Friday, April 29, 2005

Election - Edukayshon, Edukayshon, Edukayshon

So what do the manifestos have to say. The wonderful world of technology gives us the ability to scan for keywords or phrases in the now downloadable PDF documents available from most of the Parties’ websites [links to party websites – click April and scroll down to beginning of campaign] So spawned by a question put to Alan Bolton on Sky News regards what each party might do on the NHS waiting lists. So what did Labour have to say on ‘waiting lists’?

“Going forward instead to services free to all, personal to each: breaking once and for all the drop-out culture in education and the waiting-list culture in health, by raising investment and driving innovation through diversity of provision and power in the hands of the patient, the parent and the citizen.”

This gobbledygook and legalese can only serve to alienate any voter. But can the Tories do any better on waiting-lists? On page 12 their manifesto reads as follows, “We believe that providing a contribution based on the cost of half the NHS operation when people make these choices both recognises the tax they have paid towards the NHS and will help further reduce waiting lists.”

Well, at least the Conservative statement was fairly straight forward. But the punctuation is just appalling. Those responsible for both of these documents need an education in English grammar. Even Microsoft word, or any other spell check, should have brought to their attention as to how disjointed and badly punctuated these diatribes are.

So can the Lib Dems do any better? Page 6 under “Quicker diagnosis for serious conditions”, they say, “We will publish waiting times for tests and scams – figures which the Labour Government has refused to make public.” Short and sweet, but also clear. Additionally they say, “We will complete NHS plans to recruit at least an extra 8,000 more doctors, 12,000 more nurses and 18,000 more therapists and scientists by 2008. That will cut waiting times and improve the quality of care.”

The Green Party does not mention, in itself, the keyword ‘waiting-lists, but instead talk of improving the NHS in general terms. “The Green Party will return the NHS back to its founding principles of comprehensive and universal care, which is available to all on the basis of need, not ability to pay. We will restore the professional medical ethos and reduce the business-centric culture that is commonplace in our hospitals.”

The clearness and terms in which the parties ‘speak to the voter’ seems to be inversely proportional to the ratings in the polls. Only 6 days to go now. I’d post all the manifestos but 1. There’s no space, 2. They are mostly very boring and/or full of lies, inconsistencies and bad grammar, 3. no-one will read them anyway, and since the Lib Dems are resigned to the fact they won’t win, the Tories think they will win, are right and don’t need their mind changed anyway and Labour know they will win, don’t care what anyone else thinks, and stop mentioning the war already… 4. All the above.

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