Been catching up on some of the week's newspapers tonight. I was in serious political mode. We are at the start of a long general election campaign, and inevitably this blog will become entangled in it's tentacles as it's writer strives to become MP for Montgomeryshire. I suppose its bound to become more partisan as well. Partisan is certainly how I feel as I begin this post.
The theme of political stories this week has been the telling of bare-faced untruths by Labour Ministers. I hope I'm not being unfair, but lets look at some of the evdence. The first untruth is the big one - Gordon Brown's campaign to portray the difference between the economic policies of his party and mine after the next election as "Labour Investment" versus "Tory Cuts". This is totally, unambiguously untrue, and nobody outside the small group of No 10 acolytes thinks otherwise. Mathew d'Ancona covers it well in tomorrow's Telegraph. The Chancellor's budget, delivered last April to approving nods and backslapping from Mr Brown informed us that all departmental spending would be cut by 7% between 2011 - 2014. If any services are to be protected this percentage will increase. I don't think Gordon Brown is a bad man. But he seems to have beome delusional, and will become a sad derided figure if he does not find a way of completely changing his line.
Then secondly we have the issue of rights and freedoms of gay people. Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant and Angela Eagle, three openly gay ministers are seeking to suggest that a future Conservative Government would reverse legislation that protects gay rights and freedoms. The suggestion is that some unnamed, unhuman creatures described as "Tory backbenchers" would force David Cameron into such a course of action. What disturbs me is that, just like Gordon Brown on public spending cuts, they know what they are saying is competely untrue. Fellow blogger, Iain Dale, who is also gay, has published two posts here and here which exposes the dishonesty better than I could ever do. There may well be individuals in my party who want to change legislation in this field, but I don't know them. And as for 'forcing' Prime Minister Cameron to take such a position! What planet are they on? Planet Disneyland.
And yesterday we read that Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, who had seemed a half decent minister at culture tells the world that Andrew Lansley has announced that a future Conservative Government is going to freeze pay for nurses and doctors. It seems that the Conservative health spokesman said something along the lines that the NHS could not afford 'inflationary' pay rises. Again, Mr Burnham, a UK Government Minister is setting out to deliberately deceive the public. He's left himself looking like just another dishonest politician.
I accept that in political knockabout there is always some finessing of words, and exaggeration to make a point. Its also common for an accusation to be made simply to try to force an answer. But what we are seeing now in planned, systemic dishonesty - even after flat denials to the 'charges' have been made . And the rottenness and putridness is worst and is fanned by the man at the top. The whole Government is becoming polluted. This is why I do not believe that Gordon Brown will lead Labour into the General Election. He has made himself an increasingly disrespected and unbelievable figure. There are too many decent people in the Labour Party who will not be prepared to allow this systemic dishonesty to eat away at the foundations of their party.