COMMENT: HOW MUCH DO POLITICAL PROMISES MEAN?

21 October 2014

Originally published in the Scotsman newspaper, October 2014.

DOES increased engagement prompt delivery, asks Andy Kerr

What a difference a year makes…

What is a public promise worth? Does a solemn vow, taken during an emotionally charged moment, guarantee an outcome?

Of course not. Yet we still invest hope and trust that the promise will be upheld. To do otherwise condemns us to a lifetime of cynicism and distrust. In Scotland we await the outcome of the negotiations to determine whether the promises made in the final days of the referendum have any value. The problem for politicians and other public figures is the long history of overblown claims that they will change the world for the better and their associated failure to deliver these claims have become all too familiar in recent times. In New York last month we saw politicians and celebrities again wax lyrical about what must be done to reduce the threat of climate change on our global society. But promises of action without delivery mean nothing.

Read more on the ECCI blog.