As 3rd May, polling day in the local elections, draws every closer, reasons not to trust the promises that the Conservatives make seem paramount. Just how many of them have they broken? They must be competing with Nick Clegg about now.
So far, we’ve seen:
- A massive, widescale reform of the NHS, despite a promise that there would be no more top-down reforms.
- An attempt to sell off the country’s forests to the highest bidder, having promising to care better for the countryside.
- Despite pr0mising to fix the economy and cut the deficit, they’re borrowing more and the country is back in recession.
- A promise to be the “greenest government ever” met by…well, nothing.
- Scrapping EMA for poorer students, despite promises not to before the election from both David Cameron and Michael Gove.
And those are just the ones off the top of my head.
Additionally, those who read the Conservatives’ 2010 manifesto might remember this line:
“…we will not allow the poorest people in Britain to pay an unfair price for the mistakes of some of the richest.“
And yet since being in government, they have hiked VAT (which hits the poorest hardest), and increased tax on pensioners to fund a tax break for millionaires. That seems like a broken promise to me.
Of course, this being a local election local issues will be rightfully taking centre stage. But to think that the Conservatives in Wokingham borough are more trustworthy would be a mistake.
This blog, from November 2010, by local resident Richard Peat shows up just how conniving they are. Essentially, they promised in advance of the 2010 general election that a Tory government would reduce housing quotas, allowing the council to reduce the number that they would be building. The Tories got votes, as a result, in both national and local elections, and unsurprisingly the quota reduction didn’t happen.
So essentially, they lied in order to win votes at election time. Not exactly shocking, you may be tempted to think.
Look, also, at the library privatisation plan. It was announced last May, conspicuously just after a local election in which a third of councillors faced the public vote. So you’d expect it to have been a major issue in the campaign for that election.
But you’d be wrong. No mention was made, and the idea was not put to the public. A cynic might suggest that this was because the Conservatives knew it would be a vote loser, and decided that it was easier for them to subvert the democratic process and do it in secret. But I’ll let you make up your own mind.
My point is this: the Conservatives cannot be trusted to stand by their campaign pledges. They promise that they’ll iron out the “teething problems” with the new rubbish collection scheme, but you weren’t asked or consulted with about it. They promise the libraries are safe, but they’ve broken their promises many times before. And how can we know that Monday 7th May won’t see the announcement of some new policy we’ve heard nothing about before?