Simon Carr: The truth won't get you anywhere in politics

My suspicion is that even fellow travellers take every single little thing sceptically

Share
Related Topics

Trust. They're restoring trust in politics, that's the job in hand. So how's it going in the Department of Cohesion, Communities, Diversity and Looking After People in the Regions, run by that nice John Denham? Can you feel the trust flowing from us to them and back again?

Try this. "Every pound spent by a Regional Development Agency generates a further £4.50." If a minister of the Crown says that, do you believe it? Neither do I. What about if they say PricewaterhouseCoopers has produced the figure? It must have been taken out of context. What about if the Chief Financial Officer of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers came to the bar of the House to swear it was true? I confess my reaction would be, "Blimey, they must have a lot of government business."

How can it be true? It's a rate of return you only hear about when you're being missold a pension. It's a perpetual money machine. If you put £250bn in, you'd pay off the deficit with the stuff coming out the other end. They are saying that government "investment" is actually investment. No doubt there are ways of explaining this. But none would be believed in a public bar. How about: "Anti-social behaviour is at its lowest since records began"? Or, "Conservative councils have a deliberate strategy to keep basic services as basic as possible and only provide a decent service to those who pay twice"?

And will there actually be cuts, real cuts, actual cuts of 23 per cent over four years? And if there are, will that actually improve services?

Depending which side you're on, you'll incline to believe or disbelieve these propositions. But my suspicion is that even fellow travellers take every single little thing sceptically. Nothing like this is trusted by anyone any more. And the non-aligned? They can't summon the energy of interest to believe or disbelieve.

Andrew Mackinlay (Con, Thurrock) speaks and people do rather believe. He said all three parties were to blame for the impenetrable systems of local government – the absurd titles, the endless layers of management caused by constant reorganisations. That was believable, trustworthy, probably true. It's why he hasn't done better in politics. He will be missed.

How far from an election are we? A few weeks. Single figures. The Tories are giving no indication of... anything, really. If they were a bit more alert they'd look indifferent. This particular question time is the special subject of their big idea about society. Big citizens, small state. I'm pretty sure that's the thing. It wasn't referred to. Not a peep. Are they really in shape to ask us to vote for them?

simoncarr@sketch.sc

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

After Savile, we must devote our energies to stopping the child abuse taking place now

Mary Dejevsky
A ‘hugely irritated’ Sir Malcolm Rifkind on his way home from Parliament on Monday  

Before rushing to criticise Malcolm Rifkind, do you know how much being an MP can cost?

Isabel Hardman
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower