I see that the Conservative party have got themselves in a spot of bother over the planned rise in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed. The reason for this, apart from the fact that it seems a little unfair, is that people are saying that they have broken one of their manifesto pledges.
If I was Mrs May, I would be saying that this was not one of my manifesto pledges but one of David Cameron’s Government pledges. I half expect this to happen but people, including me, will argue that it was a Conservative pledge made in their promises of what would happen if they were re-elected. The trouble with manifesto pledges is that they are not legally binding and until they are things will not change for the better
At present, parties can say what they like in an effort to get elected into power and then decide to just ignore what they said they would do once in power. It’s a bit like someone going for a job interview and saying anything to get the job and then when they start working their new boss discovers that they cannot do what they said they could do in the interview. We all know how that situation would turn out. Very soon the person who lied at the interview would soon be out of a job. Why is it any different with political parties. If they say they are going to do something when they get elected, then they should be made to do it, otherwise they can promise the earth but not deliver
You would have to put some time frame into place once elected in order that it can be enforced, and if it isn’t met then the rule should be that a new election would be called. I’d say we should give it 12 months to show progress towards a manifesto pledge and 24 months in total to achieve it and this should be regardless of who is in charge of the party otherwise they could always wriggle out of it. I can just imaging Mrs May saying I didn’t promise that, David Cameron promised that and I’m not going to do it, whatever the that was. But this shouldn’t be a get out, it should be something like – the Conservatives promised it so I’m going to make it happen.
This is indeed what Mrs May is doing over Brexit even though she voted against the decision to leave the EU. She is in charge now and is carrying out the promise. However, this would break the in place within 2 years rule I suggested above but at least a notice to leave the EU delivered soon would show she means what she says. I say good luck to her
But coming back to manifesto pledges, I would like to see all parties have a manifesto at the next election to pledge that they will make manifestos legally binding otherwise the party will stand down and call a new election.
It isn’t rocket science, it’s called honesty