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!

 

 

Conservative Manifesto Run Through

This is the first of 3 Manifesto Run Throughs that I will be penning before the election, as ever I will endeavour to stay unbiased as to give a representative and balanced view of each Manifesto, to give credit where credit is due and to pinpoint inaccuracies in them. I shall begin with the Tories as they’re the governing party at this moment in time.

Their first main point is Strong and Stable leadership, as I’m sure you’ll have heard this slogan by now. This has received plenty of negative press so I shall give a balanced outlook, what I think they’re trying to get across is that in this massive transitional period for our country, we need stability and certainty, this would only be achieved (in their eyes) by keeping the status quo and re-electing the Conservatives, so that the negotiating team in place can get to work as soon as possible in securing an amicable split from the European Union.

The next points they make are the big challenges that face them. The first being a strong economy, which to be fair the Conservatives have done a fairly good job at creating. Unemployment figures are down, economic forecasts are positive and investment post Brexit looks to boom. This is not to say that massive cuts have had to occur and hit some demographics hard and increased the need for food banks, but on balance the public spending of Labour was unsustainable and needed cutting as the Tories were left in a ridiculous amount of debt.

Their second point is about Brexit and the need for a smooth and orderly exit from the union. Also to try and create a deep and strong rooted relationship with the remaining EU nations, which personally I think there has been a massive irreparable rift caused, this spawning from our own interests and the jealousy of the other nations who secretly crave self determination. They also make a good point of stating we need to stay strong and united, aimed at the United Kingdom as a whole, in contrast to the Republican views of Corbyn who would like to see the split of the UK. Now is definitely the time to stay together and I like to see this message staged in this point.

The third point they make is to fight enduring social divisions. This is mainly made out to be about social mobility and making sure people aren’t held back by where they come from or where they’re born. I think it’s also aimed at second generation immigrant votes, the Tories try to include them as historically they don’t pick up those votes. I also think it’s aimed at people who will be here post Brexit and saying that as long as you work hard you have a place here. Even though they haven’t given a guarantee on it yet, I think this will be one of the easiest bargaining chips we have in the negotiations.

The fourth point acknowledges the ageing population and people with long term health conditions, expressing the need to find a solution and accepting the reality of it.

The final big point is looking at innovative technology and being at the forefront of the technological wave. I think this is wise as there’s a lot of wealth to be created from this industry and is still in its infancy (relatively) in the grand scale of things. It points out the need to staying safe and secure in regards to privacy, which is quite contradictory, being that civil liberties and privacy in regards to technology have slowly eroded under the Tories and so much privacy has been lost online. This was overseen by the Tories and it’s a slight slap in the face to include that.

The Manifesto then goes onto separate sub headings outlining viewpoints and the direction of the party and what they expect to achieve. They start by stating they want to govern from the mainstream, they believe they can be the central party and govern on behalf of the majority of the electorate, by making decisions in the interests of everybody, which in itself gives off a conflicted viewpoint. You can’t please everybody and not everyone will agree on things, I understand we live in a divided nation currently and maybe this is their way of trying to combat this but by contradicting yourself is not a good start. They believe they can bridge the gap between left and right, which is a risky statement as you can end up alienating your core supporters, whilst losing the undecided voters by sounding wishy-washy. They say they’ll reduce and control immigration, which yet again is a risky pledge considering Cameron made the same one and failed on a monumental scale. They want to defend our nation from terrorist threats which is a double edged sword, as on the one hand yes I fully believe them but on the other, funding has steadily been cut to our police over the period of Tory rule. Yet they were cuts that needed to be made, I return to my earlier point of labour’s massive budget of public spending (and borrowing) and having no way of paying it back. Whilst I understand the police forces of this country are stretched, you can only spread out the funding you have. Yes they could free up extra capital by scrapping the foreign aid budget but lefties won’t accept that or the notion that in order to pay for something you have to take money away from something else. Our budget is finite. Unless you borrow money like Labour and then you get stuck in the cycle all over again.

They wish to protect workers rights and develop industrial strategy to work better in favour of the economy. Finally in this section they state that they won’t drift to the right and make decisions based on what works, which is refreshingly realistic.

Their next point is the age old adage of governing in the interests of ordinary, hard working families which has become a catchphrase for all political parties as trying to project an air of caring for Joe bloggs and his family, and aiming themselves at a majority of the electorate. Boring, NEXT! The next passage just rearranges and reiterates all of the previous points to try and drum it into the reader, which is understandable if you want to learn what they actually stand for as most people you ask on the street wouldn’t be able to tell you the differences of what the major parties even stand for anymore.

The next section is entitled Our Principles, where they try and rebrand what it means to be a Tory, which is a massive turn off for people with traditional conservative views. They establish a notion that people owe a debt to the community and society which I’m at odds with, whilst I understand they’re trying to convey an expectation of a strong work ethic, I don’t think we’re born into debt with our nation. We’re born free.

They then set out how they’re going to achieve these goals in greater detail which I have no desire to deconstruct as I’m currently on my honeymoon, so I shall simply bulletpoint these with a brief explanation and whether it’s a pro or con for voting.

Keeping taxes as low as possible – freezing VAT (pro – goods and products won’t increase in price for consumers), increase personal allowance to £12500 (pro – relieving £2500 taxable income for lower earners), local residents can opt out of high increases of Council Tax via a referendum (con – too vague, if they slowly increase it, it won’t be classed as high increase so no basis for referendum), Corporation Tax to fall to 17% (pro – actively seeking inward investment from overseas post Brexit is a good think ahead however, Con – Labour have applied pressure to big corporations and called them out for not paying their fair share, so won’t sit well with low earners or students who don’t understand basic economics).

Increasing Trade – Lodging new schedules for the UK with WTO (pro – looking ahead post Brexit we’re going to need trade schedules in place to ensure a smooth exit and to strike free trade deals around the world and become a stronger trading nation BIG PRO), Creating a network of 9 trade commissioners to promote trade abroad and increase trade between the members of the UK (pro – self explanatory), push forward with UK export finance (pro – ensuring that no viable UK export fails due to lack of finance or insurance).

Wages – Increasing the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020 (Con – this will back fire massively, as wages increase so will the number of redundancies as companies can’t afford to employ as many people, which in turn increases workload for workers, unsustainable).

Modern Business Strategy – Freeing up funds for research and development in fields of future technology e.g batteries for electric cars (pro – this will keep people on side who believe in renewable energy, Con – we don’t know where these funds will come from, most likely through Green levies or taxing the current motorist more. Which I can’t get behind!), A modern technical education for everyone (pro – any education made available can create social mobility, Con – being traditional I’d prefer that people are still taught in the old school way, as we can’t be reliant on technology for everything).

National Productivity Investment Fund – £23bn set aside to enhance certain infrastructures, £740m on digital infrastructure, big increase in spending on railways (no figure attached provably because of HS2) £1.1bn on local transport and £250m on productivity skills enhancement (pro – I believe that the money is well spent in this venture as the Tories are trying to keep with the times, you can guarantee part of the digital infrastructure includes rolling out super fast broadband everywhere in the UK).

Future Britain Fund – holding investments of the British people to go towards future funding of infrastructure and the economy, made up of profits of shale gas extraction, dormant assets and the sale of some public assets (Pro – if they can research shale gas and it doesn’t harm the environment then good, Con – selling off public assets automatically makes you think of parts of the NHS like buildings and equipment).

Support for industy – After Sir John Parker’s review of shipbuilding there will be a push for modernising and revitalising the shipbuilding industry (massive pro – we used to be world leaders in shipbuilding, creation of jobs all over the country E.g Clyde, Barrow, Portsmouth).

Support for Farming Industry – Grow more, sell more and export more post Brexit (Pro – on the face of it the notion is great as I live in the countryside and support our farmers, Con – yet they expect more but state they’ll give the same amount of cash to aid development, you can’t expect more for the same amount of investment, it’s unrealistic).

A Free Vote on Fox Hunting (Pro and Con).

Clearly setting out to leave the Common Fisheries Policy and exercise our control of our sovereign waters (Biggest Pro on here! No legal uncertainty will be made during negotiations, this is not up for debate! Preserving and increasing the fish stock which has been overfished under the EU’s common fishing policy, which introduced quotas and have depleted our fish stock, massively looking forward to our thriving fishing industry in the future).

Completely ruling out a divisive Scottish referendum and pointing out that regardless of the devolved powers given to Scotland, they’ve squandered growth potential and have lagged behind (Pro – nothing else needs to be added!).

As part of infrastructure investment, bringing Welsh railways up to speed (Pro – massively overdue, Con – Plaid Cymru will say money better spent on Welsh NHS, which is a fair observation).

Look to re-brokering a power sharing deal in Northern Ireland as soon as possible (Pro).

UK Shared Prosperity Fund – Replaces the funding sent from EU (which was our money in the first place) and redistributes it accordingly with consultation between Westminster and other devolved powers (Big Pro – shuts up all the Remainers moaning about ‘lost EU money’).

The Great Repeal Bill – EU law will be enshrined into UK law, so no rights are lost overnight, yet it gives parliament the right to amend, repeal or improve any piece of these laws. It also gets rid of the ball ache of sorting out 41 years worth of laws, we can slowly over time strip all the unsavoury laws out of our law. (Pro – get overall power of our legislature back and Human Rights Act will be reconstructed after formally leaving the EU, Cons – it’s a time consuming exercise, we’d still be signed up to ECHR for the next parliament, which I oppose massively but it’ll be reviewed in 2022).

In conjunction with our Overseas Territories, create a Blue Belt and aid conservation by creating the largest marine sanctuaries in the world (Pro for anyone in the world).

Continue commitment of 2% of GDP to defense as part of NATO obligations (Pro – normal humans like to be safe, Con – if you’re a Stop The War supporter or pacifist), (lol).

£178bn spread over a decade on strengthening our depleted Royal Navy, by building new vessels in conjunction with rejuvenated shipyards up and down the country (Pro – Brittania rules the waves).

An introduction of no payment of employers contributions of National Insurance for a year, if they take on an Ex-serviceman/woman (Pro – finally beginning to look after our serviceman upon leaving the forces, Con – too little too late).

Reducing the number of MPs to 600 (Pro – the chamber is far too crowded, Con – this lends itself more to the FPTP ‘first past the post’ system).

They promise to retain FPTP (Con – Proportional Representation is a more realistic and representative system and ensures as many people’s views are heard, it would also end the monopoly of the two party system, which is why the Tories and Labour will never back it, as it’s not in their interests).

The reintroduction of Grammar Schools (Pro – increases social mobility immensely so that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds get a better education based on their skills and attainment, Con – funding for the education system is already poor so it begs the question where is the money coming from, it also leaves behind the children in state schools of mixed abilities, where they won’t mix with smarter children who boost attainment figures of state schools, meaning a drop in ofsted standards nationwide).

Cutting student loan repayments for teachers in their first year to encourage them to stay in the profession (Pro – it’s a start, however looking at the research, teachers in general can find easier jobs for more money elsewhere so aren’t incentivised to stay anyway).

Centralising all teaching jobs to a single jobs portal much like NHS jobs (Pro – it increases the effectiveness of getting current teachers into vacancies, Con – there is already a teacher shortage and I reiterate my previous point about teachers finding jobs elsewhere).

Cutting of free school lunches to most children in the first three years of primary school (Pro – they will receive free breakfast instead and low income students still receive free lunches, Con – very reminiscent of the ‘milk snatcher’ Thatcher!).

Introduction of T-levels, a technical qualification equivalent to A-levels will most likely replace BTEC, which includes three month work placement as part of the course (Pro).

Breaking down barriers to public sector jobs based on attainment E.g teaching assistants can become teachers through an apprenticeship degree, healthcare professionals can do the same to become nurses (Pro – it eliviates the shortage of teachers and nurses, Con – have you ever had to live off apprentice wages?).

Reintroduction of pledge to decrease immigration to tens of thousands (Pro – After Brexit we should have full control of immigration and should for once be achievable, Con – Cameron made this pledge and failed massively with net migration ballooning, troublesome waters for Tories).

Further cultural integration through schools (Pro – forcing schools with one predominant race, culture or religion to teach basic British values regardless, to ease social cohesion, Con – too little too late, why hasn’t this been the pre existing building block to interracial cohesion for the last 60 years, since mass immigration started?).

There is a section regarding combating Islamic extremism which doesn’t outline how to root out and defeat it (Con).

Audit of gender and racial pay gaps in the workplace (Pro/Con – can lead to disharmony in the workplace and start on down the slippery slope of quotas rather than merit based advancement, which doesn’t help anyone).

Over the next parliament extend funding to mental health by an extra £1bn (Pro/Con – throwing money at things doesn’t automatically fix them, they need to improve diagnosis and speed of people being seen and treated, too many people suffer in silence in fear of not being believed, I have seen this first hand).

Ban letting agents fees (Pro).

Increase in NHS spending by £8bn over next 5 years (Pro).

In negotiations with EU try and ensure the 140,000 NHS workers from the EU can stay post Brexit to continue their essential work (Pro).

Government building new homes on its own property as part of its plan to build 1 million homes by 2020 (Pro/Con – it’s good they’re addressing the issue but it could include building on NHS land, the sooner they can address the real root cause which is immigration, the better).

30 hours of free childcare for every 3 and 4 year old (Pro – it’s a start, Con – we’re so behind other nations in this aspect, looking forward at the ageing population and the eventual need to replenish the population, the government need to be making childcare almost free until school age, we need to reward the people adding to our society by making having children affordable, they wonder why birth rates are so low!).

By the end of the year, 19 out of 20 premises will have access to super fast broadband in conjunction with their detailed digital plan (Pro – I’m still waiting at home for this, one of the last areas on the list I’m guessing!).

Introduction of comprehensive relationship and sex education to primary and secondary school students to include cyber bullying and online grooming (Pro – a realistic and important step in protecting our children online and in the real world, Con – weirdly still a hotly contested subject, some parents still don’t feel comfortable with their primary school age children learning about sex and needing to protect their innocence, maybe a minimum age should be introduced maybe 8 or 9?).

A random one but one with great potential, the digital amalgamation of HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, Valuation Office Agency, Hydrographic Office and Geological Survey to provide the most comprehensive map of the UK (Pro – can be used for more efficient planning of housing and creating digital maps of our land, this also creates an innovative tool for video games developers in making real world UK games, GTA London remake anyone?! Big Pro).

Overall I rate this Manifesto a very modest 8 out of 10. Very comprehensive and set out a detailed plan for governing our country. I felt it could have been shorter than 88 pages, as on more than one occasion it felt like they were repeating the same points. I also felt that on balance their Cons were easily avoidable but like I said, you can’t please everybody!

I hope this cuts through media bias and gives you the basic outline of what the Tories wish to achieve, parallel to this I will now write up the run through for the Labour party. Thank you for reading!

 

Brace Yourselves, Elections Are Coming.

So it’s time for all of the ‘part-time’ politicians to crawl out of the woodwork to display their ‘superior’ opinion, in a field they have suddenly become experts in. That’s right you guessed it, it’s election time. It’s all much of the same. Millennials spouting nonsense about Labour and how they can change the country and stop Brexit. But it’s hard to see why? All of the things they fight for, were things that Labour messed up in the first place? They crippled the country and forced us into a recession, or have they forgotten this? Oh wait they were still in school, where frankly there isn’t any politics being taught (a major issue) and any political leanings are from Liberal teachers. The thing is, I remember the country under a Labour government. These youngsters sing it’s praises, yet all of the major players in the Labour party now try to distance themselves from that era. They wanted to try and take the party away from ‘Blairite’ or ‘Brownite’, as ultimately it was dividing the party, not nearly as much as now though. The difference is that under New Labour, they had an identity. Something they massively lack now, as the disconnect between the core labour voters and MPs couldn’t be at further ends of the scale. They voted in huge numbers to make Corbyn leader but the party’s own MPs could see that his brand of Labour, can’t sustain an offensive attack on the Tories. It’s too busy licking it’s wounds from the civil war that erupted not long ago. The in-fighting that was created by the very people that want to get the party into power.

You may think i’m having a dig at Labour here and think this is unfair, yet I will explain the same thing about UKIP. You see it all boils down to one thing, a party is nothing without a leader. Now, Paul Nuttall is a good leader of UKIP, i’ve always liked him and believed he performs well in the spotlight. Yet the big problem facing UKIP is that he ISN’T Nigel Farage. Love him or hate him, he was a proper leader. When you’re a face of a party, you project certain things about the party, a lot of people get behind that and got behind Farage as a result of that. He was the main reason that UKIP got 3.8 million votes in the last general election. He’s a skilled orator and performed immensely well in the debates and interviews for the election and before the referendum as well. People endear themselves to strong leaders and are more likely to vote for a strongly principled leader. Now before you liken that statement to Corbyn i’ll explain, yes on the one hand he’s strongly principled and stands for something but on the other he lacks the real leadership qualities of Farage. He can barely run his party let alone a country, whereas Farage had an iron-like grip of his party and all the ins and outs of it. This is one of the main reasons that Theresa May has opted for the ‘strong and stable’ slogan.

Onto the Tories, who look set to gain a large majority from this election. I’d be surprised if they didn’t as they have the upper hand and the element of surprise. Although, only time will tell if it was a political masterstroke. The timing couldn’t have been better, with the ‘opposition’ if you can call it that, completely in disarray and with no chance or time to come up with a reasonable campaign to fight the Tories with, we expect a wipeout. Yet I don’t think it’s that clear cut. All of the projections show that Labour are going to get wiped out and that the Tories will amass a majority of the likes of Thatcher, yet these are the same projections that got the referendum wrong and the last general election wrong too. The Tories will win yes, there is no doubt, and yes they will have a stronger majority, however I don’t think it will be as big as they hope it will be. There will still be the people that vote Labour because they always have and the added element of youth who seem to be in love with Corbyn for whatever reason, they don’t quite have the numbers to bring down the Tories or even get close though. Even with some hashed together coalition with the Lib-Dems or SNP.

I don’t even need to take a dig at the Lib-Dems anymore, they do it to themselves. Tim Farron got himself all caught up in the simplest of rules. Don’t mix politics and religion. The gay sex is a sin thing is cringeworthy at best. Even though he came out and said it wasn’t, the fact that he dodged the questions for literally years, leads you to believe otherwise and if you have created that doubt in the potential voters minds then you have already lost. The only people to successfully mix the two, have done so in baby steps and haven’t rammed it down your throat. Blair ‘came out’ as a Catholic but did so when he already had a grasp of the political landscape and was cemented in power. Theresa May has done the same, she’s in power now and had overwhelming support from her MPs in the leadership contest, she’s done the whole I pray to god and all that. But that was it, nothing more nothing less.

The SNP are the ones set to lose the most in this election. I think the Scottish Tories will stage a large comeback as the SNP are a massive single issue party and it’s wearing a bit thin. Especially as Sturgeon has been told in no uncertain terms that a referendum is definitely not on the cards in the near or distant future. Now they seem like a dog without it’s teeth, they will lose a substantial amount of seats. UKIP lost their only MP and without Farage standing have zero chance of getting another elected. They will probably get about 2.5 million votes (myself included) but largely in pockets and with no real power, you might think this is wishful thinking due to the local elections but to be fair local elections are completely different and have no standing in comparison to a proper election. I have to admit, I didn’t even vote in the local elections (partly due to not having time) but I don’t think I would have done anyway. The reason i’m still voting UKIP in the GE is due to the MP that stands in my constituency Sir Paul Beresford. His voting record is poor with plenty of absences, he was part of the expenses scandal by claiming his dental practice as his second home and getting 3/4 of his running costs paid for by the taxpayer, claimed to be eurosceptic but voted to remain and is just an all round dick. Okay so mine is an isolated (but valid) reason for voting UKIP, but I still think their presence is needed. If the Tories get too much of a majority there is the slight chance that we get a softer brexit which we definitely don’t want. I would like to see one UKIP MP so that there is a voice of the true leavers in the house, as I think that massive backsliding could begin to creep through as the house would be full of yes men (and women) who follow the PM on everything. Especially if she tries to take the easy route out and makes a shit deal with the EU, I still firmly stand by the notion of a hard brexit being better than a watered down deal.

That is Theresa May’s downfall and the only chink in her armour. The fact that she flipflopped from Remain to Leave. Some calling it pandering to the masses but she needs to keep in mind what is best for the country for a long time to come, rather than point scoring and political posturing. There are simple red lines that can’t be crossed, no money will be paid to the EU upon exit (apart from money already set aside for schemes we have supported and voted on), no free movement of people (apart from the border in Northern Ireland and fast tracked visas), reinstate our territorial waters and fishing grounds. If the EU won’t let go of these then hard brexit is the only option for this country. This was one of the main reasons that she called an election in the first place, so that she could have full autonomy on proceedings and negotiations. I think that people are taking this election out of context and actually think it’s to do with policies, which it really isn’t, as most pledges as you know go out of the window when somebody is in power. I’ll run through a list of key points from each party to try and give a better more impartial scope of what’s on offer in this election, however I shall write a more comprehensive list when all the manifestos have been released.

 

Tories

Pros: Scraping of ECHR & ECJ and reclaim the power for our courts, the re-introduction of grammar schools, no increase in VAT, bringing back fox hunting is both a pro and con, investment in businesses will sky rocket after brexit which is usually good for wealth creation which Tories are good at, increase in living wage.

Cons: NHS spending/staffing/pay structures are constantly under fire no matter who is in power, Education system is facing a massive blackhole funding and staffing wise, continued degradation of citizens privacy rights, bringing back fox hunting (animal rights activists won’t like this), continued excessive spending in regards to foreign aid.

 

Labour

Pros: Capping of household energy bills, tuition fees abolished, pay cap for NHS workers scrapped, unpaid internships scrapped (pro and con), employers stopped from only recruiting overseas, increase in living wage, no raising in income tax (earners below £80k), rent capped to rate of inflation, keep defence spending at 2% of GDP, ban fracking (pro and con).

Cons: Ban fracking (if proved safe and not in a greenbelt area could benefit the country), soft deals on brexit and no hard brexit option, no scrapping of ECHR or EU law, increased borrowing to pay for the NHS, creation of NHS excellence (a regulator that is paid for from tax payers money), unpaid internships scrapped (might dissuade big businesses from giving graduates a ‘foot in the door’), excessive hounding of big companies to pay more tax might force them elsewhere which is unwise post-brexit, unobtainable house building targets and more borrowed money to pay for it, lowering the voting age to 16, they say they’ll renew trident but he’s shown his support against renewal, unobtainable increase in police officer numbers (as seen from Diane Abbott).

There’s no point in listing all of the parties at the moment as I said i’d do a full analysis when the manifestos are officially released. That’s a basic snapshot of what will be picked up on in the papers, debates and interviews over the coming weeks. I try my best to stay impartial when I list facts and will continue to do so, as I have shown in my previous posts that I don’t feel I can persuade anyone anyway and would rather you come to you your own conclusions, this is no different. I respect that we live in a democracy and that we should have an open playing field in regards to politics, it may be a mismatch in regards to Labour but it should be an open debate with no shutdowns. This is an occurring theme from the left that I despise and I personally call on them to have a rational debate this time, because every time you shout ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ you’re giving the Tories one more voter at a time. It’s like having a fight and punching yourself in the face, it’s time to grow up and argue your point like an adult. I will as always, be here waiting for you.

Thanks for reading!

The Beginning of The Journey

So, here we are. Where is it, you may ask we are? We are still in a cloudy patch of history that will be remembered as well as the Phoney War in 1939. Not very well I can tell you. Yet that was the beginning of a journey our country started on. To overcome a dangerous threat and enemy, who at the time seemed to be more powerful, faster and larger than ourselves. I feel we are in a similar predicament at this exact moment in time. We’re up against an opponent with vast amounts of money, carries the sway of 27 nations and they have a bit between their teeth. They’re led by an ignorant power hungry man with Authoritarian views. They try their hardest to stifle free thinking and opinions that vary from their own. Such narrow mindedness that will eventually be their downfall.

I’m of course talking about that soon to be defeated Supranational Union of European States. Or EU for short… We have created the building blocks for the resistance to EU rule. We have re-ignited the wick of a burnt out, eternal candle that died out in 1975. Self determination was the catalyst. We are the leading light out of the darkness. We give hope to countries that are one their knees, that there is a way out of this. It may not be immediate, much like World War 2 but we can form an alliance to go up against the would be ‘Axis Powers’. The first of these will be a France under the leadership of Marine Le Pen. Much like Trump, I don’t agree with everything she’s put on the table. Yet she has the same vision and end goal. To take on the EU and have a self ruling France. It’s a larger task than ours as they’re a fully paid up member of the EU, but we will stand with them. There are a whole host of nations outside of the EU that want to do business and are extending olive branches even now. It would also be very advantageous for us to have an ally on mainland Europe outside of the EU, who we can trade freely with and create our own bloc to combat the monopoly of goods & services the EU has over Europe. Two great nations such as ours and France working together to create a new Europe of self rule and opportunity. Great things can be achieved between two giants of Europe who refuse to lay down. We’ll see where all the money comes from when we officially leave. That will be left at Germany’s door, who will be the final obstacle to overcome.

Of course others will follow us like Spain, Greece, Italy & Portugal, as their chances going out on their own are far greater out of the monetary union that has bankrupted them. The Dutch are certain to follow if Wilders wins this year. Germany will be the toughest nut to crack, purely down to history. We stirred up a feeling of national pride and used the tool of harking back to a bygone era of prosperity and dominance to get where we are now. The danger of sparking the fire of national pride inside every German might be counter productive to our cause, as it’s because of them we were stuck with the EU in the first place. They just couldn’t be trusted not to keep starting wars in Europe and picking on their neighbour the majority of the time. So between them and France they came up with a Union to end all wars in Europe, by literally taking away the powers of the nation. Basically they were put on the naughty step of world politics, and we paid the price for their poor behaviour. Whilst I sympathise with some nationalistic views myself, there is a huge under current of the extreme views flowing just underneath the surface all across Europe. We could, in the metaphorical sense, let the animal out of the cage by stirring up national pride in Germany to try and destroy the remnants of the EU. What we would be left with would make the journey we’re on, a wasted one.

Image result for german and french fight

However, the journey whilst it will have some dark and difficult times, twists and turns, trials and tribulations, it is a necessary one. Whether you like it or not we have set off already and there is no looking back. The clock is already ticking down. What we really need is the mental strength and resilience to fight the EU. We need to unify under the banner of the UK. Yet I still see the Remain side, sabotaging and slowing the fight down. We cannot fight a war with enemies inside our own walls. It’s time to get onside and fight for our country. In a world of snakes and ladders, it’s time to be a mongoose. MPs have a duty to their country, above that of their constituency. Their country voted to leave and now they try to debilitate the Government in adding amendments to the bill, that shouldn’t even be in parliament. I keep hearing from voices on the Remain side defending their tactics, that the government doesn’t have a mandate to make the decisions and negotiations regarding Brexit. Well I don’t know about you but  I seem to remember that they were given a clear majority in the last election and have a mandate to rule the country until the next election. I’m pretty sure that is a mandate the last time I checked. I personally think that they’re jealous that they aren’t at the negotiating table and that the ones on the Labour side of things are too busy destroying their own party and fighting amongst themselves as they can’t create an opposition capable of holding the government to account.

Finally, i’d like to say that even though I didn’t agree with the decision to have a PM who was a Remainer, Theresa May has done a good job so far. The rhetoric that has come from her camp has been worthy of recognition. She understands that this is the direction the country has to go in and she’d rather be in control than stand back and complain. I think every single Remainer in this country can learn from her. She’s sending out the right message of just getting on with it and not making a hash of it. Now if a leader of a country who doesn’t agree with what she has to do, can accept and understand what needs to happen next, then there’s no reason the rest of you can’t. Even coming out with the notion that hard Brexit is better than no Brexit, she endeared herself to me. It was refreshing and a step in the direction. Remainers need to put their energy and concentration into the future. Formulate a vision of what you want a Post-Brexit UK to look like. Look passed the present and shake off the loss. Quite literally, you win some, you lose some.

Looking Forward

It’s the end of the year. I’ve luckily got some time off and have had some time to reflect on this year and everything that has happened. I feel a good place to start is clearing some nonsense up before we take in the new year.

Fascism- An authoritarian and nationalistic right wing system of government and social organisation.

Racist- A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

These are the exact definitions in the Oxford Dictionary. I want to put these automatic shutdowns to bed. It disgusts me that these words are thrown about with no thought of the meanings on an almost daily occurrence by a jilted demographic of the population. I’m also going to flip to the other side of the coin and do what you can’t, get offended by something and rationally think about it and how best to go about the outcome. So I have decided to take these ‘slurs’ and use them to defeat the argument in it’s entirety. I hate that this country is divided and it doesn’t help that the recovering defeated are taking stabs in the dark and banding about words because they’re hurting. There is nothing more child like in nature. Grow up. Take it on the chin and move on.

I’d like to address the first slur, Fascist/Fascism. Take a look at the second word of the definition. Authoritarian. Where in this country do you see support or even utterings of the need or desire of an authoritarian government. You are getting the notion of self governance and a military dictatorship completely muddled up. The reason you’re berating people with these slurs is because they took part in a massive democratic exercise, something not usually found in a Fascist society. So therefore your slur is incorrect and invalid. Can it not be that there is a place on the right wing of politics for normal people who hold nationalistic views and NOT want to murder people of different ethnicities? Much like there’s room for modern liberals on the left wing of politics who’re more biased to economic and ‘compassionate’ views, that doesn’t automatically make them Communists! There’s a difference between satirising political figures in this fashion for comedic purposes and attacking someone’s character for their political beliefs. This is supposed to be a free and open society, where freedoms are supposed to be championed. Instead, this shutdown culture of the left is very dangerous and must be stopped. I’ll tell you why. If you don’t let these views be aired and engage in the time old tradition of debate and discussion, then you will force them underground and THAT is where the REAL Fascism starts. When you debate you can reach a level ground of at least understanding a viewpoint and begin to grasp why this opposition have come to their conclusion. Take heed to my warning, we saw this on a monumental scale in the US when Trump supporters were shutdown instantaneously in every situation. Forcing them to keep quiet and not air their views, it was easy to see to those of us that pay attention to the political world. But you all saw the ‘landslide’ effect. Anyway, enough of the US this is about our country!

That brings me to the other definition. I’ll put it simply first then elaborate after. You can’t be racist to your own race. We are Europeans, are we not? So us leaving a union of states, not that actual CONTINENT is not racist. We aren’t discriminating towards them, in actual fact you can’t call yourself a true believer of equality unless you back Brexit. As giving preferential treatment to European migrants over migrants from everywhere else might be seen as discriminating based purely on where someone is from and not their skill set. I jest. You already know my views on immigration, we are too densely populated and i’m still yet to receive an answer to the question ‘how many is too many?’ from either side. As for supremacy, I think everyone inside the EU is equally fucked so why would we pass up on a chance to enhance and better ourselves. Once we’ve actually left and done something with this country then yes, supremacy could be your argument, apart from the fact that we’re the same race…?

As for the Islamophobia aspect which I haven’t given any airtime to because it’s a pathetic argument which doesn’t warrant a response, yet i’m here writing this to clear things up. It’s a separate entity to racism as Islam isn’t a race, it’s a faith/religion. In the definition it states dislike politically, which isn’t possible as it’s a religion not a government, unless you’re basing it on the Islamic State? In which case then you should dislike it…also I think the definition has been skewed. Originally, putting phobia on the end of a word would be seen as having a fear or irrational fear of something, or scares/frightens you. Which Islam shouldn’t, all religions are outdated and we shouldn’t fear any of them. Society as a whole would benefit from the abolition of religion, however that goes against everything we stand for. I think that people look backwardly at Islam, in fact yet again I think they’re muddling Islam the religion and the culture associated with the religion. I’ll explain, say a Christian was to move to a Muslim country, they’d be expected to integrate and any other religion is publicly shunned in any Muslim countries. Yet when Muslims come to this country they aren’t asked to respect and integrate into our culture. The problem stems from Islam not having a proper reformation like the Christian faith has. That’s why they’re still stuck in the Dark ages with stoning of gays, etc… and we’ve got a liberal democracy based on Christian values that incorporates both genders, all races and religions. The argument i’ve seen against this is, the reforms are there but it doesn’t suit Muslims because of social and psychological needs. So basically they’re saying because it wouldn’t be acceptable to their peers and it goes against what their mind is telling them, so it’s fine not to reform. Which is where the problem lies. We can’t have thought police. Which brings us back around to one of my first points, don’t push them underground, we need to tackle them head on. It’s all part of the divide in this country.

We’ll see much more change in the coming year. Some good changes though, depending on which way you look at it. I think that Le Pen winning the French Presidency is the best thing that can happen to that poor country. Hollande is a wet lettuce, he showed just as much when he announced that he wouldn’t even bother trying to stand for re-election. There have been too many wishy washy leaders over the past 10-15 years in pretty much all European countries. The reason stems from the continent being divided, the leaders don’t stand for anything in particular. They care about trying to please as many people as possible and in doing so have helped create two sides. The one thing that was created to stop wars in Europe is brewing one up. The EU, came out publicly with their plans of a European Army, a very scary thought. If their argument is so that all the little states can all come together under one banner then that is as retarded as it is scary. What could they possibly need an army for? Nato is there for a reason. I can just see it all ending horribly when all of this posturing turns into an actual war. You can just tell the Russians won’t think twice about steamrollering a European Army and you know what, i’d be behind them. Europe needs to go back to being Europe. The EU isn’t a policing state. If it was created to stop war in Europe then it failed as the Balkans war in the 90s was handled by Nato and Ukraine recently was handled by no one. That’s what I envisage, Europe has become too soft and lovey dovey, none of the Ukrainians fought back and just let Russia invade. That’s why people feel endeared to strong leadership and leaders that stand for something or usually against something. Hollande stood and watched France get ravaged by Islamic extremism, which is all Germany’s fault for their shameful immigration policy and the mess that is the Schengen area. Watch me get called racist in 3-5 years time when the fighting has stopped and I say these ‘refugees’ should go back to their home country. I’ve gone over the definitions of refugees and migrants before no need to delve into it again.

Image result for marine le pen

I’d also like to take this chance upon looking back to say I told you so about all of the scaremongering about Brexit, as the country has already benefited in so many different ways, with increased investment and a strong economy in place. Even the previous Governor of The Bank of England, Lord King has stated that we would be in a good position without any kind of customs union (Hard Brexit) should we need to go down that route.

And finally to end on a good note, Merkel’s administration is coming to an end in 2017. So many good things to look forward to in the coming year. My message for the coming year would be to better yourselves and do your bit in bridging the gap between the masses, as we need to be a strong unit as one so we can take on anything thrown at us in the tail end of this decade. When things get hard during negotiations with the EU, just remember the end goal and what it’ll mean to the future generations. We get too wrapped up in the present, that we sometimes forget what we do now echoes through time. We’re forever being judged for our actions, by ourselves in the future. Happy new year!

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.

If you enjoyed this please share!

Republican or Royalist?

I read an article the other day that stated that there is actually a movement that wants a referendum on getting rid of the Royal Family. Personally I have no side to take on the issue but this has made me curious what people’s thoughts and feelings about the matter are.

 

On the one side you have the Royalists, who believe that the Queen is the be all and end all. She and her family contribute £1bn in tourism a year, they’re good for international relations and being the face of the British people abroad, they’re an unelected barrier between the Government and absolute power which is healthy, otherwise you end up with power hungry leaders with no restrictions. People use the argument against the Monarchy and the House of Lords saying they’re unelected and anti-democratic. When in actual fact they’re just a safeguard against giving all the power to one individual or one party. The House of Lords can delay bills and block them for up to a year but can never fully stop a bill going through but can buy enough time to properly scrutinise and amend a bill, so that it isn’t rushed through without being properly debated or heard and enshrined into UK law. The Queen has the power to reject any law but in doing so would create a constitutional crisis so usually signs it off anyway, which is where people get the idea that the Queen has no power, as she has to adhere to what the government puts in front of her. Our lawmaking process is pretty good and thorough though, so when it finally gets put in front of the Queen, it’s in it’s final form and has the support of most MP’s who are voted in and given a mandate to vote on and make laws on our behalf. Which will finally be completely back in our control after Brexit! She can still technically wage war against another country, not that she will ever need too. She can also dissolve parliament which is a perfect safeguard in the event of having an unpopular PM or mad PM intent on harming this country. However in doing so it would start a civil war, so it’s more of a deterrent. The PM always tends to keep the Queen onside as it’s a kind of mutual understanding between the two. Also the Royal family will play a pivotal role when we start to negotiate trade deals around the world again post-brexit. Where some Prime Ministers can be disliked and unpopular with other countries, the Queen has the respect of a large amount of nations around the world and this can be a good building block for negotiations in places where the PM might be unpopular. Believe it or not this is how it used to be done before the EU negotiated all of our trade deals for us. I also read in an Economist article that keeping the Monarchy but reforming it would be a welcome sign to both parties. That’s a basic look at the For argument.

Bildresultat för british republicans

On the other side you have the Republicans who want to see the Queen dethroned and kicked out onto the street. That’s my cynical view of it but for the sake of being balanced let’s look at their argument. They say that the Queen sponges off the state which is true, yet her net contributions outweigh the running of her estates and outgoings. They use the fact that Prince Charles has penned letters to MP’s in the past as an excuse to describe him as meddling in politics. Which is also true as the Royal Family as a whole should stay impartial and a-political. Which is where I think a lot of the fear shown by the Republicans come from, the realisation that he will one day be king. They assume the worst and expect Charles to stick his oar into political proceedings. I think the fact that he cheated on Diana with Camilla sits uncomfortably with most people and don’t think that someone with such bad intentions should be trusted or be trusted to run a country. Much like nowadays when an MP is caught doing something lewd they’re forced out of office, yet with a monarchy you can’t force them out. It’s an outdated hereditary system which I can understand, a birth right to the throne is such an archaic means of choosing a head of state. Yet if you had to vote in a head of state, then you’re stuck in the catch 22 of they could be in league with the PM and therefore wouldn’t be impartial or a-political and we would automatically fall into an autocracy or a puppet government run by the head of state (e.g Russia). The Republicans also show a distaste for the amount of coverage the Royal Family gets in the media, I personally look at this as jealousy as the movement doesn’t have as much coverage or the following and support they feel they deserve. I understand that they get media attention for being given the crown and not doing anything worthy or noble to warrant receiving the crown like they originally did (e.g Battle of Bosworth), however I don’t exactly see the Queen racing head first into the enemy on horseback with a sabre in hand in this day in age.

Bildresultat för british royal painting horse

The reason the Queen and the Royal Family are who they are is because of the Queen, she has an overwhelming sense of duty that deserves respect, she has worked at making the Monarchy what it is and her family all look to her as an example and we can only hope that they try to follow in her footsteps, wearing the commitment and duty she does. I’m happy with the status quo and don’t wish to ruffle the feathers of the establishment on this issue, yet it is important to have these kind of debates on issues as it defines who we are and what we really hold dear. I’d like us to keep the Monarchy in the traditional sense and hope they don’t go over the top and try to drag it into the 21st century too much when the Queen passes away. That will be when it’s time to get rid of them as they’ll become more celebrity than monarchy. Bowing to pressure. This institution stands tall and doesn’t quiver at the thought of opposition, leading by example and displaying the true British values and integrity. I don’t think there will be reform as I can’t see anyone voting for it, if we did then i’d imagine that the Royal Family had already lost their grip at that point. I think it would spell the end of the United Kingdom as well, as we wouldn’t all have that shared culture anymore and I feel that we’d get more and more disconnected as a nation\collective nations.

Bildresultat för united kingdom

This also brings me onto the subject of continued referendums. I believe in democracy and the spirit of referendums, however they should be reserved for the truly divisive issues that can’t be settled by any normal means. It shouldn’t become the go to measure for every occasion. Before you know it we’ll have a referendum on whether referendums should be legally binding! A referendum about a referendum. I also think that it’s disgraceful that even though it has been put to the public vote (Brexit) because the politicians couldn’t be trusted with the decision, they’re trying to hatch a plan to disrupt democracy in plain view. There are calls to try and halt Brexit through the House of Commons as it’s only ‘advisory’. Advisory it may be, yet the turnout was high and the voice of the people shouted a resounding Leave! The MPs almost forget who puts them in power in the first place, they act on behalf of their constituents who coincidentally were the ones who voted to Leave? So why would you even think of trying to go against the very people you serve? The disconnect between the population and politicians has never been wider. There is even a legal challenge as to whether the PM can activate Article 50 without consulting Parliament! The people have spoken, that should suffice. The mortally wounded Remainers are trying to impose a posthumous blow to the Leave campaign. Their attempted sabotage is morally corrupt and contemptuous. Anyone seen to be attacking the will of the people should be dragged from the commons by their ankles and thrown in the tower. It should be treated as treachery. They’re the same people that lied about what would happen in the event of Brexit, they don’t have the best interests of the country at heart. This brings me beautifully back to the start, this is why we don’t entrust all of our power to these people and why we are safeguarded against them. The system works, be thankful that we can choose who we have in government, the poor Americans are about to be lumbered with either Trump or Clinton.

I love my country.