Everybody knew that it was going to be May 5th.
But now, finally, the waiting is over and the General Election has been announced.
What’s it really going to be like? There will be flurries of promises and counter promises, accusations and counter-accusations. The desperate will play dirty tricks, and likely as not lose whatever trust the electorate had in them.
But this time things are subtly different. This isn’t just an election about government, it’s an election about politics itself.
Do people really care? Do they trust anyone enough still to vote for them?
One major political party (you can probably guess which) has an average age of membership of over 65. How many of them will be out on the doors? Another is still smarting from the colossal loss of support from its own grass roots after the war in Iraq.
Let’s be certain about this. The hard left and the hard right have nowhere to go but their own parties. Well, the hard right have UKIP, but after the Kilroy-Silk affair no-one is betting on them winning a Westminster seat. The question about the hard left is, will they bother to vote at all?
Politics itself is on trial.
At this election the electorate are not asking ‘who do I trust most?’ but ‘who do I trust at all?’
No political party can really claim to have been pure and clean in all its dealings over the past four years.
But one party does stand head and shoulders above the other two. The Liberal-Democrats said what they meant and meant what they said. Consistently. Whether it was popular or unpopular. Because trust has to be the gold-standard in politics for politics to be worth anything at all.
This election, go for gold.