I watched most of David Cameron's speech yesterday, the same as I watched some of Ed Miliband's the week before.
Ivan Horrocks has explained all that was wrong with Ed Miliband's speech, here. But Cameron's was worse. Miliband's may have been grounded in a park bench on Hampstead Heath but at least that was a real park bench. Cameron's seems to have been grounded on nothing at all.
Take for example, the promise that GP surgeries will be open seven days a week. This morning the Guardian has the headline:
Up to 600 GP surgeries could close over course of next year as doctors retire
I happen to know of some places where this risk is real. The Royal College of General Practitioners is not exaggerating. The challenge right now is to make sure people have GP services five days a week so tough has the job become. Thinking it can be extended to a seven day a week service is a fantasy exercise in that case. The people to deliver just do not exist.
And this seems typical of the whole foundation for what the Conservatives are saying. Everything is duplicitous.
So, supposedly tax cuts are to benefit the low paid when they very clearly do not.
And the budget will be balanced and the deficit eliminated when right now it is increasing and that's not all The Lib Dems fault.
And the Conservatives are apparently a trade union (the only advantage to that claim being it was very obviously transparent nonsense).
Now, I accept that all politicians sell a vision. And all in the process persuade themselves they have more power than is credible. This is not just a fault peculiar to the Conservative Party. But at a time when the credibility of politics is strained I find this misrepresentation of reality deeply worrying. The necessary implicit relationships of trust between politicians and the electorate are undermined by nonsense spoken that bears no relationship to reality. That relationship has always been based on cynicism, I know. But when cynicism is replaced by outright, and appropriate, disbelief something changes.
That's where I fear we are. And if the democratic relationships that underpin our country are threatened as a result I am very worried indeed.