I am afraid that my resolution to go through all the party manifestos has weakened a bit. I fear I have been rather put off the whole process by the bribes we are offered every morning, as supposedly tempting morsels of policy are unveiled before us in a carefully selected stream.
This morning there was the Tory "tax lock"...Would I like there to be no rise in income tax, VAT, and national insurance over the duration of the next parliament? Well, in a way, of course I would, at some level of base self interest. But I would MUCH prefer to have a government who could raise more money from those tax payers who could afford it, if that might mean more money for public services. And anyway pledges of that sort only mean that, when the government does need the cash, it just raises it by putting up all the levies that happen to fall outside its particular "pledge". Why is anyone taken in?
Same goes for 20,000 extra nurses that Labour promise. Yes, of course that sounds a great idea, but unless we know where they are coming from, how they relate to policies on migration and training, it's just that: nice.
So far as I can see from my scan of the UKIP manifesto, they are offering a slightly saner image since the last election, they have adopted a bit of the PR veneer of the main parties, but to no good effect. In fact I find myself thinking that, though I wouldn't vote for them in any conceivable that I could foresee, I rather preferred them when they were dottier.