Famous detectives from all around the world have been employed to investigate whether any British Government has ever kept the promises it made in the run-up to a general election.
Poirot, Starsky and Hutch, Inspector Clouseau and Sherlock Holmes are among the celebrity sleuths on the case to establish whether any political party has ever kept to its manifesto.
Promises on housebuilding, funding the NHS and the performance of the England football team have all been scrutinised and actual subsequent government performance analysed. Findings aren’t good.
A spokesman for the office of Sherlock Holmes told us, “Mr Holmes’ investigative talents have been tested to the limit. He was tasked with finding even one of the 200,000 affordable new homes the Tories promised in 2015. Despite examining every inch of the country through his best magnifying glass, he could find no such thing.”
The Labour Party has not emerged unscathed, either. Promises in every manifesto since 1966 to “win the World Cup again” have fallen short, as the national debt was increased decade after decade trying to fund “one more attempt at a decent team.”
But it’s the Liberal Democrats who take the prize for never doing anything they say they will do. With only one brief period of government in living memory, and even then in coalition with the Tories, the Lib Dems have been found wanting. Dave Starsky told us, “I raced irresponsibly around the country in my red Torino speaking to former students everywhere. They’re all what you Brits call ‘skint’ and they told me about a man called Clegg. I looked him up on Google. Once I’d ruled out the guy from that comedy you guys like so much, I found out that he lives in California and works for Facebook. I’m going to be visiting him when I go home. I’ve got Huggy Bear checking him out for me already. And who’s this Swinson woman who says one thing and does another? Hutch is looking for her.”
Alas, the finest detectives in the world have been able to find no evidence of a political party doing what it says it will do. Miss Marple: “They might as well be truthful. Nobody reads these manifestos anyway, apart from opposition party MPs and journalists. And nobody cares what they think. If the Tories said ‘We’re going to ruin the economy and make you homeless,’ they could at least say ‘we told you so’ when it happened.”
Meanwhile, the general election continues.