Manifesto

“Campaign in poetry, govern in prose.”
That’s how the cynic’s favourite motto goes
but not all leaders can be bought and sold.
There are idealists who break the mould
and offer us a chance we must not miss
to opt for better. D’you remember this?

This is a crucial moment, time to change,
to redistribute power, rearrange
control; remove it from the old elite
and hand it to the people in the street.
This government protects itself, holds back
the truth about expenses, or Iraq.
They’re secretive about themselves, and yet
greedy to know as much as they can get
about what you are up to. They can’t wait
to stretch the slimy tentacles of state
still further. Here’s how tyranny begins:
check e-mails, tap your calls, go through your bins.
Surveillance stretches anti-terror laws
to take in trivia beyond their rightful cause.
There’s hidden cameras, watching through the dark
school catchment cheats, dogs pooping in the park.
That officer who’s just come through your door -
can you be sure he represents the law?
We’ll change all that. We’ll let you know this time
the truth on government spending, rates of crime.
No bureaucrats will block transparency,
we have resolved to set the data free.
This government tried to make themselves look good.
They worked top-down, short-term. We’ve understood
clear purpose and consistent argument
provide the base for rational government.
No hedging, secrecy or dirty tricks;
what we need is a brand new politics.

At last, a manifesto with a plan
that sounds worth voting for. Who is this man?
(It made me want to shout out “Yes, we can!”
If we’d just had the nerve to back his line
and he had won, we’d all be doing fine...)
Cameron. 25th of June, ’09.