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These are bizarre election pledges. Not least because of the lack of verbs that makes them read like something a five-year-old would’ve written. Let’s take each one in turn…
Your family better off
This is clearly not English, but I’m assuming it means something along the lines of my family having more money under a Labour government. I’m not entirely sure how this can come true. If I’d qualified in 1997, when Labour came to power, I’d have had debts of £7,697. As things stand, it looks like I’ll have debts of £19,248 when I qualify and want to set up home. Mr Blair’s plans to introduce top-up fees will make this nearer £64,000 for new medical students. So how, exactly, does he plan to make my family, as that of a young doctor, better off?
Your family treated better and faster
How can you treat a patient “better”? I don’t know how Mr Blair plans to measure that, but it’ll probably involve more arbitrary and silly targets. The introduction of targets on waiting times now means that most GP practices will no longer accept appointments in advance. You have to beat the mad rush on the phone in a morning to get an appointment for the same day. Not only does this mean that many urgent cases get pushed to the back of the queue whilst everyday problems get quick appointments, it also discriminates against those without a phone line, which are likely to be those of a lower socioeconomic class who’s health should be a top priority for the government. Why is Mr Blair promising to treat patients faster, instead of in a more appropriate order?
Your child acheiving more
I certiainly wouldn’t want children of mine to be £64,000 in debt when they start their first job. So I’d probably steer them away from a medical career. And this government has decreed that teachers should have ten percent non-contact time – that’s ten percent of the time teachers are supposed to be teaching should be spent doing paperwork away from the children. How does that help children to achieve more?
Your country’s borders protected
From what? If he’s talking about asylum, then surely for a government in power for eight years, he should be defending the situation he’s created, not saying “Well, it’s a bit rubbish, but we’ll try and fix it up next time. Honest, guv’.”
Your community safer
This government has completely failed to get a handle on rising violent crime levels. Why should I believe that Mr Blair can get a grip on the problem when he’s failed to do so for eight years? Or has violent crime only just become a priority? After all, he has been a bit busy bombing Iraq, effectively commiting violent crime of his own.
Your children with the best start
This is one area on which I actually admire Labour’s record. They’ve done excellently in setting up schemes like SureStart and the Child Trust Fund that make a real difference in poorer areas of the country.
I’d also like to know why Labour are still going out of their way to attack the Tories. On the day the pledges are announced, still a large portion of their homepage is dedicated to ridiculing the Conservative leader – on this occasion, over a perfectly well considered view on ID cards. Do Labour not beleive in anything themselves? Are they only striving to be better than the Tories, and nothing more?