From: Elizabeth Peacock, former Conservative MP for Batley and Spen, Wakefield.
FIVE-year-term Parliaments may well be a good idea for democracy, but they are obviously going to give our politicians the opportunity to over-campaign and bore us to tears in the next few weeks.
As someone who normally relishes the political scene, I am preparing myself to be bored between now and May 7. The election campaign has not yet started but the untruths of politics are already being thrown about and the electorate is being tempted by bids, counter bids and promises in exchange for votes. This is the election norm but it is all just too early.
Firstly, we have Ed Balls making a fool of himself by claiming that the Conservative Party would privatise the NHS, scrap the Foreign Office and the Department of Work and Pensions – all appalling nonsense from a clever man who should know better but may be desperate for votes.
Then we have Ed Miliband trying to convince us that he would a suitable Prime Minister, which he is unlikely to be, in contrast to his brother who would have been excellent. He is closely followed by Harriet Harman threatening to drive her pink bus to the North to tell us we have not got enough Conservative women standing for election when the only way the Labour Party can get women involved is with “all women short lists” – a dubious way of applying democracy and clearly not getting women involved on merit.
David Cameron and the Conservative Party have, as yet, been less than positive on important issues such as ensuring watertight control of immigration and a positive position on negotiations for our continued membership of Europe. They are possibly keeping their powder dry at this stage of the battle.
For some reason, Ukip appear have either gone off the boil or have sensibly realised that they could peak too soon and that we are all going to be bored in the next few weeks.
Luckily, George Osborne, the rising star of the political galaxy, has with his well-balanced Budget put some clarity into the economic debate, the crucial area for any government. The announcement of the party leaders’ television election debate schedules adds to my alarm as they are likely to be a great ‘turn off’ and further alienate voters. I predict by election day we will be glad to see the back of all our political leaders almost regardless of who wins. Roll on May 7 and getting the matter settled for five years.