IT WAS George W. Bush who was credited with modern America’s adaptation of Abraham Lincoln’s maxim on the subject of political truthfulness.

“You can fool some of the people all the time,” observed Dubya — not previously regarded as having been the brightest light on the White House Christmas tree — “and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”

Like a great many other things, welcome or otherwise, this philosophy seems to have drifted across the Atlantic on the prevailing wind and seeded firmly in our own political culture.

And never more so than in the current round of extravagant and largely unfunded promises being made across the board by party bigwigs and their media proxies.

So far as prospects for the Island are concerned, a key moment came on September 25, when MPs reassembled following the Prime Minister’s unlawful prorogation of parliament.

Bob Seely rose to make a fairly predictable point about getting Brexit done, but Boris seemed a little surprised.

“I thought that he was going to ask me about the Island Deal we are going to do,” he said. “I can assure him that we are, do not worry.”

The Island Deal is, of course, Bob’s Big Idea.

Other candidates in this election also have big ideas, but thorough scrutiny of his seems justified if for no other reason than market expectations (AKA bookies odds) of the constituency result. Nine-to-one on is the best you’ll do at the time of writing if you’re backing Bob.

His ideas are largely noble, but they are also either expensive, vague or not costed.

And what may actually happen in the event of a Tory government being returned has to be assessed in the context of the wads of Toytown cash being promised nationwide, as well as the Prime Minister’s Trumpian relationship with the truth.

The plan puts additional costs resulting from the Island’s geographical position at £7.1 million a year, for local authority services, and £10.96 million for healthcare.

And that, says Bob, should entitle us to a Special Island Needs Allowance, as enjoyed by Scottish islands.

Quite right, but that’s only the start.

The shopping list also includes up to £10 million for agriculture facilities, including an abattoir, and an unspecified sum for creating a ‘One Public Service’ pilot scheme, bringing together the work of the IW Council, the NHS Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Then there’s the old chestnut of Solent and on-Island travel, where the costs of proposals are unspecified but likely to be huge.

Among them are the council buying a majority share in one or both of the ferry companies — cheaper and more achievable than a fixed link, apparently — rail extensions to Newport and Ventnor, and a Medina bridge.

It is, of course, for voters to decide how likely any of this is to happen — to decide whether they’re being taken for a ride and, if they are, whether they really care.

Whether to vote the way they do because they always have, or because of Brexit, which in reality has only just begun, or because of all the tosh the Daily Mail prints about Jeremy Corbyn.

In the end, people believe what they want to believe. Perhaps this is what Bush the Younger had in mind when he observed how easily fooled some folks can be.