Social justice is at the centre of Labour’s draft manifesto | Editorial -The Independent – John Gelmini

Dr Alf is correct, it is unlikely that the early draft Labour Manifesto will be examined or risk assessed in any satisfactory way, let alone with the sort of intellectual rigour that my old insurance clients and someone like Dr Alf would insist on.

Manifestos are written for people with very short attention spans, short memories, the gullible and those who hear and read what they want to hear. Typically, they are abandoned once the politicians who wrote it are in office and then the real agenda, including things like Gay Marriage or whatever it happens to be, emerges. This is because the Manifestos are “selling documents” or what the Americans like to call “pitch decks” and the real agenda is rolled out by those who put the politicians into place in the first place.

Mrs May or whoever the Prime Minister of the day is has to see the Monarch once a week. This is not an arcane piece of ceremony but a review of what has happened the week before and a set of instructions about what is to happen next. The Royal Mace sits on top of the House of Commons dispatch box as a reminder to people of just where the power lies. In Commonwealth countries, this power is delegated to the Queen’s Governor Generals until it is time to approve their budgets as Sir John Major let slip last year when he said that he recalled sitting outside waiting for his audience with the Queen to have the UK budget approved for that year but had to wait longer because the Prime Minister of New Zealand was next in line to have his budget approved.

The Labour Party Manifesto will not be fully costed if all the previous ones that I have seen over the years are anything to go by and neither will any of the others because all of them assume “growth”, “reductions in public spending”, the “elimination of waste” and other things which the politicians either have no control over or are told privately to leave alone. Thus the Barnett Formula, foreign aid and the structure of local government and the NHS remains the same, unreformed and untouchable.

Mrs May will win the election but not by a landslide and she will only be able to use a partially “blank cheque” which will be used for welfare and labour reform.

Dr Alf’s risk analysis will have to be reserved for each policy as it emerges, rather than any one manifesto which like a hologram hovering in the air is a fleeting apparition which disappears before our very eyes never to be seen again.

John Gelmini

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