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!

 

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

The Double Life Of An MP

I’ve heard of the debate on whether MP’s should have second jobs or not and left it a while before I gave my ‘two cents’.

On the whole i’d say yes, but within reason. It all calls to my argument that I aired not long ago about whether or not we should have ‘normal’ people in parliament. IF we were to have normal people that have lead normal lives in real world professions (e.g builders, hairdressers, etc…) then I can’t imagine they would ever have a second job whilst in office. Due to the very real fact that £66,000 plus expenses is enough for anyone to live off. I’m not interested in the argument that MP’s in other governments get paid more, we aren’t in another country so stop with the comparisons. Another point to raise in support of my last piece on the death of politics, the real disconnect between the electorate and the people in power, they are stealing a living. Okay that’s a broad brushstroke as a lot of MP’s do their job with diligence and hold regular surgeries and vote on bills plenty, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of the real work being done. For example as a voter I couldn’t even tell you who my MP is. I’m one of the ones who pay attention as well! I couldn’t tell you for example what my MP stands for, what he/she has voted on in the commons (in my constituency’s name).

The fact is, these people that are elected and vote on matters of importance for this country aren’t out in public and the only time you do hear from them is when an election is rolling around and ‘we want to count on your support’ with a flimsy leaflet through the letterbox. Try and fucking engage the public and get involved. Send out a letter before you have to vote on something important and see what the people you are supposed to be representing think and feel about the issue and whether you have their full support on your position. Don’t wait for us to come to you. We employ you to do a job and I think this is where it’s starting to come apart at the seams, as people who lead normal lives, working 50 odd hours a week and don’t have much of a chance to pay attention to what you’re doing, don’t see or hear of the work you’re doing, we slowly become resentful towards you, as we are out there working our bollocks off whilst you get to sit in a cushy little office talking to people for a couple afternoons a week, and then when you can be bothered go up to Westminster you vote on a couple of things and come back, and getting paid rather well for it too I might add.

I genuinely feel sorry for people that get into politics to try and better the country and make a change in the world as they get dragged down by party politics and getting told to vote this way or that way. Also the dreadful world of distraction tactics by the press and by the government themselves. For example, the net migration figures that emerged last week, showing clear failings of the government to cut net migration, instead it’s triple what the intended target was. I haven’t seen anyone come out from the Tory’s saying ‘we were wrong’, no one being held to account, instead it’s half a week on and other small ‘distraction’ stories that are keeping the Tory’s in the papers but changing the topic just enough to make you forget about what happened. As for double lives, as an MP you can pretty much make up what you like as long as you say it right. Much like Grant Shapps on Question Time talking about an EU referendum saying ‘it wasn’t in our manifesto last time but it will be next time for you to vote on’. Grant, gay marriage wasn’t on the manifesto but got rammed through both houses very quickly and hastily without much warning or debate, why can’t they do the same with something that people actually want? Just seems they fold to any minority argument as long as it suits their needs, but when proper issues are at hand they’d rather not bother until the next government by which time there may be new people in power who haven’t agreed to anything and we’re back to square one again.

The only thing in favour of MP’s having second jobs is that I believe they should be able to at least write books, I don’t think that can be classed as work! It’s down to the public to buy the book so I believe it leaves the situation capably in our hands. It also gives some sort of insight into what actually happens in government, although it’s probably not as transparent as we want. I think the notion of MP’s keeping a second job to ‘top up’ their skills is ridiculous. It means that you’re not exactly backing yourself to stay in politics and it’s just something you fancy doing because you can, and then if you mess up or want to step down, you can just go back to whatever it was you were doing before. If you’re going to get into politics do it for the right reasons and don’t complain about how much you’re getting paid to do it as well. It really grates on the people out there working hard for less than half your salary and none of your perks.

Pressing Issues

It emerged last year David Cameron’s failed “promise” of net migration being lowered into the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands we see year on year. I for one knew that this was not achievable when the words left his mouth, yet hoped that by sheer luck that he could for once follow up on something he’s come out with. I’ll mention the other side of the argument just briefly. Yes, we all know that immigration does add to the economy, but takes out more than it puts in. I’m not talking about benefits though. The simple fact is we were full up 10 years ago and our services failed to cope back then. Even though I understand that the NHS couldn’t survive without it’s mainly immigrant workforce, there aren’t enough doctors to go around. So how does adding potential patients to our overall population help exactly? It doesn’t, end of discussion.
Same can be said about school places, I don’t care what these people have to say about we have a ‘right’ to better our lives by coming over and giving our children a good education. No you don’t. OUR children come first as they were born here and they have the ‘right’ to have smaller class sizes so that the teacher can engage more easily with the pupils and give a better standard of teaching. It’s no wonder that white british kids are so low down the tables for literacy and numeracy, the classes are being overrun by extra students that we don’t have room for and thus shrinking their learning possibilities. Another quick point, also if they spent half as much time concentrating on teaching our children about the significance of literacy and numeracy in later life as much as they do about being ‘diverse’ we’d half the problem. We should also see the end of faith schools as a whole. Indoctrination into a single set of beliefs is outdated and if removed would also help eliminate radicalised extremism in this country. We should teach kids about faiths but that’s where it ends, no bias on ANY religion. Instead we should be teaching our kids about politics, and how running a country works. That’s what matters as they are the potential future leaders, why is it they have to wait until AS level until they can learn about politics? No wonder the number of young voters is at it’s lowest and non voters is at an all time high, it’s because they know nothing about the parties out there and what they stand for, if we want to connect with kids about politics we have to teach them early, just like anything else. I’d also like to touch on the subject of employment. The Tories constantly bang on about the growing number of Apprenticeships over the last parliament, even though Apprenticeships are great, do you think you could live off an apprentice’s wage? They are squeezing money away from the youth of today as they simply don’t have the jobs to go round. Regardless of what any opposing opinions are that will be commenting on this post, if the British people that are here already don’t have the skills then the employer should pay for someone in a lower position in the company to get training and take the step up. Something called career prospects, which doesn’t exactly exist anymore. In doing so it will leave the old position vacant, giving another person a chance at getting their foot in the door. I remember a time where the thought of moving up through a company was the only way to go for someone in my position. If you had no transferable skill or training once you left school, your only chance of getting an alright wage was to get your foot in the door at the bottom of a company and work your way up to at least a manager level through working hard and gaining responsibility with age. Now companies would rather take on someone into the higher role from outside the country and at a lower wage just to save the company on wages. This is not pro-active and the government should stamp it out and make it a fairer, even playing field for young British people. I talk from experience as I was unemployed for a whole year and a half, and when applying for jobs (even some I was over qualified for) I was up against 60, sometimes even 100 other candidates. No matter how good my grades were at GCSE (the only thing that I can claim is worthy on my CV) I was swept aside time and time again. Even after ‘tweaking’ my CV with the job centre it made no difference.  The only thing that counted was experience and even then if you had the experience there would be someone else with more experience, so on and so fourth. You get the picture. It’s worth a mention that whilst in school the prospect of putting yourself in debt just to get a degree that would become worthless upon leaving university really put me off the idea of that, which blocks many avenues for you as a young person nowdays. I believe university should be a free system but only for people in this country, yet have partnerships with other universities around the world that specialise in specific areas and send out students to these other universities, on placement for a year which would be beneficial to both the university and the student, as the student would get a taste of life in a different culture whilst taking in a different method of learning and learning a different aspect of their desired course. Then upon return the university will have a more enlightened and engaged student with a broader understanding of the subject they are learning about. Obviously this would work both ways in a student exchange type of programme. I feel this would be a better way of preparing teens for their life outside of education in the real world where they will find it increasingly difficult to get into their desired sector of work and stop them from going after the jobs of the ‘less advantaged’ candidate like myself who didn’t have the academic ability or the want to go to university. As you can start to see everything is interlinked and the whole system needs a shake up and kick in the right direction and really to be dragged into the 21st century. I’ve had enough of seeing Etonian’s in parliament. Make way for normal working class people as we are the ones that keep this country running and express the views of the workforce, these Etonian’s never had it hard, never known the struggle of living off benefits or even the minimum wage and had all of their private school fees paid for. It has brought me to the question that has been rattling around my head for a fair amount of time but almost afraid to ask. But i’m going too. Would you vote for a party/MP that wasn’t deemed clever by academic standards but had real life experience and understands life ‘outside the bubble’? I’m in a toss up with my answer, one side of me believes the clever people should be running the country as we need brilliant minds in the right places or nothing would run properly, yet at the same time the one’s making decisions are people who are fully out of touch with normal people as they’ve had that advantaged upbringing and never known a hard life. It’s so hard to choose as i’d prefer a leader who is ‘normal’ but the cabinet to be experts at their ministry, e.g the chancellor should have an economics degree. However, I can’t imagine any of the brainboxes wanting to follow someone they may see as inferior or not qualified with the job of running the country. When I work it out i’ll let you know…