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Nigel Hastilow: I can’t wait to get this election over and done with

By Nigel Hastilow | Nigel Hastilow | Published:

I really don’t care what the parties say. I’m sick and tired of the whole lot of them.

Have you been enthralled by the general election campaign?

Take the pledges on the NHS.

The Tories will spend billions. Labour will spend even more billions.

Will it make the health service any better? The answer is an emphatic no.

The NHS won’t improve until someone has the courage to have a thorough clear-out. Get rid of the managers and the bureaucracy and impose – yes, impose, not just invite or ask politely – some customer service onto the great waddling obese monster we have created.

What about free broadband for everyone? Nice idea, I suppose, apart from crashing the telecoms companies and costing billions and billions of public money we really don’t have.

And as for that money, where does it come from? The magic Christmas money tree, I suppose. But can anyone believe all these promises?

Like nationalising water and trains and who knows what else? Either the Government would simply have to steal these businesses from their shareholders or it will have to buy up the shares.

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At market rates? If so, that’s trillions more from the magic Christmas money tree.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, centre, speaking to the media whilst on the General Election campaign trail

Then there’s the unholy alliance between Labour and the Scottish Nationalists.

Jezza Corbyn, assuming he is well enough to be Prime Minister, will give Nicola Sturgeon licence to hold another independence referendum.

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This time the Scots might well vote to leave. Good luck to them. Obviously, nobody will tell them it will cost a fortune.

Why else are Scottish NHS waiting lists better than England’s? Because England and Wales subsidise them, that’s why.

What about flooding? The Government is accused of not spending enough and not calling a state of emergency in South Yorkshire, as if either of these things would have made a blind bit of difference.

Fishlake has been worst affected, it seems. But the clue really is in the name. Building houses in a place called Fishlake is asking for trouble.

And I know from bitter personal experience the Environment Agency, like so many other Government quangos, moves at a glacial speed.

Never mind global warming, the Environment Agency works as if the world is frozen.

Give it billions more and you might find it manages to construct a few flood defences, that probably won’t work, in a couple of decades’ time.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at the CBI annual conference

That will be about the time a high-speed railway line from civilisation to London is finally completed, 10 years late and billions more over budget, at which point we discover the fares are so enormous only public servants relying on the taxpayer can afford to use it anyway.

And in this magic land, let’s not forget we’re only going to be working a four-day week which will be great, especially as the Greens will give us a national minimum income whether we’re working or not.

The Liberal Democrats, not to be outdone, promise to spend £100 billion on climate change.

There are two problems with this, as with so many of our politicians’ other spending promises: Where will the money come from and how will it be spent?

Firstly, it takes Governments much longer to spend money than you might think.

A new wind farm, for instance, doesn’t get built overnight (assuming it gets built at all) so we shouldn’t get over-excited at the possibility of real action in the immediate future.

We also know any project embarked on by a Government costs far more than promised and unimaginably huge sums of money will be squandered in the meantime.

What we can be sure of, is that this money-splurge has to be paid for. And the money can only come from our pockets. It’s all very well trying to abolish billionaires and screwing Apple or Google but the sums won’t add up unless the parties also screw the average worker. Taxes will rise faster than the water level on the River Don.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on the campaign trail

The whole election process is sickening. All the parties are mendacious: lying, cheating, fiddling the figures, refusing to answer the questions openly and honestly.

If the agonies of Brexit have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t trust any of them.

Which leaves us with the ultimate democratic dilemma: If they are all so terrible, why bother voting?

I don’t care if Boris did or did not have an affair with a young American entrepreneur any more than I care about the horseradish plants Jezza gave Tom Watson.

But I shall vote because ‘None of the Above’ is a cop-out.

It is an interminable campaign. If only we could have the election today and get it all over and done with.

Roll on December 13, always assuming someone gets a clear, working majority. Otherwise we’re in for months, if not years, of even more wrangling and despair.

Nigel Hastilow

By Nigel Hastilow

Express & Star columnist

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