Jeremy Corbyn looked to capture Scottish hearts this weekend by pledging to make St Andrews day a UK-wide bank holiday under a Labour government.
According to the new proposals all four patron saints would become national holidays in a bid to redress the fact that people in the UK work some of the longest hours in Europe.
The UK has the lowest number of public holidays of the major economies – 8 compared with a G20 average of 12. Four extra holidays would take us to the G20 average.
But in amongst the near daily pledges being rolled out by the party, the underlying sentiment felt somewhat disingenuous.
Ever since the election was called last month there has barely been a day gone by when we haven’t heard of another lofty promise coming from the Labour ranks.
Last week Corbyn promised ten new national parks to woo voters in marginal constituencies.
Today, as rail strikes poured misery on travellers across the London commuter belt and train operators hiked prices on tickets, the party pledged the ‘biggest ever’ plan to cut rail fares and give free rail travel to those aged 16 and under.
It comes as WASPI policies, 5,000km of new cycleways and a pledge to eradicate HIV transmissions in the UK by 2030 all contribute to a distorted message from the party about what it really cares about.
What really matters
As Lewis Goodall pointed out, the two main problems with the sheer number of Labour promises is that they start to seem “completely incredible to voters” who can lose a sense of “what really matters” to the party.
In 2017, Labour had a really clear and targeted approach, but the 2019 election is becoming a story of a party promising the world.
Corbyn insisted today that his spending pledges are necessary to right a decade of austerity, but what he may not have considered is the impact it is having on voter’s ability to comprehend what they’re setting out to achieve.
In an election defined by just a handful of major issues, so much confusion could ultimately be Labour’s undoing.
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