WHAT is it with the behaviour of candidates and their party leaders that really annoys the vast majority? It’s the inability to allow the opposition to state its views without using pejorative language in response.

Within the past two weeks, party A has said that a particular policy has been costed only for parties A, B, C et al to cry ‘rubbish’ without saying why; usually because they have no way of providing a cogent rebuttal.

It is ‘playground politics’ at its best. One child says ‘yes it is’, the others say ‘no it’s not’, rhyme and reason does not prevail.

What is a costing? A hopeful forecast though many might say it is nothing more than a guestimate, just like the passenger forecasts in HS2’s business case of 110 million per year. ‘Pie in the Sky’ would be more appropriate.

Then we have the U-turn claim when trying to rubbish an opponent’s statement. Those who use this pejorative terminology, would have us believe that changing one’s mind is a sign of weakness rather than strength; implying that those who change their minds are untrustworthy and not worthy of our support.

Then we have the voter, are we blameless? Do we have all the facts at our fingertips or are we emotive and tribal. Evidence points to the latter in the majority of cases.

Take immigration as an example. Has your life been detrimentally altered by an immigrant? Have you lost a job to an immigrant? Was he or she better qualified or did they offer to take less pay? Where is the hard evidence?

I suspect it is because you believe a mate down the pub or a politician who tells you that it is the immigrant’s fault that you lost out.

Do you really believe that immigrants are housed and given benefits ahead of you? Have you any hard evidence that this is true, or is this because your mate in the pub says so.

I suspect that the vast majority only have a sketchy idea of which party supports what. Parties spend as much time rubbishing their opponents as putting forward their policies in sound bites with no back up data.

Are we turning into a Facebook fake news populace where May’s Brexit rainbow is set to dazzle us into submission?

Ewen Simpson Whatcroft