Farage Slams Labour, Tories: ‘Manifestos Tell People What They Want to Hear Without Meaning It’

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage holds up his 'contract with the people' as he launches the Brexit Party's general election policies at Millbank Tower on November 22, 2019 in London, England. The party leader announced that he wants 'a political revoltion that puts the ordinary …
Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Brexit leader Nigel Farage launched an all-out attack on one of the great elephants in the room of British politics Friday, when he laid into the establishment parties for persistently and willfully lying in their election manifestos — documents he said that were written to flatter voters without any intention of actually following through.

Launching instead a “contract with the people”, which Mr Farage said the party would campaign on not just in the next three weeks until the election but going on from there into the future as well, the Brexit leader was particularly harsh on the tendency of other parties to launch documents during elections but then to totally ignore them once elected.

Speaking at his contract launch, Mr Farage illustrated the problem saying: “This is not a manifesto. Because a word association test with manifesto gave us the word ‘lie’! And is that surprising given how many broken promises we’ve seen in British politics over the last few general elections?

“No, manifestos are a means of telling people what they want to hear without ever having the genuine desire to implement them.”

His comments followed an earlier written piece on his launch in which Mr Farage said manifesto was “one of the least trusted” words in the English Language, and wrote: “Parties make promises in their manifestos which they think voters want to hear, yet have no intention of keeping them.”

One subject the Brexit leader has been boldest on in this election campaign is controlling mass migration, advocating for a return to “sensible” levels that permits constructive integration of newcomers. Perhaps one of the clearest examples of manifestos being used to promise policies that political leaders have absolutely no intention on delivering is in this area, with the three consecutive elections the Conservatives promised to bring immigration levels down.

Instead of achieving that, or even coming close to achieving that manifesto promise, immigration continued to rise after the Conservatives formed a government in three consecutive elections, and even George Osborne himself admitted in 2017 that his party never intended to honour it. Indeed, the former Chancellor wrote in 2017: “[N]one of [the Cabinet’s] senior members supports the pledge in private and all would be glad to see the back of something that has caused the Conservative Party such public grief”.

Mr Farage called this a “spectacular” failure of the Conservatives.

Labour have also been routinely criticised for failing to live up to their promises including, ironically, by the Conservatives who recently hit the headlines for posting a heavily edited video fo Labour politician Jess Phillips giving her own reasons for why ignoring manifestos beyond the election period is politically legitimate. In the October interview, the Birmingham Yardley MP said: “…to be perfectly honest, there is an argument that you can never deliver all those things you’re pretending that you can deliver when you go to the electorate. In reality, things change. Globally, things change. Situations change, facts change.”

Speaking Friday, Mr Farage also repeated his position on reforming British politics beyond Brexit, which he has characterised as the first domino to fall in a campaign to make Britain more democratic. He said: “Brexit is the beginning, not the end, of a much needed political revolution. Never before in this country has public confidence in politics, politicians, and electoral systems ever been lower than it is today. The Brexit Party is the party of the new radicals. That is who we are. We want to bring politics and our democracy into the 21st century, we genuinely do want to change politics for good.”

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