There has been a pattern to British politics over the past 70 years, but there is one common feature: we are always in a mess. It’s just a different kind of mess depending on the people in power. And it the people, not necessarily the party. If you take the positions of parties as ‘left, right or centre’ it’s clear that they move. If you look at the manifesto’s put out by Tessa and Jez there’s a lot of common ground in what they say they want. (In fairness, Jez has more detail).

The process seems to work like this: When the public realise their ‘services’ – Education, Transport, Public and personal health, environment – are falling ot bits, we elect a Labour government. After a while  we get fed up of the way they’re spending our money, so we elect a Conservative government on the promise that they’ll give us some of it back. They tell us it will take time ‘cos the Lab lot have spent all the cash (which they have: building schools and hospitals and subsidising the privatised rail network(?) not forgetting bailing out the banks last time round).

After a while we – the public – realise that the cash isn’t trickling down so much as pouring up, and we discover that, while the hospital looks as if it’ll stay up for a few more months, the nurse (singular) is looking seriously jaded. So, of course the logical thing is to vote for the Lab lot to sort things out. Then, when they’ve done that we can try the Con lot to give us some of our lolly.

That’s the way it seems to work, except it’s not logical. If we want top quality public sevices, and most of us seem to, we have to be prepared to pay for them. Until recently our NHS was the most efficient and most admired in the world. It’s time we realised we get what we pay for.

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