They Made a Promise is an independent online project designed to document and monitor promises made by politicians in the United Kingdom. Our mission is to make politics and politicians more accountable.
In the run-up to the UK General Election on 7 May 2015, we compiled the key campaign promises made by each major party. We will now turn to monitoring the performance of a majority Conservative government.
We ask our users to get involved and help us hold politicians to account by submitting new promises we may have missed, reviewing the ones already monitored, voting in favour of promises they support, and spreading the word about this project on social media.
Politicians will promise just about anything to get elected. Unfortunately, as we know all too well, most of these pledges are consistently forgotten and broken, swept under the rug until the next election cycle.
We aim to create a platform where political promises can be closely examined, debated and tracked, enabling our readers to judge politicians on whether they actually deliver on their pledges.
To learn more about this project, please read our Editor’s Introduction.
How Does It Work?
Politicians make a lot of promises…
1. When a promise is submitted by our readers or editors, its details are checked for accuracy.
2. We use publicly available information and primary sources, such as direct quotes from politicians and their manifestos.
3. The promise is then added to our archive, along with its sources and any relevant updates.
We need to make sure they deliver…
4. Unless a specific timeframe has been proposed by the politician, the promise’s “deadline” will be the end of term in office.
5. The initial status of a promise is set to either Monitoring or If Elected, in which case monitoring will begin when and if the politician is elected.
6. As we monitor the promises, we will post regular updates. We encourage our readers to get involved by voting In Favour or Against individual promises, submitting comments, progress reports and other relevant information. Your input will help to establish which promises matter most!
And hold to account those who do not!
7. Readers will be invited to vote on whether the promise is likely to be, or has been, Kept or Broken.
8. For Broken promises, we will attempt to inform the politician in question via email or on social media.
9. For particularly important Broken promises, we will either launch a petition, or contribute our data to an existing campaign.
Illustrations for this website were produced by Peter Anthony King (PAK), a brilliant cartoonist whose work has been featured in Punch, Private Eye, Readers Digest, New Statesman, Spectator, The Oldie and other leading publications.
These caricatures pay tribute to the unique and rich tradition of British political cartoons.
From William Hogarth’s social satire of 18th century London and the sophisticated humour of Punch, to Gerald Scarfe’s famous opening title sequence for “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”, political cartoons have inspired intellectual debate and served as a vehicle for political agitation and criticism.
We could not think of a better visual background to what They Made a Promise is hoping to achieve.