go against all the advice for consumer protection.

The agenda – Never ask consumer advice from anyone trying to sell you something. During purdah the very best thing for all concerned would be if all parties involved were bound and gagged. Electioneering is a hideous process, we are swamped with self serving nonsense at every turn, little, if any of it, actually useful in helping voters decide which party to vote for. I don’t think I have ever watched a party political broadcast or ever will. At a time when independent advice is most needed we are swamped with the party line in which impartiality is non-existent.

Never judge a book by its cover. That’s all well and good except that in politics we have to because the only party we can judge by content is the one that has just been in office and to a lesser extent parties that have previously served. All the rest are asking us to take a punt based on promises made in their manifestos. What are needed are independent assessors untainted by any political affiliations or vested interests. The last thing we need are baby kissing displays of nauseating sincerity from people wearing rosettes like horses faking it up in pre-race photo opportunities.

Consumer guarantees.  Manifesto – ‘A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature’. The problem with manifestos is knowing whether they are worth the paper they are printed on or just empty promises waiting to be broken. You went to great efforts to convince the electorate of your sincerity in 2010 and look how that turned out.

Fit for purpose. Now that’s a tricky one in which class has returned as a major issue, a privileged class undermining, demonising, dictating to and causing harm, distress and even death to those who are working class, vulnerable, sick and disabled.  It’s all very well to have an ideology but ideology must be informed by reality, not imposed upon reality just because someone, like Iain Duncan Smith, fancifully and deludedly believes it. Here’s a little maxim for informed voting, “Those who rely on spin should never be voted in”. It is fair to ask of any politician what experience they have of the world(s) of ordinary people because it is ordinary people who comprise that vast majority of any nation. If we have learnt nothing else from these last five years it is that privilege and wealth can be, and mostly are, an impenetrable barrier to informed policy. Voters need to decide if politicians are fit for purpose or good for nothing, no matter how slick their manifesto or campaign might be. What is dogging this election are issues of transparency and credibility without which people cannot make informed choices but that is exactly what some politicians, like you, want.