Labour Manifesto Run Through

By now I’m guessing you’ve read the Tory version of this, so you know what to expect, if you haven’t and are just reading this because it’s got the word Labour in it, then this is already lost on you. I’m not here to change minds, just give a clear view of what is on offer. Let’s begin.

I glossed over Corbyn’s foreword as I’m sure much like the Tories, it will be repeated later on. They start by making a pledge of not raising Income Tax for earners below £80,000, not raising National Insurance Contributions or VAT (Pro – a good strong start, Con – I feel as this is ‘fully costed’ they could have left themselves an option for raising capital by maybe omitting National Insurance contributions, so they could change it at a later stage to generate funds for the economy).

They say that Corporation Tax is the lowest in the developed world and that they will ask them to pay a bit more, whilst maintaining we will still be one of the lowest (Pro – generate a fair amount of income for HMRC, Con – if this is true then expect a hike of corporations tax by up to 6%, the average is about 25% with the exceptions of Denmark, Finland and Ireland, what’s to stop these corporations from leaving the financial centre in London? We have already seen it with Google in Ireland whose Corporation tax rate is only 12.5%).

They pledge to eliminate the deficit within 5 years (Con – highly unrealistic and they will be savaged by it in years to come if they get elected, very risky pledge to make).

Creation of the National Transformation Fund, investing £250bn over 10 years to enhance our economy (Con – considering they said this was fully costed the only explanation they give for where this money is coming from is ‘record low interest rates’, doesn’t seem plausible but we’ll carry on and see).

Completion of HS2 (Pro/Con – much like the Tories it’s not costed because the price keeps rising, it will benefit the country to complete this project though and any incumbent government will complete it anyway).

Build a new Brighton main line for the South East (Pro/Con – it’s good to see distribution of wealth in small regions like this, yet I can’t think of what the strategic importance of Brighton is? Surely the money is better spent connecting bigger cities with more to offer?).

They make the same promise as the Tories to roll out super fast broadband and increase 4G coverage across the land (Pro).

Setting out to make 60% of the UK’s energy come from zero carbon or renewable energy sources by 2030 (Pro – this will keep environmentalists on side and is a step towards a cleaner country, Con – yet again probably paid for by more green taxes or levies).

Committing to spending 3% of GDP on Industrial research and development in regards to manufacturing (Pro).

Moving towards a 20:1 gap between highest and lowest paid at boardroom level (Pro).

Creation of a Digital Ambassador to liase and encourage investment and to accommodate easy start ups, to put Britain on the front foot for the future (Pro).

Creation of the National Investment Bank with the lending power of £250bn, bridging the gap where small businesses and projects wouldn’t usually get investment from other banks (Pro – great for the little guy, Con – there’s usually a reason behind people not getting accepted, as the loan is considered too much of a risk and if too many default on their payments then the government will spend even more in trying to recoup the costs).

Re-nationalisation of Royal Mail, Water Companies, Railways and Energy firms (Pro – it would decrease overall spending of the consumer by a large margin, Con – the initial outlay will be immense and a couple of these Royal Mail and Railways won’t be up for sale for a long time).

Energy wise, Homeowners will be given interest free loans to improve their property E.g installing solar panels, double glazing, etc…(Pro).

Ban Fracking (Con – until research is thoroughly conducted as to whether it damages the environment, you shouldn’t rule out a massive untapped market, bad move economically).

Negotiating Brexit – Scrap Conservative White paper and establish new bill that sets out guarantees to workers rights, staying in customs union and Single Market (Big Con – now this is me being unbiased, they quite clearly stated that they respect the decision of the referendum but in the very next sentence set out an aim of basically staying inside the EU? Also a poor negotiating stance, letting the opposition know what you’re going to be negotiating towards, as they won’t let you have it).

Rules out a ‘no deal’ (Big Con – if you can’t get a good deal out of the EU then you have done badly but haven’t failed, a no deal is the last stab in the heart for the EU, as it is more advantageous for us as they buy more from us then we buy from them, levying a 10% tariff on goods through WTO rules is the last thing on the EU’s mind, rest assured they will cave or face the consequences).

They make the same pledges to making sure regions don’t lose our on ‘EU money’ (which was ours anyway) and want to broker peace in Northern Ireland ASAP (Pro).

No ‘hard border’ between Northern and Republic of Ireland post Brexit (Pro – worth mentioning that even though it’s not mentioned in Tory Manifesto this is the broad view of all political parties as it would destabilise the region and create tension unnecessarily).

Giving Parliament the final say on Brexit deal (Con – they can’t be trusted not to derail the process).

Stating Freedom of Movement will end with Brexit (Big Pro).

Put a stop to Overseas only recruitment (Pro).

Committing to taking our fair share of refugees (Big Con – it’s just another way around immigration numbers, also not stating a clear amount).

Commits to rejoining World Trade Organisation rules post Brexit (Pro).

Creation of the National Education Service, free at the point of use ‘from cradle to grave’ (Pro – it’s nice they want to recreate what Clement Attlee did with the health service and do the same with education, Con – however purely because of what Attlee did this isn’t productive or sustainable money wise, look at the NHS budget over the years, there isn’t enough money for it meaning there isn’t enough money for this before it has even started, a great notion and attempt at a long lasting legacy, yet not to be).

Restructuring the support for early years childcare, extend what the Tories offer to 3 and 4 year olds down to 2 year olds as well, making sure affordable childcare is available to everyone, also making some childcare available for 1 year olds and increasing maternity pay to cover 12 months (Biggest Pro on here! Its a big left hook to the Tories chin as I mentioned in the previous Tory Run Through, our childcare system lags far behind others and this is a massive positive step in the right direction, Con – only a slight Con – my optimism is met by my niggling pessimism yet again asking how will you ever pay for it but I’ll let Labour have this one as it’s their best policy I can get behind!).

Reversing cuts in funding to schools and balancing out of redistribution of funds to historically worse off schools (Pro – schools are massively underfunded which has a profound effect on how much they can pay teachers which is why we have a shortage, Con – I’m hoping this fully costed Manifesto has a breakdown of the numbers somewhere near the end, as this is one of many points that I’m yet to see a figure on!).

Reduction in class sizes to less than 30 for five, six and seven year olds (Pro).

Free school meals for all primary school children paid for by removing VAT exemption on private school fees (Pro – finally something costed! It’s a good idea yet, Con – charging some kids for the sake of others doesn’t bode well for someone who claims to be all for equality,  the famous saying ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, this could create a rift in the class system as private school kids look down on others as they’re paying for them, which gives them an air of superiority in some regards, messy business but I agree with it).

Improving children’s mental health by extending school based counselling at a cost of £90m a year (Pro – mental health issues don’t form overnight when you hit your teens, this could have a profound effect on combating mental health issues later in life).

Restoring EMA to lower and medium income teens (Pro).

Abolishing tuition fees for university (Pro – fully support this as no student should be buried in debt upon leaving uni, Con – not costed, sorry I know I’m trying to be unbiased but they shouldn’t have made such a stupid promise of being fully costed, plus if it’s funded by the taxpayer then students will take a lot of heat for basically having uni paid for, so they can go out and get pissed it’s what it used to be like even when it was at £3k!).

Ban zero hours contracts (Con – they work for the people that want them on a flexible basis E.g mums and students, Pro – they’re poor if this the only kind of work you can get).

Ban companies from undercutting British workers by getting foreign workers (Pro – finally a mainstream party eluding to wage compression due to foreign workers/ immigrants!).

Raise minimum wage to £10 ph by 2020 (Pro/Con – made the same point about the Tories and how it creates redundancies).

Banning unpaid internships (Pro – wholly unfair to the intern, Con – position may be outsourced and offered to foreign workers instead).

Double paid paternity leave for new fathers to four weeks (Big Pro).

Scrap the Bedroom Tax (Pro and Con).

Reinstating housing benefit to under 21s (Pro).

Creation of Ministry for Housing which is aimed at dealing with the housing crisis (Con – another waste of resources and another meaningless ministry).

Aim to build 100,000 council and housing association homes in the next parliament (Pro – heed caution every government fails to meet targets of house building, Tories included).

Inflation cap on private renting (Pro).

Free parking in hospitals paid for by increasing the tax of private medical insurance premiums (Pro).

Scrap NHS pay cap and have it run by an independent pay review body (Pro – healthcare professionals need a well earned pay rise for such a demanding job, Con – more needs to be done to cut out bureaucracy and middle managers as they will be the ones to profit from pay increases, which isn’t fair on nurses who deserve it more).

Reintroduction of bursaries for nursing degrees (Pro – however not costed).

An extra £30bn in funding for NHS paid for by taxing the top 5% of earners, increasing tax on private insurance and halving the fees to management consultants (Pro – may not be as clear cut as that, top 5 % of earners may bugger off to Switzerland and take their money with them, then you’d have a massive black hole in your NHS budget, be careful using the NHS as a political football!).

Introduction of a National Care Service with an increase to social care spending to the tune of £8bn over the next parliament (Con – it’s a nice idea, but realistically they say it’s budget will be pooled within the overall NHS budget which is unpredictable and technically uncosted, hate to say as I’m trying to give Labour a fair review here but they’re letting themselves down).

Labour want to increase police officer numbers by 10,000 (Con – I have to bring up that shameful Diane Abbott interview in which she couldn’t come up with a number of how much it will cost so not likely to happen!).

500 more Border Force operatives (Con – uncosted, this is getting boring now!).

3000 more firefighters (Con – yep you guessed it uncosted, this is hard to stay unbiased as Labour are shooting themselves in the foot, why spout rhetoric of a fully costed Manifesto and then not expect people to read it!).

Wish to retain Human Rights Act (Con – would much prefer to scrap it and introduce a Bill of Rights with the main parts of Human Rights E.g right to a fair trial etc…enshrined into it, but to make it easier to deport criminals to free up our overcrowded and underfunded prison system).

3000 more prison guards (Con – After stating that prisons are overcrowded and staffing levels are too low, they yet again haven’t costed this).

There is a section on transport and Railways but going back to my previous point of them not being able to do anything until they have bought it back, makes it an irrelevant point at the moment and I won’t include it as to stay impartial.

Striving for a transport network with zero deaths and reintroducing Road safety targets (Big Con – setting themselves a completely unrealistic and unachievable target is narrow minded and in doing so bringing back Road safety targets, which promotes use of speed cameras and lowering of speed limits which I definitely can’t back!).

They try and take a dig at the Tories about not having a clue about farming and fishing policy, yet I have quite clearly made the point in my previous run through, unsound, unnecessary and flawed rhetoric. (Con).

They make the same point of creating a Blue Belt but only state around the UK and not inclusive of our Overseas Territories (Pro/Con – pipped to it by the Tories).

Banning pesticides that kill bees as soon as we’re out of EU same as Tories (Pro).

Maintain Ban on foxhunting (Pro/Con).

There is a section about Creativity and the Arts and lots of promises about funds, yet no costs so I’m not going to entertain the idea of sifting through these policies as they have holes in them, so in the interest of being balanced I shall move on.

They come out in support of the BBC which is a big turn off for voters, it’s quite apparent that the TV licence will be cut or scrapped altogether in the not too distant future, which I fully support as the continuing left bias of the BBC is frustrating considering we pay for it. Maybe they should have advertising of only British products to promote our industries? Who knows! Plus they covered up Saville, hey ho moving on.

In the next section they admit a desire for a more federalistic state, which I knew they’d cram in somewhere with Corbyn being a massive Republican (Big Con).

Reduce the number in the House of Lords and make them elected (Pro/Con – too many Lords don’t do their job and turn up just to get paid an allowance which is a total abuse of the system, plus it’s an unrepresentative cross section who get picked. Though constitutional reform on this scale will be met with a backlash, as the actual Lords that have got there for being an expert in their field and have an valuable insight into their field will be lost).

Lower the voting age to 16 (Big Con – politics isn’t even taught in schools at this point and is dangerous to add this demographic to the voting register, regardless of your counter argument it’s irresponsible).

They don’t support a second Scottish referendum (Pro).

However, they go on to say they will increase funds to them which deletes the point of having the Barnet formula and I also agree with the Tories that given the devolved powers over taxation, they’re lagging behind and don’t warrant that much funding. (Con).

There’s a lot of waffle in this Manifesto, more so than the Tories, which I didn’t think was possible yet there’s 128 pages in this compared to the 88 of the Tories, although every 3-4 pages there’s a picture or blank page.

Next they take a stab at the Tories for rolling back gender equality for women, bit of a retarded statement from a party that’s never had a female leader, yet the Tories have had two female Prime Ministers, your point is imvalid and redundant. (Big Con).

They go on a big about LGBT and racism, stating they’re against antisemitism, yet Ken Livingstone has only been suspended for antisemitic remarks not permanently suspended, one rule for you, one rule for others? Contradictory (Con).

In a section named diplomacy they quite clearly state they’re opposed to the current US administration and that the special relationship is only based on shared values, which is unreasonable and unstatesman like. As PM he says he will exhaust all diplomatic services with nations, yet isn’t willing to get along with our closest ally for the good of our countries, even Theresa May got on with him for fuck sake. (Big Con – unnecessary).

They support a two state system in Israel for Palestine which is yet again unrealistic, however we’re uniquely involved as we caused this problem in the first place, however taking into account what happened in WW2 and the persecution of the Jews, they deserve a state of their own so that they don’t have to run or escape persecution ever again. Yet again I will side with our Israeli allies anytime (Con).

They believe that diplomatic dialogue with North Korea is needed to diffuse the situation in the peninsula (Pro/Con – could go either way).

Committed to spending 2% of GDP on defense as part of NATO obligations (Pro).

Now Corbyn’s biggest weak point, even though in the Manifesto it states they commit to renewing Trident after his calamitous answers to the audience in the leaders debate, no one can actually believe anything he says about Trident as he wouldn’t actually ever use it (Biggest Con – like I said weakest point, you couldn’t feel safe under Corbyn).

A good point on defense, he’d commit to procuring British Steel and using it in the manufacturing of defense equipment (Pro).

Finally they commit 0.7% of GDP to ‘international development’ which is a fancy way of saying foreign aid (Con – money better used elsewhere like on all of the uncosted pledges that I have picked out!).

I will give this Manifesto a 6.5 out of 10, you might be puzzled by this as I found so much wrong with it, yet on balance they had some strong ideas that I agree with, there are only three major sticking points for me. Obviously the notion that this was fully costed, if they didn’t shout about it so much this would have been on par with or just behind the Tories. Secondly, the unnecessary swipe at Trump which had nothing to with the election in general dented his credentials as a world leader. Finally, it has to be the weak stance on Trident, it really was the nail in the coffin for Labour, especially after the Diane Abbott debacles!

All I have to say is that I wrote these as a helpful guide for people, if you disagree with my unbiased view then the actual Manifesto is readily available and you can see it for yourself. I have nothing to gain by not stating facts, bear in mind I support neither of these parties! I hope this was…educational. As ever, thank you for reading!

 

 

The Next Big Movement

People who have read my articles in the past know that I don’t support our outdated voting system. Now is probably the best time to bring this up again. After the result of the American Presidential election and the anger and outrage at the electoral college and their outdated voting system, it’s time we have a look at our own. My main reason for taking interest in this issue originally was in the last General Election I voted for UKIP, perceived by most as a ‘protest vote’. The party overall made massive inroads on the overall vote, collecting 3.8 million votes. To put that into context we got nearly three times the amount of votes than the SNP who collected 1.4 million votes, yet they gained 56 seats in our parliament and we got 1 seat. From what I see in this divided country at the moment I would expect mass outrage from our ‘liberal’ friends who are busy trying to delay brexit. Yet not a whisper has been heard. They tried to champion proportional representation in a white paper motion which I fully commend the Greens for doing, I even wrote to my MP Sir Paul Beresford and asked him to get behind the motion which was a fools errand, as I was told in no uncertain terms that he whole heartedly opposed it and that was the end of that. It fell on deaf ears. I understand why, the people in power aren’t going to give away more of their power and damage their own party and interests.

Also it didn’t have the full blooded support that it really needed to get off the ground. I don’t think however that this is the best course of action or indeed the right cause to be supporting. When going for complete change you have a harder time persuading people and changing their minds. So I move onto the next stage. I had a massive brainwave (or so I thought) about 2 months ago of a brilliant new system that I devised in my head that supported both the current way of voting and a form of proportional representation, a hybrid if you will. Which would be easier to sell to the public and parliament alike, rather than cutting numbers of MPs or anything drastic of that nature. Yet to my disbelief after looking it up online, a form of my ‘vision’ already exists. Before I tell you which system it is I shall explain it and try to sell it to you.

Quite simply the numbers and areas that hold the power in parliament aren’t proportionate, so why not tip the balance of power. There are a huge amount of seats in London and Scotland which don’t reflect the views of the overall country. So by changing constituency boundaries of places like London and Scotland you could essentially free up a huge amount of seats and put them to use. By creating a regional MP as well as a constituency MP, so that say for example a party gained a huge amount of votes but came second in all of the constituencies they would still get some MPs who would be the voice for the people who didn’t vote for the constituency MP. Otherwise you get what we have now, with swathes of UKIP support but no one to give us a voice in parliament, including might I add the House of Lords (that’s for another time!). So it would give more of a balanced debate in the House and actually reflect the views of the country, there would also be no more ‘shock’ results like Brexit as people would actually be heard and their opinions transmitted onto a higher platform.

Now the downside to this is that where it’s already used, the regional MP is looked upon as a lesser MP and someone who couldn’t win a seat. So to combat that I thought of a different way to approach it, instead of being picked from a party list system the MP who wins the largest majority in a region is ‘promoted’ to regional MP and a candidate of a party who won the most amount of votes but came second would take his/her place as constituency MP, thus taking away the stigma of regional MP because the regional MP will have resounding support from the electorate. This is of course is the Additional Member System which is currently used in the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament, but with a few tweaks. Imagine my excitement and then withering disappointment all in the space of about 5 minutes when I devised it and then the realisation it already existed in some form! So there goes my dream of being a pioneer or revolutionary of electoral reform. I’ll just stick to fighting it out with Liberals and shouting down Political Correctness shall I…?

There is a huge disconnect between the London Elite and the rest of the country, this is why it needs to change and why in this form of voting the number of MPs from London would be more evenly distributed. There is no doubt that this country is divided, especially when it comes to politics. This form of voting system would be easier to use in persuading the masses as it isn’t too far different from the current system and from what i’ve seen after Brexit, change angers privileged millenials and the upper classes alike. Yet if we’re actually to move forward as a country after Brexit has actually taken place then we definitely need to drag this archaic system into the 21st century and really give the power back to the people. This legal farce that is taking place isn’t ‘giving the power to the people’ it is creating a bigger divide still. Gina Miller has single-handedly disenfranchised 17 million voters. Quite frankly, the abuse she receives is duly deserved apart from the death threats as I don’t believe people should be killed or threatened for their views. She actually believes she is the ‘champion of the people’ and believes in parliamentary sovereignty, then please explain why she is taking court action against the government and their plans on Brexit. The DEMOCRATICALLY elected government who have a mandate to govern the country from the electorate. Yes the referendum was advisory, yet the government would take the advice and implement the decision. It is as clear cut as it can get. Yet this rich women who thinks she speaks for normal ordinary people is trying to bypass the system by throwing money at it. She’s also cast doubt over the judiciary in this country by dragging it through the courts, as the verdict was poorly devised by the three judges in charge. The people voted to Leave why delay it, if it’s a matter of Royal prerogative then why hasn’t anyone talked to the Queen? I understand that she has to stay impartial as a constitutional monarchy and can’t show any political leaning, yet the decision rests with her and surely if the people she rules over have spoken then it should be implemented. The question was asked and you got the answer, stop being a sore loser and get on with your life. Trying to throw the country into further turmoil should be seen as a treacherous act, the end.

This movement is where the next big burst of political pressure should come from. Maybe in the new year and before Article 50 is triggered, UKIP especially should get behind this as they have the most to gain from it. But also it should be considered by normal voters as regardless of whatever political allegiances we have, this move is in the interest of the nation. Scotland and London won’t see it in this way, but then again what they think doesn’t reflect the views of the nation as a whole and it would benefit us to go down this road. It would also help to bridge the divide in the country and hopefully give hope to the electorate that eventually everyone will get a say in how their country is run.

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The Movement

I write this piece as I feel it was touched upon recently but not properly aired to the masses. As you can tell by now i’m firmly against being a member of the EU and wish for us to withdraw. Same old stuff you hear from most ‘right wingers’ like myself right? The age old come back of “immigration makes this country” springs to mind in defence of my voiced opinions. However, I feel I have half created a solution to this problem to keep all sides happy. Thanks to Mr Farage, who in his hard fought interview with Evan Davis came out with the notion that he’d “prefer migrants from India and Australia.” While there is nothing wrong with this in my eyes, there has been massive backlash over it as the left wing media has shouted out that he hates Eastern Europeans which is completely untrue. I completely understand what Mr Farage was trying to get across though.

I think as a possible/viable option if we leave the EU, we could introduce a new free movement of people. The people i’m referring to though are a bit different to what you might expect. I think we should extend an olive branch to the 16 remaining nations across the globe that still share our Queen. They have decided against joining the anti-royal brigade and stuck with her, in doing so sticking with us. As Head of State of all our nations I can’t see why free movement and easier trade between our nations couldn’t be easily sorted out, if we needed migrants to prop up our economy if it did ‘shrink’ after we left the EU, rather than sourcing our migrant labour force from a pool of 500 million EU citizens and open the flood gates screaming ‘our economy is dying without you’, we should open the door to the other nations that we actually share a history and an institution with? That’s what Mr Farage was trying to get at, we actually have things in common and uphold some sort of common values and principles. Also the overall combined populations of these nations comes to about 75 million of which i’m sure about just over half are of working age or with skills actually needed in this country. I’d rather open the invitation to them as I feel there would be easier social cohesion and integration.

I understand the argument would arise that why are we leaving out the other colonial nations e.g India, USA, etc… and that it’s having double standards and having a selective and discriminating outlook on immigration. That is why I worded it in the manner I did, those that still share the Monarchy would be welcome, these other nations gained independence from the UK and the Queen and that is why the invitation would not be open to them. Plus taking into account that India has a population of 1 billion people and the USA is an immigrant nation I don’t think opening the borders to them would be advantageous for either countries.

I feel at least the idea should be floated in the public domain, even if it is totally lambasted and scrutinised to within an inch of it’s life by the liberal establishment, like everything else these days. At least the idea would be out there to gather momentum or even lead to other ideas. Everyone has their own views on things, if anything it would create discussion and dialogue, which is healthy to have. Especially on the touchy subject of immigration, which I feel is yet again being manipulated by the media in their favour, as they always seem to try and use it as a tool to suppress the voice and opinions of the right, who in a democratic society have just as much right to air their opinions even if the liberals disagree with it. For that exact reason it should definitely be put out there as you need a balance, there’s too much of a nanny culture and political correctness. It squeezes the life out of any rational debate on most subjects, as frequently “you can’t say that”. We can’t give in and just say “okay you’re right”. We have the right to stand up to these people as quite rightly we are all ‘equal’ as they often remind us. If we are equal then why is their opinion better than mine? Mine is equally as important. It’s like they’re saying they are MORE equal than us. Now that sounds horrendously like the slave trade, when they used to be classed 2/3 of a person. One set of people can’t be more equal than another. I read an interesting quote recently by Huey Long (often misquoted as by Churchill) he said “When Fascism comes to America, it will (be in the name of/come under the guise of/be called) anti-Fascism!“. It all starts to sound a bit of a coincidence. I understand obviously we aren’t in America, yet the same thing could apply to England right now. I’ve encountered it many times whilst trying to speak out in favour of traditional sentiments and conservative ways of looking at the world and any time you put it across you are shouted down as a ‘racist/fascist’. So now I put this idea across of free movement between us and these 16 remaining sovereign nations and finally show that in the right format I’m actually FOR immigration. Obviously this all hinges on us leaving the EU though. I would very much like to hear what other British people think of this idea? As ever, thank you for reading!

The 16 remaining sovereign nations:

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

Papua New Guinea

Antigua & Barbuda

The Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Grenada

Jamaica

St Kitts & Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent & The Grenadines

Solomon Islands

Tuvalu