Conservative Manifesto

Here is the much anticipated Tory Manifesto.

We’ll start with Brexit (just briefly). Good Points: They have a deal. It might not be the best but they have one that has been agreed by all sides. If there is a Tory Majority, then this deal will be passed through the house and we will leave in January. That’s the crux of it.

Bad points: What they neglect to mention, is that the deal is basically a re-hash of Theresa’s deal, they got the EU to make exceptions for Ireland but that’s about it. They also neglect to mention that Brexit won’t be ‘over’ at this stage, as we then have to negotiate our ‘future relationship’ and a trade deal. However, these are both made easier with a working majority, so slightly good and bad.

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That’s it, I won’t go into much more detail, as I don’t want to bore you. This election should be about the policies (as always), so let’s see what Boris can offer.

Let’s start with Security & Policing, as it is their strong point.

20,000 more Police officers costing £750m over three years.

Good points: A welcome boost to the police force. It will start with immediate effect so the idea is to make you feel safer straight away which, if you live in London (1/6 of the population does) should make you feel slightly better.

Bad points: We’ve seen the stories about Boris including in this figure of 20,000, asking Police Officers who were planning to retire to stay on. I can see it from both sides in that, you’re retaining the experience which can be put to use straight away (no training involved) and can also pass that experience on hand in hand with the recruitment drive. However, it fudges the figures so it’s not entirely there, it would probably be nearer 15-17k new officers.

We will back our police by equipping officers with the powers and tools they need to keep themselves and all of us safe, including tasers and body cameras.

Good points: Very strong policy and will go down well. I have said for a long time that the use of tasers should be rolled out. It de-escalates every situation it’s used in (i’m a saddo and watch these things on youtube) it can turn a very hostile situation like a knife wielding madman, into a safe controlled situation with him spasming on the floor. It’s also not a fatal firearm and it’s use will be used as a last resort. So good points all round.

Bad points: Some people might think this erodes civil liberties but to be honest, they will only use it on you if you’re in an uncontrollable state, in which case necessary force should and will be used. Buzz buzz bitches!

We will introduce tougher sentencing for the worst offenders and end automatic halfway release from prison for serious crimes. For child murderers, there will be life imprisonment without parole.

Good points: Yes. Not even going to put bad points, as you can’t disagree with this.

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£2.75 billion will be spent on creating modern, efficient prisons to better reform criminals and keep the public safe, whilst an extra £100 million will aid the crackdown on crime within prisons.

Good points: They will need extra prisons to cope with the extra sentencing and extra numbers they will get from the crack down on crime. It’s not an excessive amount to spend on this either. They will also try and address the issues inside prisons across the country, commendable.

Bad points: I’m not sure how having nice shiny new prisons will reform prisoners better, it lacks a bit of detail.

One thing I will draw attention to at this point is that the Conservatives do a better job at creating a manifesto. It’s so much less clunky, it’s clear, concise and compact. It looks a lot better too and most importantly, is a lot shorter! (My poor eyes are still bleeding from the Labour manifesto!) Without much further ado I will move onto the economy.

We not only want to freeze taxes, but to cut them too. We will raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 next year – representing a tax cut for 31 million workers. Our ultimate ambition is to ensure that the first £12,500 you earn is completely free of tax – which would put almost £500 per year in people’s pockets.

Good points: Tax cuts. No one likes paying tax but it’s a necessary evil for a strong functioning economy and keeps the country’s heart pumping. This mainly helps lower earners and £500 doesn’t sound like a lot but if you’re on minimum wage then that will help a lot.

Bad points: They should have included tax breaks for new families, which would have gotten a lot of praise but I suppose this is aimed at the workers because that’s the core demographic they go after.

We will use our freedom from the EU to improve the UK’s tax regime – not least by abolishing the tampon tax.

Good points: You shouldn’t pay tax on necessary objects. Especially considering you can’t pick if you have a period. Also due to there being more women than men in the country, it effects more of the population.

Bad points: I get why they included the EU but they could have refrained from using their name as a bashing stick and make it more about our country than those fuckers.

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We want to give parents the freedom, support and choice to look after their children in the way that works best for them. We will establish a new £1 billion fund to help create more high quality, affordable childcare, including before and after school and during the school holidays.

Good points: What was I saying about helping parents a second ago? It’s a step in the right direct for the strict social policies of the Tories.

Bad points: It’s simply not enough. Like I say, it’s a good start but £1bn is the tip of the iceberg. There is also no clue if this is a gradual thing or if it’s starting straight away, slightly unclear. Not complaining though!

Our new £3 billion National Skills Fund, alongside other major investment in skills and training and our reforms to high-skilled immigration, will ensure that businesses can find and hire the workers they need.

Good points: Due to the clamp down on immigration and only taking in the workers we NEED, this is a nice way of investing in our own people to give them the skills they need to compete in the labour market. It will also push competition and make workers better at their jobs as the criteria will be slightly higher.

Bad points: The term ‘other major investments’ is vague to say the least. This is your manifesto, if you have major investments, it’s the one place you want to put it so people can work out a) How much it is? and b) Whether it’s a worthy use of our money? They might touch upon it later, as i’m doing this point by point due to my lack of time writing this.

As a first step, we will further reduce business rates for retail businesses, as well as extending the discount to grassroots music venues, small cinemas and pubs. That means protecting your high street and community from excessive tax hikes and keeping town centres vibrant.

Good points: This is a good policy. More needs to be done to ‘save the high street’ and local businesses. The internet has invaded the market and makes it harder for local business to survive. Any pub owner will also tell you there’s no money in running a pub, so this could very well save a local pub you know and love.

Bad points: None.

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We will set out a new anti-tax avoidance and evasion law which will double the maximum prison term to 14 years for individuals convicted of the most egregious examples of tax fraud.

Good points: Making sure you pay your fair share. It’s a balanced way of going after tax dodgers.

Bad points: It depends what they deem as ‘egregious examples’. A lot of us started out labouring and working cash in hand when we were younger. Under these new rules would that be classed as egregious? I’m guessing this is geared up towards serial offenders and people evading paying on vast sums. The one thing Tories definitely can be seen as is harsh and I worry that leniency isn’t the word of the day. Not a fan of this policy if i’m honest, as it can be interpreted in that manner.

That’s the economy over with. To be honest it was a bit too short, however the results speak for themselves when it comes to the wealth creators of the Tory party. It’s the one thing they’re immensely good at is creating the wealth from business. It’s the one thing i’d trust them 100% on. The economy is in safe hands under the Tories. You can already see the vast differences in spending from the Labour Manifesto and this. Labour: “We’re throwing £250bn at this project”, Tories: “A couple billion here, a couple of billion there”. It’s being fiscally responsible and not being wasteful, as I alluded to in the other run throughs. The reason the Tories don’t need to cost this part of the manifesto is because a few billion can be found just from growth of the economy itself. There are no massive spending sprees (yet) or increased borrowing. I shall now move onto Education, usually Labour territory but we’ll see what the Tories can muster up.

We’re increasing school funding by £14 billion, with those areas historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase. Each secondary school pupil will receive a minimum of £5,000 next year, and each primary school pupil will receive £4,000 by 2021-22 meaning that every child has the resources they need for a good education.

Good points: It’s a good chunk of money to throw at this issue. They’re also targeting the worst hit areas. Good policy.

Bad points: It’s not costed. £14bn is a little bit bigger than throwing a few billion here and there. I can’t deny it’s needed but on balance they need to say where they can produce this money from.

There is also a funding boost of £400 million in education for 16-19-year olds, including further education and sixth form colleges, to give our young people the skills they need for well-paid jobs in the modern economy.

Good points: Further increases in spending on the education system.

Bad points: It’s not enough. The reason behind this is because their flagship policy in education has been Apprenticeships, so that will get more funding than standard students. I think that this age group is crucial as they’re picking the industry and career path they wish to follow. This should be encouraged so that we get the right individuals in the best positions which increases competition in the job market, something the Tories should want. Even though it’s an increase in public spending and on an area that needs it badly, this isn’t a good policy and I can’t get behind it. Do better.

We will also invest £10 million in national Behaviour Hubs to enable schools which already have an excellent behaviour culture to work closely with other schools to drive improvement to make sure the best education is available regardless of where you live.

‍Good points: It’s a good spin, haven’t heard of this before and is a different approach to schooling.

Bad points: Doesn’t seem like enough money? I mean if this is a national thing surely the wages of people running these Hubs is going to take up a large section of this money? That being said I like the policy, just think that maybe more money should be made available or at least a gradual injection of money every year?

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In the biggest reform to teacher pay in a generation, salaries for new teachers will be increased to £30,000 by 2022-23 and we’re funding increased contributions into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme so that school leaders can focus as much of their resources as possible on the front line.

Good points: Fuck me. They’re going toe-to-toe with Labour on this policy. Admittedly it’s a gradual change over four years but this isn’t something you’d expect from the Tories. Quite rightly so though, I wholeheartedly agree that teachers should get paid more and like it says should stop them leaving for higher paid jobs, keeping the experience and knowledge in the education system.

Bad points: None, great policy from the political parties. Showing the teaching profession some love and appreciation.

We retain our commitment to the core subjects and also want young people to learn creative skills and widen their horizons, so we will offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to fund enriching activities for all pupils. And to ensure children are getting an active start to life, we will invest in primary school PE teaching and ensure that it is being properly delivered. We want to do more to help schools make good use of their sports facilities and to promote physical literacy and competitive sport.

Good points: I think an investment into the arts is good, as I said in the Labour manifesto.

Bad points: They haven’t put quite how much they will give and it’s very vague. Almost an empty promise, this is why the Tories don’t usually do well with Education. More needs to be done to address this.

That wraps up education. Some good and bad policies in there, can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed by that section. The main policy missing is new schools and the repair of the existing ones, massively disappointed. To be fair, they’re the sitting government they can’t promise all this magical money like Labour, so it’s understandable. I know it’s the horrible slogan of Theresa the Appeaser but they genuinely are strong and stable. They get the job done efficiently. Enough, now onto healthcare, the ever growing political football. My betting is this is where all the money is going as they have played on this heavily throughout the campaign. Also if the figures were to be believed on the infamous bus, Boris has to follow through (only metaphorically) with this and actually throw some good money at the NHS. Especially after his hand was forced with this faked photo of the child on the floor of the Leeds hospital by a Labour activist (and supposed) parent of this child. This has obviously been debunked by nurses at the hospital and your common sense tells you that if your child really was that ill, you’d be holding them or would have them sat on your lap. Or better still, you’d give up your own fucking chair for them! For those of you without kids I don’t expect you to understand but being a parent it is frustrating that they’d try and use this as a points scoring exercise, it’s just shitty parenting.

The NHS budget will go up by £33.9 billion by 2023-24. That’s the biggest cash boost in its history.

Good points: Well I was right on the money with that, quite literally. That is probably their flagship policy due to the amount of money involved. The NHS is underfunded and the Tories have been hounded by opposing parties about this, so this is a gigantic step in winning people over and showing they do care about the NHS. This should win some votes and hopefully a little bit of trust from the electorate, even voters from other parties.

Bad points: It’s not costed. I’m beginning to feel like I have a complex because of this sentence! Where is £33bn going to come from? I’m guessing there will have to be a minor amount of borrowing to fund part of this. That being said, we can all agree this is a worthwhile policy and needs to be enacted. Sure it’s over 4 years but that’s how politics works, on a 4-5 year cycle. Strong policy and likely to swing a lot of the votes. Doorstep research is probably behind this.

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We’re providing £850 million for 20 hospital upgrades, £2.7 billion for the first six new hospitals, and seed funding so that work on 34 more can make progress.

Good points: Now we’re getting to the meat and drink of the NHS policies. Strong. Decent amount for upgrading the current hospitals and a building plan for others. Might not be the amount expected but it’s all good stuff. Also the seed funding is an appetiser for more building of new hospitals.

Bad points: None.

78 hospital trusts will receive state-of-the-art MRI, CT and mammography screening machines, so cancer can be detected more quickly to boost survival rates.

Good points: Couldn’t agree more. Much like the Labour Manifesto pledge to kit out the hospitals with the equipment they need, this does exactly that too. Cancer is such a bastard any attempt to beat it is appreciated.

Bad points: None.

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Over 1 million NHS staff – nurses, midwives and cleaners – are getting a well-deserved pay rise of at least 6.5% per cent and doctors will also see their pay increase.

Good points: They’re on a roll. The most under appreciated public servants (teachers, nurses, etc…) are getting a nice wedge and you love to see it. This is 1.5% more of an increase in pay for hospital staff than what Labour are offering. I’m not about point scoring but that’s a big difference and it was probably designed to be a vote winner amongst NHS workers.

Bad points: None, if you think they don’t deserve an increase you’re heartless. They do a great job that a lot us couldn’t and they do back breaking shifts (sometimes without breaks) just so that we’re taken care of.

We’re also opening five new medical schools to make sure we can plan for the future with confidence as we train the next generation of NHS staff here at home.

Good points: This is backing up and doubling down on their promise of the Australian style immigration system. We will only take in the best, the rest is to be filled with out own people. This is a good positive step in encouraging people to join the health service.

Bad points: None.

50,000 more nurses, with students receiving a £5,000-£8,000 annual maintenance grant every year during their course to help with their cost of living – and they won’t have to pay it back.

Good points: They’re really going the whole hog here. I know the NHS has a large contingent of foreign workers but they’re not all suddenly going to jump ship and go back to their country of origin? That would say more about them than us if it were true.

Bad points: It’s a lot of money, not costed again but they can obviously see a gap in the market that needs addressing so are ‘heading it off at the pass’. Responsible to stop a problem before it becomes one.

Our new funding will deliver 50 million extra general practice appointments a year, an increase of over 15 per cent. That means that if you need an appointment, waiting times will be shorter and you’ll get the service you deserve.

Good points: Sounds good.

Bad points: They will struggle to enforce it. GPs are notoriously opposed to all Tory plans to improve our system. Cast your mind back to the idea of Saturday appointments and the backlash from that.

That is why overseas qualified doctors, nurses and allied health professionals with a job offer from the NHS, who have been trained to a recognised standard, and who have good working English, will be offered fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

Good points: This will also help to address the shortfall in NHS workers that have threatened to go home. Fast track visas for the very best healthcare professionals.

Bad points: None.

That is the end of the Conservative manifesto. Although I don’t feel overwhelmed or buried under policies and jargon like the others so far, there was something left a little wanting. They could have fleshed out a few ideas and explained spending slightly better but on the whole there were some good strong policies in there. Let’s rate it and see how it stacks up.

Fresh original ideas: 2.5/5
Practicality and realistic pledges: 3.5/5
Financial viability: 4/5
Responsible and sensible pledges: 3.5/5
Total: 12.5 out of 20

I feel more could have been done in the way of innovative fresh ideas, I remember doing the Conservative manifesto from the 2015 election (I think) and remember feeling like Britain could take on the world, looking out to space and being pioneers and controllers of our own destiny. This feels like more of the same of what we have except with a majority so they can actually get some legislating done. Which whilst it isn’t bad and shows responsibility and grip of being in office already, it doesn’t scream excitement to me. I also marked it down on practicality and realism because I found quite a few of the policies to be vague and not really groundbreaking in terms of setting things in stone. Of course I marked it the highest on financial viability for a number of factors. Being that they’re the best wealth creators, no massive increase in spending across the board, no excessive borrowing and the increases that were made, seemed completely doable as I explained ‘a few billion here, a few billion there’. Finally, I gave it fair to medium rating for responsibility of the pledges. There were a few that stood out and made perfect sense whilst others didn’t, you’re never going to get a perfect manifesto, it’s just a popularity contest on which is the most wanted. To be entirely honest, if you’ve watched politics as long as me, the amount of pledges that actually get forgotten or scrapped once in power is noticeable.

I know a lot of you reading will know of my political stand point and think i’ve rated the Tories better, as they’re more aligned to my own personal politics. I’d like to point out they only beat Labour by 2 points by my rating system, to put that into context I couldn’t be anymore opposed to Labour if I tried. They even did better than the Liberal Democrats, which i’m also surprised by, as I have already said I believe the Lib Dems to steal huge crowds of votes from Labour. So, on balance I do believe that yes the Tories are the best option (depending on your MP) in this election as they’re the only ones in a strong position, financially but also politically. There is massive in-fighting between Labour, with Emily Thornberry coming out today saying she will definitely run for party leader. The election isn’t even over yet! I do believe like I said previously that once Corbyn is gone I think Labour will get into power, for how long is another thing altogether!

The last thing i’d like to add is one of my favourite policies is actually missing from the Manifesto. In fact they missed transport completely off! They plan to re-establish thousands of train lines that, in fairness were shut back in the 60’s by the Tories under something called the Beeching cuts. However, as I have explained in one of the other posts, it will do wonders and bring connectivity to rural areas and areas that might benefit greatly from having stronger links.

Please think carefully before voting and if after reading these breakdowns, the actual manifestos themselves and done research and you STILL don’t know which way to vote; then go online and find one of the quizzes that tells you who you’re most closely aligned too. I couldn’t care less who you vote for (unless it’s the SNP!) as long as you DO vote. Too many people take democracy for granted, plenty of sitting MPs who’re about to get a massive surprise, for one! I will try my hardest to get the Brexit Party run through done but I feel it might be a stretch, we shall see! Thank you for reading.

 

 

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