WELL, now you know. All the parties have now laid out their wares in their election manifestos, though to what purpose is not clear.
In these days when everything is selectively leaked before it appears in official print, it all becomes rather boring by the time the actual document is waved in front of us. And so it has proved this time around.
My brief guide to voters remains intact:
Only the Tories, given a working majority, will deliver Brexit which is crucial if uncertainties about the economy and the acceptance of majorities in our democracy are to be ended.
Labour’s 1983 manifesto was described by Labour MP Gerald Kaufman as “the longest suicide note in history”. Today’s version may well ensure that the Labour Party is cremated and duly interred thanks to the palsied timidity of moderate Labour MPs.
The sole purpose of the Liberal Democrats is to keep us in the EU, thereby demonstrating they are operating under false pretences as Liberal Democrats.
The Brexit Party may have its heart in the right place but has lost its mind. It cannot achieve Brexit but it can scupper it by taking votes from Tory candidates, all of whom are sworn to leave the EU.
Voting for the Nationalists – Scottish, Welsh and Irish – and the Green Party is to reject Brexit, shore up Labour and connive at the break-up of the UK.
I rest my case.
All we now have is a better idea of the bills to be incurred from their outright bribery (with our money) and especially Jeremy Corbyn’s deranged £1.2 trillion spending spree.
This brings me to where I have reservations about the Conservatives, even though I believe their return to government is essential if we are to progress as a nation.
It is one thing to recognise that our social fabric and infrastructure are in need of urgent attention.
But it is entirely another matter to throw money you do not have at them and – conveniently for the election – ignore the need for greater efficiency in the use of resources.
All the money in the world will not improve the delivery of healthcare if no attention is paid to the often appalling management and waste that is frequently criticised in the media.
So far as I can see there is no overall plan or strategy to improve performance and more effectively integrate general healthcare and that of the vulnerable.
We also need to recognise that nothing will improve until the concept of public service is restored.
I despair of the medical profession voting to end home visits, even allowing for abuse of the system.
Education will not be improved simply through the Tories’ proposed building programme.
It is not school fabric that is holding us back. It is what is taught, the quality of teaching, the ridiculous pandering to political correctness and parental neglect.
Margaret Thatcher positively hurled money at the police to little effect.
And Boris Johnson’s promise of 20,000 more coppers will mean little if they are not deployed on our streets to enforce the law, but spend their time acting tied to desks and as thought police.
Our useless crime commissioners and chief constables would be surprised how quickly their public relations would improve if they chased, charged and secured the conviction of many more real criminals. The potential is enormous.
As for the pandering to environmentalists prophesying doom, I really do wonder about the intelligence of our politicians.
They haven’t a clue how to achieve carbon neutrality, assuming it is necessary, while maintaining secure electricity supplies. All the talk about getting Britain moving is empty if the National Grid, already operating on tight margins, cannot ensure power at the flick of a switch.
In my day in the Department of Energy we had a clear remit: to maintain energy supplies at lowest possible cost. I would now amend it to require those supplies to be the cleanest possible consistent with reliability.
Essentially, this election is devoid of the need not merely to requip Britain with a change of attitude necessary to do that job honestly and effectively. We have become altogether too slack under pressure from a misplaced compassion and minorities determined to force daft ideas on us.
Electors doubt whether Boris Johnson can be trusted. I trust him miles further than I could throw the rest of the party leaders.
But he will be judged by his deeds – and whether he spends public money more wisely or not.