Election 2024: trust and truth in short supply – Neale Hanvey MP
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It should herald a time of hope, robust debate, competing visions, and ambitious policy proposals, where politician’s aim high tapping into the mood of the people that a better future is possible.
Promising more of the same whomever you vote for is unlikely to inspire voters to pause their TV show and rush to the polling stations. Many constituents tell me they are sick to the back teeth of politicians – thankfully they tend to exclude me from that remark, but I completely agree with them.
That might sound a bit rich coming from me – a politician, but I have lived in the real world, had a successful NHS career and I’ve also grimaced and groaned at the hollow words and empty promises of politicians. I have also been inspired by true champions of the people like Alex Salmond, and I’ve been devastated by others like Tony Blair who abused my vote for Labour to prosecute illegal wars that millions marched against.
The fundamental question we all must ask is, who do I trust? The economy is a mess and you can’t get a fag paper between Labour and Tory policies as they try to out-Brexit each other. Similarly, neither party leader seems to have grasped the public mood on the atrocities being visited on the people of Gaza. How anyone can equivocate, excuse, or ignore this human tragedy or allegations of war crimes is beyond me.
In Scotland many challenges are bound up by our place in a restrictive union. However, the Scottish Government also needs to take responsibility for its own failings. From the divisive GRR debacle to their laissez-faire response to Grangemouth’s predicted closure, and its agreement to a fiscal framework that punishes Scotland financially for funding essential public services, the First Minister is firmly on the hook.
Trust can only be gained with truth and transparency and there is a distinct shortage of both.
For many this election will hinge on whether political leaders are able to answer fundamental questions with candour - but how can we trust anyone on the economy, immigration, international affairs, health and policing if they can't say what a women is?
This year, I will continue to defend women’s sex-based rights and I will stay true to my commitment to secure our route to independence.