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Labour Manifesto

This is the second installment of manifesto run throughs for the election i’m doing. If I get enough time, I will do the Conservative and Brexit party manifestos as well. There is no point in doing the SNP, seeing as we can’t vote for them. Plus Nicola Sturgeon is a fucking shithouse that no one likes anyway! She don’t half hark on. Same applies to the Greens, as their position has never changed, they’re single mindedly concentrated on the environment. The SDP are good but don’t garner enough support to warrant me doing a run through for them. UKIP are nothing without Farage, so yet again won’t be worth digesting their manifesto.

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To start – The Green Industrial Revolution.

We will launch a National Transformation Fund of £400 billion and rewrite the Treasury’s investment rules to guarantee that every penny spent is compatible with our climate and environmental targets.

Good points: They’re trying to do something about the environment, commendable I suppose.

Bad points: I feel this is going to be a theme, it’s uncosted. The major problem is, it’s not just a small amount like £100m of spending. It’s £400bn. Of which they say “£250 billion will directly fund the transition through a Green Transformation Fund dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration.”. Included in this was that ridiculous tree-planting policy which equated to 200 trees a minute until 2040! Not only can they not pay for it but they can’t follow through with it. Why put something in writing you know you’re going to get picked up on? It’s almost as if they go ‘£400bn? Yeah they won’t notice that Jeremy, trust me just put it in there it sounds good’.

Energy building programme including 7,000 new offshore wind turbines, 2,000 new onshore wind turbines, enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches and new nuclear power needed for energy security.

Good points: Offshore wind turbines are not a bad idea, using the vast expanse of the sea for good use (as long as it doesn’t directly effect marine ecosystems), Solar technology is good and they should have pushed towards ‘every new house built will have solar panels’ which would be a real improvement for the energy use in homes; which they claim is 56% of all energy use. Finally, nuclear power is good because of the unbroken supply of huge amounts of energy from power stations.

Bad points: Onshore wind turbines are ugly, usually built on green belt land and don’t contribute nearly as much output as offshore turbines. Increased nuclear power is good but it doesn’t explain where the additional waste from power stations will be dealt with. Finally, this isn’t costed. Unless it’s included inside the £400bn, if so then they don’t explain how much is set aside for the building of all these energy resources.

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We will upgrade almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards, reducing the average household energy bill by £417 per household per year by 2030.

Good points: Sounds good on paper.

Bad points: In reality, not so much. Yes they say it will lower your energy bills by £417 per year. However, the extra you would have to pay in tax to pay for this would outweigh that. So in effect they’re forcing you to upgrade your own home, which goes against civil liberties, as some people don’t want too or can’t afford to, it also forces this ‘green agenda’ on the population. Stop listening to Greta, she needs to fuck off back to school the lazy, work shy, freeloading, hypocrite. Yeah I said it, I could do an entire article on Greta another time.

A new UK National Energy Agency will own and maintain the national grid infrastructure and oversee the delivery of our decarbonisation targets.

Good points: None. More bureaucracy.

Bad points: Nationalisation isn’t good. It costs vast swathes of money and if they go wrong (which they usually do) it costs even more for the taxpayer to prop them up. It will eventually be sold back to the private sector at a loss. Likely side effects will include blackouts/ increased power cuts.

Labour will ensure that councils can improve bus services by regulating and taking public ownership of bus networks, and we will give them resources and full legal powers to achieve this cost-effectively, thereby ending the race to the bottom in working conditions for bus workers. Where councils take control of their buses, Labour will introduce free bus travel for under-25s. We will increase and expand local services, reinstating the 3,000 routes that have been cut, particularly hitting rural communities.

Good points: Expanding bus routes is good to get rural areas connected. Cuts have been made and need to be addressed, as I remember what it was like when I was reliant on public transport. Bus workers get looked after, this is good I suppose?

Bad points: What happens when you hit 25? Do you suddenly no longer need this free travel? If you’re going to offer out free stuff to young people, at least take the current situation into consideration. Most people my age are still living at home until they’re 30 or into their early 30’s. It’s a ploy to get young voters, yet again not costed and historically bus companies are run so badly they usually go out of business. Another burden on the taxpayer.

Our publicly owned rail company will steer network planning and investments. It will co-ordinate mainline upgrades, resignalling, rolling stock replacement and major projects. We will implement a full, rolling programme of electrification.

Good points: Upgrades are needed as the rail system has needed an overhaul for years. As I said in the Lib Dem run through, the push towards electric rail system is commendable and needed.

Bad points: They didn’t include the use of Hydrogen power systems in trains, the most easily accessible resource in the universe. If you’re going to electrify ALL of the railways, where is the extra power going to come from? If they are introducing all the new measures of energy production for the homeowners, where is the extra electricity coming from to supply the entire rail network of the UK? Missed a trick by not including Hydrogen, it’s only waste factor is water. Just saying.

We will introduce a long-term investment plan including delivering Crossrail for the North as part of improved connectivity across the northern regions (& Wales).

Good points: Finally a policy I can get behind. This is needed to reinvigorate the northern cities and push for the Northern Powerhouse idea. Also Wales is usually forgotten about, more needs to be done to improve their connectivity to mainland England and help spread some wealth to their deprived areas. Very good policy.

Bad points: None.

We will position the UK at the forefront of the development and manufacture of ultra-low emission vehicles and will support their sale. We will invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and in electric community car clubs. We will accelerate the transition of our public sector car fleets and our public buses to zero-emissions vehicles.

Good points: They’re on a roll. Good solid policy. They should have stuck with their first sentence of low emission vehicles, as it is a blanket term which could encompass hybrid vehicles, not specifically pure electric cars, which is a turn off to consumers and drivers alike. Electric charging infrastructure is needed, as long as it doesn’t impact parking spaces which are in short supply wherever you go!

Bad points: Slightly disagree with public sector car fleets going zero emissions, the police won’t be able to chase anybody! Also can you imagine an Ambulance running out of power on the way to a call out? They’re in constant use and charging of these vehicles takes hours upon hours for a full charge. This policy is well intentioned though so i’ll let it slide.

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We will adopt an ambitious Vision Zero approach to UK road safety, striving for zero deaths and serious injuries.

Good points: None.

Bad points: Massively unrealistic. You will never have zero deaths, it’s an impossibility. Even worse zero serious injuries, it’s an unachievable target to set yourself, just why?

We will provide an extra £5.6 billion in funding to improve the standard of flood defences and respond to the increased risk of flooding, prioritising areas at risk in North West England, Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

Good points: Needed but on a bigger scale. There should be an independent review on all rivers that have burst their banks on more than 3 occasions in the last 15 years and something must be done to address it. Even if it means mass scale dredging of rivers, further defences and walls, anything. It’s only going to get worse as the seasons continue to switch.

Bad points: Haven’t said where the funding is coming from, however it needs to happen.

We will create new National Parks alongside a revised system of other protected area designations, which will guard existing wildlife sites and join up important habitats, while also ensuring more people can enjoy living closer to nature.

Good points: Massively agree. More needs to be done to protect and encourage nature. I also think it should extend to reintroducing species that have died out, e.g reintroduce the Eurasian Lynx into forests. Would be beautiful to see. (See I do care about the environment and animals!).

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Labour will introduce A Right to Food. We will end ‘food bank Britain’. We will ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious, sustainably produced food.

Good points: I agree people should have a right to food.

Bad points: Some of these people will still drink and smoke. I don’t have the money to do either even if I had the choice, I would still rather have money for heating and food. It’s about being fiscally responsible. Until you make people choose, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

We will set maximum sustainable yields for all shared fish stocks, redistribute fish quotas along social and environmental criteria and, if people vote to leave the EU, require the majority of fish caught under a UK quota to be landed in UK ports.

Good points: It’s the closest your going to get Jeremy to saying we will pull out of the CFP and stop foreign trawlers from over fishing our depleted fish stocks. Think I explained it better than them but they’re still Brexit neutral, so you won’t get a straight answer.

Bad points: None.

As I draw this section to a close the only thing that I can see them missing is cleaning up the ocean. The one thing that I feel passionately about in regards to the plastic waste is the oceans. They’ve done nothing to deserve our huge plastic waste. We should be investing in that young guy’s (Boyan Slat) idea of trawlers set with specific nets which gather up all plastic waste and effectively clean the ocean bit by bit. The caught plastic should then be sent to a plastic recycling plant. One final thing on plastic is they should ban the production of plastic. That is the only way you will stop the over usage of plastic and rely purely on the recycling of the plastic already made. Put the plastic already made to good use. In the words of Forrest Gump, “that is all I have to say about that”.

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Public services. They start this section by saying they will address the unfair tax system but unless you’ve been living under a rock these last few weeks, this has been torn to shreds by journos. It turns out plenty of people on lower incomes are actually going to be paying more even though they say they’re only going after the rich (anyone on over £80,000 per year). Just bear that in mind when I go through these policies. (All information on their taxation policies are readily available, I won’t cover them, as I feel it has been adequately covered in the media from multiple sources and this is another LONG manifesto!).

Labour will end the current presumption in favour of outsourcing public services and introduce a presumption in favour of insourcing. And we will stop the public getting ripped off by taking back all PFI contracts over time.

Good points: At least they’re owning up to the issues created by themselves under Blair.

Bad points: This is the crux of the argument to do with the NHS. You hear Labour sound off about ‘you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS’. When in actual fact, the most amount of privatisation in recent history of the NHS actually took place under Tony Blair’s Labour government. (Yet again you can find this information readily available). A PFI is a private finance initiative, it means that they fund public sector initiatives and projects through private finance/funding. It lends itself to lobbyism, if the private investor say for example wanted certain advantageous laws to be passed they could hold back payments or effectively hold the government to ransom by not paying (not that this happened but could very easily happen, see American lobbying system). This is what I alluded to in the Lib Dem run through, the NHS can’t be entrusted to anyone else other than the government. The Tories have also been in power for 42 out of 71 years the NHS has been around. It is a pure fallacy that it would be in worse hands under the Tories. Private healthcare amounted to roughly 20-22% over the last nine years and has actually slightly decreased in the last three years. In 2012 there was an increase in contracts issued to private providers under the Tories, however there was no discernible increase in funding to this effect. All in all, it is yet another scare story and i’m glad we had the chance to touch upon this (these figures were taken from multiple sources, have a look for yourself).

We will repair the damage the Tories have done to our social fabric, with a £150 billion Social Transformation, a fund to replace, upgrade and expand our schools, hospitals, care homes and council houses. Public buildings will be modernised to ensure a reduction in their carbon footprint.

Good points: Schools are in dire need of repairs up and down the country. I agree that new schools should be built, it would help catchment areas and class sizes. I also think extra funding to get kids into sport should be made a priority. Initiatives by the FA to increase funding to grassroots football has had great success and it would be great to see this go hand in hand with schools. I’m quite lucky where I live in that the two closest hospitals are in pretty good nick (East Surrey & Epsom General). I’m sure there are hospitals that are in need of upgrading and modernising. Especially in Scotland (look at the figures pointed out by Andrew Neil to Nicola Sturgeon in her interview. The Scottish NHS is being badly run and is underfunded/not using resources effectively!).

Bad points: More money from this green budget upgrading all public buildings to lower their carbon footprint, where does it stop? I’m like a broken record but where is the extra £150bn coming from, I need some sort of spending calculator as I go! It’s crazy. They’ll get very little in the way of points for being fiscally responsible when I tot this up at the end, I can tell you that!

Labour will restore public sector pay to at least pre-financial crisis levels (in real terms), by delivering year-on-year above-inflation pay rises, starting with a 5% increase.

Good points: Yes wholeheartedly agree.

Bad points: None.

A Labour government will invest in the NHS to give patients the modern, well- resourced services they need. We will increase expenditure across the health sector by an average 4.3% a year.

Good points: This is a fair estimate of what is need in regards to actual increases to NHS budgeting.

Bad points: A fiscally responsible policy, well blow me down.

We will complete the confirmed hospital rebuilds and invest more in primary care settings, modern AI, cyber technology and state-of-the-art medical equipment, including more MRI and CT scanners.

Good points: I’m guessing this is included in that £150bn? I’m on board as the new hospitals should be kitted out to work effectively and efficiently.

Bad points: It’s a balancing act where they distribute these new hospitals. There is a large, dense population in the south east and will look like favouritism if we get new super hospitals when the state of hospitals elsewhere aren’t great. Still on board with this policy though.

We will uphold the principle of comprehensive healthcare by providing free annual NHS dental check-ups.

Good points: Yes, dentist fees are astronomical.

Bad points: More free things for everyone. It almost smells of desperation now.

A Labour government will provide an additional £1.6 billion a year to ensure new standards for mental health are enshrined in the NHS constitution ensuring access to treatments is on a par with that for physical health conditions.

Good points: I concur.

Bad points: None.

We will invest more than £1 billion in public health and recruit 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses. We will increase mandated health visits, ensure new mothers can have access to breastfeeding support and introduce mental health assessments in a maternal health check six weeks after birth.

Good points: It’s a good step as the sector needs funding.

Bad points: This policy was made by someone who hasn’t had a child recently. My baby is 8 months old, the health visitor came to see us in the first couple of weeks, was exceedingly helpful, had a wealth of knowledge and experience and gave plenty of helpful literature and advice. She also pointed us in the direction of a breastfeeding support clinic close by, where my wife got essential tips on breastfeeding by professionals which helped with the babies jaundice and overall growth. I couldn’t fault them. I also remember them checking multiple times about the state of my wife’s mental wellbeing. Asking whether it was too much? Did she have any bad thoughts? How was she coping? The service was A1. All of which is already in place, the only thing I can think of is that it’s not as good in other areas? This money could possibly be used in another area such as social care.

A Labour government will build a comprehensive National Care Service for England. We will provide community-based, person-centred support, underpinned by the principles of ethical care and independent living. We will provide free personal care, beginning with investments to ensure that older people have their personal care needs met, with the ambition to extend this provision to all working-age adults.

Good points: This is a big step in addressing social care. A lot more has to be done but I think should be smaller steps, one at a time. I don’t think they understand how many people this includes and how much this will cost.

Bad points: Hence why they haven’t costed it. Worst of all they say it will all be free. I think a big investment to start would have been a way to introduce this and garner support rather than going the whole hog and saying they’ll do it all and all for free. They don’t do much towards gaining the trust of the electorate with statements like this. It’s dangling a carrot for old people but not realistic and quite saddistic to tempt poor, vulnerable people.

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Let’s move onto Education, usually a strong point for Labour.

Labour will radically reform early years provision, with a two-term vision to make high-quality early years education available for every child. We will also extend paid maternity leave to 12 months.

Good points: Paid maternity should be 12 months. This shouldn’t even have to be a debate.

Bad points: This comes from the employer so doesn’t need to be costed.

Within five years, all 2, 3 and 4-year- olds will be entitled to 30 hours of free preschool education per week and access to additional hours at affordable, subsidised rates staggered with incomes. Labour will also work to extend childcare provision for 1-year-olds and to ensure that childcare provision accommodates the working patterns of all parents.

Good points: Good that they started with ‘within five years’ showing that it is a gradual change. Big difference between that and most of their other policies where they have said it’s a massive change straight away and we’re throwing loads of money at it and it will be free. If they would have set out their manifesto more like this, they would gain a lot more public trust and not look like a financial liability.

Bad point: None. Realistic, expensive but affordable and a step in the right direction.

We will recruit nearly 150,000 additional early years staff, including Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators, and introduce a national pay scale, driving up pay for the overwhelmingly female workforce.

Good points: Extra staff are needed as they contribute massively in helping over burdened teachers. Yet if they’re making all the other changes in paying teachers more, making more schools and the rest of it, then technically there wouldn’t be the need for these excessive numbers, surely? Pushing up the pay is making the same point they’ve made previously but as before i’m on board with it.

Bad points: It feels like they’ve just plucked this number out of the air. Because of the huge number of people this will include, I don’t think they’ve factored in the cost of this on top of the starting salary of teachers at £30k per year. There just isn’t that sort of cash sitting around, which can only mean one thing. More borrowing. Finally I would like to mention that they talk about inequality and being fair, why did they have to put the bit on the end about it being an overwhelmingly female profession? Why can’t men do it? You can’t be more overly equal to one side in this equality debate. Are they trying to suggest that they get paid less purely because they’re women? I think it sits more at the bottom of teaching assistants aren’t a qualified teacher, so by extension will get paid fractions less than someone who went to university. That’s generally how it works. That’s the reason degrees used to be highly sought after because they would get you better paid jobs? I don’t mean that to belittle teaching assistants as they have a tough job, I just think that the reason they get paid less is because that is how the budget is structured. It’s the same reason doctors get paid more than nurses.

The academies system is over-centralised, inefficient and undemocratic. Parents, communities and even teachers are shut out of decisions about schools and vulnerable children are being let down. And there is no evidence that academies deliver better results.

Good points: None.

Bad points: There is a lot of hard work that goes into academies. It’s actually factually untrue that there’s no evidence to suggest academies deliver better results. ‘Converter’ academies (schools that were under performing that have converted into an academy) are actually more likely to rated Outstanding or Good by Ofsted. The only academies that let the side down are sponsored academies, where the numbers aren’t great, but that’s because there IS interference from people that technically don’t know what they’re doing and are potentially making it worse. You can’t however fight with figures. 29% of all converter academies are Outstanding. As opposed to 19% of all maintained schools. I’m not putting schools down, as I think they do incredibly well with little resources and of course there are a greater number of them so the percentage might not account for that. What i’m trying to say is that Labour made a factually incorrect statement about academies because they just flat out don’t like the idea, which is weird because they were started under the Blair government. The only argument that can be made is that they run at a slight loss, however they do get results. Seeing as Labour seem to be throwing money around willy nilly, i’m sure they won’t mind funding these Outstanding academies.

Labour will end the ‘high stakes’ testing culture of schools by scrapping Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs and baseline assessments, and refocussing assessment on supporting pupil progress.

Good points: It might slightly increase the wellbeing of children.

Bad points: You do need some sort of testing system in place to work out where the child’s development is at. Scrapping Key Stage 1 I haven’t got a problem with, a 5 or 6 year old need not do tests to work out what ability they are, as they’re still in stages of massive development and some kids are further behind purely down how old they are in the year. Key Stage 2 I struggle with. 7 to 11 year olds are at a critical time where you do need to work out what level they’re at, to ascertain whether this child is academically gifted and guided towards that type of education. There is no shame in that. I was academically troubled as a child, they always used to say ‘Luke is very bright but get’s distracted easily and likes to disrupt the class’ (anyone who was in classes with me will know this ohh too well). I just didn’t have the capacity or the concentration levels to sit in a classroom for long periods of time. I’m a kinetic learner meaning I like to learn hands on by DOING something. Other children that are more suited to academic settings are quite rightly rewarded with higher quality education without someone like me disrupting their learning. I’ve got no qualms with that, if they can stick it out in a classroom being boring then quite frankly they’re welcome to it, there are kids out there that just get it. Perfect example was a girl I went to school with (I won’t name names), we got our GCSE results and she was crying because she got a B rather than an A(The rest were A’s and A*). I was over the moon with my A & B in English (the rest were pretty irrelevant), she just obviously thrived in the academic environment and saw a B as a failing moment for her. The older I get the more I understand this moment in life. At the time I thought ‘you sad fucker’ and was happy with the time I slacked off with socialising and being a class clown. Now when i’m in my very late 20’s and have only a small circle of close friends, I do wonder whether my judgement had been misplaced and my time wasted on people who are no longer in my life. Problem is life goes on after school and if you peak there, you fail in the rest of life; unless you can muster up the courage to admit your failings and do better. The point is you need that baseline to work out where to funnel these kids and get the best out of them. It has to stay, not on board with this policy.

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We will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to fund arts education for every primary school child. We will review the curriculum to ensure that it enriches students and covers subjects such as black history and continues to teach issues like the Holocaust.

Good points: Just wow.

Bad points: This is the most poignant policy and underlines the scourge of anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Let’s address the lack of sensitivity and use of language here. Teach ‘issues’ like the Holocaust. It’s not a fucking ISSUE, it was an event. It happened. It’s thinly veiled but my god, you can see right through the language. More appropriate would be teaching the horrors of the Holocaust or revisiting the events that lead to the Holocaust in the 20th century (something Jeremy seemed to think happened in the 19th century but we’ll gloss over that). It’s really not hard. The Labour party is rife with Jew hating bile, I won’t stand for it. The Jewish community are our allies, we freed European Jews from this atrocity and weirdly they’ve usually been Labour supporters, for them to be treated in this way is outrageous. The problem we’ve got is it has been stoked up from an imported section of our population who notoriously hate Jews and have made no secret of their desires to ‘wipe them off the face of the planet’. People ask what are the bad sides to immigration, well you’re seeing the ugly side of it now. We support Israel and they’re our allies. This whole free Palestine movement has caused untold amounts of hate towards Jews as it is the ‘Jewish state’. Truth is we created the state of Israel so that Jews would never have to flee again after being persecuted for literally thousands of years. The weirdest thing above all else is, Judaism and Islam are probably the two closest religions there are in terms of practices and traditionalism. I’m no religious scholar but even I know that. Don’t get me wrong no religion should be outside of the purview of ridicule and satire, we all enjoy casual jesting of religion, it’s one of the cornerstones of free speech in this country (a luxury not shared around the world) but there is nothing funny with Jew bashing. I’m done now. Next.

We will ‘poverty-proof’ schools, introducing free school meals for all primary school children, encouraging breakfast clubs, and tackling the cost of school uniforms.

Good points: Nothing wrong with this at all.

Bad points: None.

We will restore funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.

Good points: This is a must. This is not uncommon in other countries, in Sweden I know that they have SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) which is free and held in universities. There is no reason as to why you can’t learn the language of the country you decide to live.

Bad points: None.

Labour will end the failed free-market experiment in higher education, abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants. We will fundamentally rethink the assessment of research and teaching quality, and develop a new funding formula for higher education.

Good points: Tuition fees are too high. There is no doubt about it, you’re saddled with ridiculous debt for trying to do the right thing. I still think there should be some fees attributed say for example £1000 a year that should go towards looking after the buildings and pay towards lecturers etc… as the government shouldn’t foot the bill for everything. But use the same guidelines that you’ll pay it back once in a job, because if after 4 years you only owe £4000, you could pay that off fairly easily if you’re in a medium-well paid job which you should have if you’ve been to uni? £4000 is a much lesser burden then say £50k, which a fair amount of people find themselves in. To make it worse, the government ends up paying by writing it off after a set amount of time. So yes i’m behind reducing or getting rid of them.

Bad points: Not costed and would be a sizeable chunk of the education budget which has been earmarked for all these new schools and higher paid teachers. You can begin to see a pattern here. There isn’t enough money for all these lovely policies, there will only be crippling debt.

That’s a great point to move on from, Police & Security now, this should be good considering Jeremy is a pacifist.

We will work to eliminate institutional biases against BAME communities. Proportionate stop-and-search based on intelligence is a needed tool of effective policing, but the use of expanded powers means black and Asian men are still more likely to be stopped and searched, poisoning relations between the police and the local communities they serve.

Good points: At least they’ve agreed that stop and search is needed.

Bad points: Proportionate is a bad term in relation to this issue. The expanded powers they talk of, have had results. Under Priti Patel the re-introduction of stop & search has had good results. You can say what you like about Black and Asians being more likely to get stopped but statistically they’re more likely to be carry weapons. That is based on intelligence. You can’t afford to be sensitive when it comes to keeping people safe. If you’re not involved in gang crime then you’ve got nothing to hide. Just co-operate, let them search you and carry on with your day. If you’re not compliant and start mouthing off with the whole ‘you’re only stopping me because i’m black’ thing, the police are naturally going to be cautious as you’re getting defensive which usually leads to confrontation. The police have got a hard enough job as it is, why make it more difficult, the nicer and more co-operative you are the faster the whole thing will be over. They’re just doing a job and trying to keep us safe. Part of the problem growing up in these ‘tough’ areas is that you’re bought up to hate the police, I think this is where it all stems from.

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Effective police work requires the police to serve their communities and work collaboratively with youth workers, mental health services, schools, drug rehabilitation programmes and other public agencies. A police force working within our communities, with the capacity to gather local intelligence, is also the frontline of our domestic security – the first eyes and ears of effective counter-terrorism.

Good points: There should be stronger links to these services from the police. You can usually track the downward trajectory of people from youth services into drugs and crime. Rather than force their hand, more should be done to show them they can live a different life away from these ills of society. Teach them the police are not the enemy and can actually help.

Bad points: I don’t think all equates to the front line of counter terrorism, this is aimed more at normal crime (if there is such a thing) as opposed to terrorism.

We will address the failure of the Conservatives to take effective measures against a growing problem of extreme or violent radicalisation.

Good points: They don’t outline how and what section of radicalisation this encompasses can’t see how this is even a point?

Bad points: They could have mentioned the prison system being a breeding ground for Islamist recruitment but decided to gloss over that to take a cheap shot at the Tories to gain the Muslim vote. It’s crass and unhelpful.

We will review the Prevent programme to assess both effectiveness and potential to alienate communities and consider alternatives including safeguarding programmes to protect those vulnerable to the recruitment propaganda and ideologies of the far-right and others who promote terror as a political strategy.

Good points: All extremism is bad we can agree on that.

Bad point: Who is to be the judge on what is extreme? In reality the Labour party itself is on the extreme left at present under Jeremy and John (the sinister underbelly of the shadow cabinet). Should we be safeguarding people from being indoctrinated to their beliefs (an impossible task as they run our schools and push it on kids anyway!)? Extremism is a relative term. I understand they need to be addressing extremism, but to pigeon hole just the far right shows the bias and extremism of your own views. We can all agree pretty much the only ones to actually carry out ‘terror’ attacks on British soil are religious extremists, yet again they won’t address that, as it will diminish the Muslim vote which is why they’re referred to as ‘others’.

Cybercrime and cyberwarfare are growing, all around the world. Every aspect of our lives, from the NHS to our nuclear facilities, from transport systems to communications networks is vulnerable. A Labour government, ever more dependent on digital technology, will overhaul our cybersecurity by creating a co-ordinating minister and regular reviews of cyber-readiness.

Good points: They’ve got a point, with all this increased technology and a reliance on electronics to run everything, it is one of our greatest security risks. You could bring the country to it’s knees at the click of a keyboard.

Bad points: I don’t think you’d need another minister when this should come under the remit of the Home Secretary, as it’s to do with homeland security and should be co-ordinated with the existing security services like MI5.

The crisis in our criminal justice system has left communities less safe, victims less supported and people less able to defend their rights. Labour will defend the rule of law.

Good points: None.

Bad points: It’s hard to believe this from a party who denounce the Tories tough stance on crime by saying in effect they’re eroding human rights. They have historically been soft on crime. Not believable and unrealistic.

The Ministry of Justice’s own evidence shows tens of thousands of crimes could be prevented if robust community sentences replace short prison sentences. We will set new standards for community sentences and introduce a presumption against prison sentences of six months or less for non-violent and non-sexual offences.

Good points: None.

Bad points: I rest my case.

We will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions.

Good points: Every woman should have the right to make the decisions that concern their own body.

Bad points: None.

This manifesto is dragging on longer than the Lib Dems, so in the interest of being objective and fair, I will condense the remaining points from the different sections.

Labour will deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030 – I touched on this with the Lib Dems, be patient and pay for it yourself. Don’t burden the taxpayer.

We will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to every primary school in England – a £160 million annual boost for schools to ensure creative and arts education is embedded in secondary education, and providing a pathway to grow our thriving creative sector – This is a good policy as we should give fair funding to the arts. In the scale of money pledged it’s not bad, but is probably too inflated. Somewhere between £75-100m would have been sufficient.

We will invest in the towns and communities neglected for too long, with a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country – I think we should do our best to protect museums as they’re a free institute for learning and this should be encouraged. I also think that is a fair estimate as a lot of the buildings these museums are in are old usually grade one or two listed and will need repairs and maintenance which will cost a shed load.

Image result for museums

A free and fair press is vital to protecting democracy and holding the powerful to account. – We can all agree this, but is usually at odds with Socialist ideologies and is usually one of the first things they attack and control. I’ll take it with a pinch of salt.

In football, the professional game has become divided between the extremes of the very rich and the very poor with clubs in Bury and Bolton facing collapse. A Labour government will examine the state of the game, its governance and regulation, its ownership rules and the support and funding of the clubs that are vital to local communities. – They should stay out of football, nothing good can come from it. They will try and ruin all the fun things with micro management.

I have got this far and realised there are several more sections with sub sections of the manifesto left. I have already exceeded what I wrote for the Lib Dems so will bring it to a close here. This is excessively long and filled with a lot of hot air. Badly set out so you don’t even realise there’s more left! Not forgetting their pledge after this was released of an extra £58bn to compensate the WASPI women. Also factor in the Brexit uncertainty that a Labour government would create, harming the economy. Let’s rate this monstrosity.

Fresh original ideas: 4/5
Practicality and realistic pledges: 3/5
Financially viability: 1/5
Responsible and sensible pledges: 2.5/5
Total: 10.5 out of 20

I feel this is a slight improvement on the Lib Dem manifesto. It also scored a 1/5 for financial viability due to the excessive spending pledges, that would cripple the economy and leave us in heavy debt. I feel they have creative ideas and some are good fresh ideas that do need sounding out. Ultimately the realistic outcome of these policies aren’t good, there was too much right here right now, throw loads of money at it approach. Changing the language surrounding this, introducing gradual changes and more realistic spending targets would more than likely win the next election, which I believe they will once Corbyn and McDonnell are gone. The next generation of the Labour Party need to enact a renaissance in the party and take it back to being the workers party that reflect the views of them and stop with this ultra hard left stance, which is a turn off to tradition labour voters. No wonder so many are intending to vote Lib Dems as an almost protest vote in this election. I believe they will politically bleed out in this election. Brexit is a big part of this, seeing as they’re sitting on the fence and flip flopping, I believe this works against them and will lose out Remainers to the Lib Dems and Brexiteers to the Brexit Party. In regards to their policies I think will retain a large section of voters who will always vote Labour come-what-may due to not changing positions on major issues like immigration, NHS and socially liberal policies on human rights and liberties.

Labour will probably drop to around the 210-215 seats mark leading the way to a Tory majority due to their inability to show a decisive stand point on Brexit and a polarised leader in Jeremy Corbyn. Loved by the few, not the many.

Next up is the Tory manifesto, expect socially conservative policies, a business love-in and a tougher stance on security. As before I urge you all to read as much of the manifesto of the party you intend to vote for at the very least. Understand what it is you’re actually voting for. I’m hoping it’s going to be shorter than the political equivalent of War & Peace I’ve just devoured!

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What does the future hold for Arsenal?

I’ve given myself some time to digest the news that Arsene is leaving. I still believe in him to deliver the first European Trophy (that I can remember properly) in my lifetime. My personal view was that it was time to go at the end of this season. Although I only came to this conclusion in January, after I drew an imaginary red line and said that if he didn’t buy a CB then and address the clear issue we have, then he wasn’t fit enough to run the club anymore. He didn’t and here we are. That being said I have always supported the team regardless. I don’t need to go overboard in my praise for Arsene, as I have always been a vocal supporter of his and believe he truly is the greatest manager we will ever have.

I have said before that he created his own downfall by raising expectations so high in the first place and not being able to replicate that, ushered in resentment from members of the fanbase and was a catalyst for the sense of entitlement that flows through the Emirates. It’s toxic and as a whole makes the fanbase look like spoilt children. I want to see that end once he’s gone. New manager, new expectations. But what expectations though, what should we look forward too? I believe that the entire fanbase should take stock and have a look around. We aren’t a crisis club in any respect and have an amazing platform for someone to come in and do great things. That being said, I think there should be realistic goals set for a new manager. They are as follows:

  1. In the first season, Top 4.
  2. Second season, focus purely on the League and try to win their first title.
  3. Third season, everyone knows no one retains the league, so go for Top 3 and the FA Cup.
  4. Go for the Champions League as after 4 years, you’d hope the manager has ‘his’ team in place.

That is a realistic view of what we should be looking at. Anything other than that is delusional. Yes it would be spectacular if we got a manager in who wins us the league in the first hit, but then he’d be put in the same category as Arsene and yet again set the bar too high and we would have a manager conveyor belt, becoming like Chelsea! The fan unrest would force him out as soon as we go a season without winning anything, which quite frankly is pathetic and doesn’t run parallel to club values.

Now, the glaring problem we have is defence. It’s no secret! I now move onto the potential candidates and obviously top of that list is Allegri. I have alluded to this in a previous post but it’s the name that keeps popping up and to be fair, he would be ideal. For one he’d drill the defence and we’d have to set up slightly different but that’s what is required. Arsene has left behind a great team that can win things. If the funds were available I think we should buy two centre backs and a new goalkeeper. Simple, Butland will be going cheap as Stoke Rugby Club will be relegated almost for certain now. A player of his calibre has to go to a top side as to me, he is England No 1. It’d be nice to have that again, as all throughout my childhood we had Seaman and it’s good to have your country’s No 1 as I fear with a new foreign manager, not enough English players will get in. I say this because my two choices for centre back aren’t English. Yet again I echo myself and say Manolas and Koulibaly. If we have to sell Mustafi to help pay for it i’m happy with that. Koscielny is one of my favourite players, yet even I can see he should hang up his boots at the end of next season. His legs are going and he’s making more and more mistakes. It pains me to watch it happen to an idol but yet again you have to be realistic.

Next on the list, Nagelsmann. I include this because of what Ivan Gazidis said in his conference about being bold. What he lacks in experience he can make up for in talent I suppose. A great short term record, saving Hoffenheim from relegation in his first season and taking them to the Champions league in the second. I watch Bundesliga weekly and Hoffenheim do play attractive football, which would go down well with the fans. I just worry that a manager that’s so young, coming into a dressing room of not only players older than him but big name players, something he hasn’t had to deal with before. It’s a baptism of fire, if he is appointed.

Leonardo Jardim, a great choice. He echoes Arsene’s past. Monaco are a good side and play wonderful football, good defensively and are a mainstay in the Champions league. All the things we could want, plus he’s young for a manager. Personally, think it’s between him and Allegri.

Arteta, why? There’s being bold and then there’s being stupid. Maybe as an Assistant Manager, I could get that. Zero experience. I hear murmurs from people on twitter (the worst source of any information) that Pep holds his coaching abilities in high esteem. Does that warrant being given the job at Arsenal (if you believe that of course)? No. Next.

Vieira. Interesting. He is doing well at New York, haven’t seen them play and don’t know the standard in the MLS, i’d imagine not great as most old players go there to retire and earn big bucks. Although, he had great pedigree as a player and was almost a manager out on the pitch, I could see this being a left field choice but one that fans could get behind. He’s young and understands the club values and what is expected.

For me, there isn’t any other discussion. It’s all hearsay and fake stories from the media. Arteta and Vieira are included in this but I gave them respect because they’re linked to the club. The last thing I want to add is that, whoever comes in should have the full weight of support from the fanbase and should turn the Emirates into a fucking fortress. I heard what that stadium can really sound like the other night for the Madrid game. AFTV should be banned from entering the ground by the club. All negativity should be stamped out and not given room to breath. It’s a new start and we don’t need any divisive people, trying to be edgy by saying the new manager is shit because he loses one game. Manager’s are human and aren’t exempt from making mistakes and/or losing. They’re not going to go unbeaten. It’s okay to lose 4-5 games in a season. Most teams who win the league, lose 3-5 games throughout the course of the season. It’s natural, you can’t win them all. Regardless, I stand behind whoever the club appoint and wish them all the luck in the world. As a club, we can do great things together. But only together. The fans included.

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Answers Needed

The most divided fanbase is unquestionably Arsenal. For once though, i’m not entirely sure why? At the beginning of the season, in the transfer window we bought exactly what the Wenger Out fans have been screaming for. A strong CDM (Xhaka) who wasn’t cheap (Wenger Out fans cry about Arsene not spending), a world class CB (Mustafi) who wasn’t cheap either and finally a Striker (Lucas Perez) who even though he hasn’t featured much, has shown every time he’s on the pitch that he was worth every penny. Now to me, Arsene answered all the critics in this respect, by ‘splashing the cash’ and buying in every position that needed strengthening. I genuinely thought we had a chance to fight for all the trophies going this season and as a fan you have to believe that, otherwise you aren’t truly supporting your team. After a disappointing first game of the season, we then went 17/18 games unbeaten (I think). We then lost back to back games. Firstly, against Ronald Koeman’s Everton, who were well organised and every manager has a bogey manager, Koeman is Wenger’s as everyone knows. We then went away to City who have according to some, the best manager in world football and we only lost 2-1, away from home. Following that we went unbeaten in UCL group stage, even against PSG who have just showed Barcelona up.

Currently we are off the pace by 10 points in the league, which yes is an issue but it’s definitely not over. Bearing in mind we beat Chelsea and they beat us cancelling each other out, so nothing was lost at Stamford bridge which I think fans are forgetting. I understand that to win the league you have to beat the big teams, I don’t believe in excuses but Bellerin was knocked out, if that goal doesn’t go in then what might have happened you never know, the complexion of the game would have been completely different. Admittedly, Chelsea are good at home and we would have been lucky to get a win but to think we couldn’t have got at least a draw is disrespectful to our players.

We are still in a winnable FA Cup. The media are trying to downplay Arsenal’s chances and angling for a giant killing, especially in the wake of the defeat at Bayern but why are people stacking up the pressure against one of the most successful managers in the FA Cup full stop? Yes Sutton have home advantage and a shitty 3G pitch, poor facilities and low ticket allocation for away fans. Yet we will put out a 80% strength squad, probably close to the team that smashed Southampton 5-0. I have noticed so much non-news recently in regards to Arsenal and Arsene, it’s almost like the media is out to get us constantly and will make a story out of nothing.

Now in regards to the question that is floating around at the moment, should Arsene go? This poses a very difficult question for me being a Wenger In fan. In short I don’t think he should leave. Not right now, I think he should go at the end of next season. There are so many different factors involved to make a snap decision like the media and Wenger Out fans want. It’s reactionary and unnecessary, especially when it all hinged on a single game. I hear and understand fans frustrations, i’m a fan too. But do you really think destabilising the club at a time like this will help in any way? If anything we need to be together at the moment with important run ins coming up, the only thing that matters at the moment is a full stadium and to get behind the players so that we get back to winning ways.

The way it needs to go is at the end of the season Arsene Wenger sits down with the board and sets out a plan of devolution. It’s not as simple to just bring in a new manager. Arsene basically runs so many different bits of the club, a new manager coming in can’t take over every single aspect of his job as he’s been there for so long, there needs to be a transition period where Arsene slowly delegates his many jobs to other people. Get the right people in place to run the club so that he can purely focus on his final season as just a manager. Then at the end of the season hand over the reigns to another manager with the club in the best possible shape so the new managers job is easier and can take the club onto the next level. As I believe the end goal is for Arsenal to become a Supergiant, it has to be the long term goal. They wouldn’t have put so much effort, time and money into creating Arsenal the brand. We have a huge stadium, the 7th highest revenue in the world, one of the biggest fanbases in the world and a team capable of getting into the UCL every year. The only place left to go is get another world class manager, buy world class players in every position and go for the Champions League, not just once but prolonged success. That is the business model I believe they will aim for.

This takes me onto the next part, who could come in and make that transition work? Me personally, don’t laugh but on a 3 year contract I think we should go for Mancini. The simple reason why is that he 1. Has Premier League experience and has won it. 2. Has some Champions League experience. 3. Knows what it takes to juggle the two (most foreign managers can’t grasp the winter period e.g Pep & Klopp) 4. Has a great win percentage and record. 5. Plays an attractive style of football (which is imperative to appease fans). Now I know no one will share my view so let’s assess the other options out there.

  1. Diego Simeone – The logical choice. Fighting off Real & Barcelona every year takes a lot, especially when they won La Liga. Sustained attacks in Europe, winning Europa League and getting to the final of UCL twice in 3 years, an amazing win percentage and also has a backbone and wouldn’t think twice about shaking the team up with some emotion. The downsides – He has no experience of the Premier League, a poor defensive style of play that i’m not sure that fans will trade attractive football for trophies (winning ugly), there’s only so many times you can shout at players to provoke a response. If we were to get him I believe it should only be on a three year contract.
  2.  Thomas Tuchel – This is a strange one for me, he’s come out as favourite pretty much and I can’t see why? Sure he’s manager of a big club like Dortmund, he’s got them scoring but if you couldn’t get Reus & Aubameyang to score then you shouldn’t be a manager! He’s not excatly setting the Bundesliga on fire and hasn’t even won half of his games. He got to the Quarters of the Europa League and is through to the Last 16 of UCL this year. He had one good season last year and has a different approach to tactics which are his only good traits.
  3. Joachim Low – He plays amazing football with the German national team, he’s got a good win percentage overall, however if you look at his domestic record it’s not amazing, he won the Austrian League the same year as our Invincibles and took Stuttgart to 4th twice in the late 90s. Yes he’s won the World Cup but it’s a different ball game (excuse the pun) in the leagues. This would be a massive gamble plus he likes smelling his own balls!
  4.  Eddie Howe – I understand this one, yet it won’t work. He gets the most out of Bournemouth because of the structure in place at the club and he runs the club with 4 or 5 ex-players as his backroom staff. He plays some attractive football and has achieved well whilst having restraints in regards to players. Yes he’s English and it would be good to see an Englishman in a top job in England! I’m all for giving opportunities but you should get in on merit and Eddie’s record doesn’t speak for itself.
  5. Max Allegri – He’s had it so easy, he inherited an AC Milan team he did well with and then took over Juventus with unlimited amounts of money, he’s won 3 league titles in his time in management but his style of football is dull running a 3-5-2 system. He’s been through to the Last 16 in UCL just as many times as Wenger, even though he reached the Final his first season with Juventus. The club would be much the same under Allegri and wouldn’t be seen as making a step forward.
  6. Leonardo Jardim – Only in his early 40s, he’s travelled around a bit, though he’s got a good point percentage overall and plays quite nice football, his European record isn’t amazing. Although saying that I reckon with the structure and resources that Arsenal will have in place, he could excel. Probably my my 2nd or 3rd choice, it wouldn’t be a bad move for Arsenal.
  7. Roger Schmidt – Finally, low down on the list with having only won an Austrian Title and Austrian Cup. Stable Top 4 finishes with Leverkusen and through to the Last 16 2 out of 3 seasons, not exactly the profile of someone a club of Arsenal’s stature should be looking at in my honest opinion, yet he’s been ‘shortlisted’ or linked with the club so I included him.

Whatever the outcome at the end of the season whether he stays or goes, no manager that comes in should be expected to create instant success and should be given time to adapt and build their own squad. We should all be patient and give anyone the time to progress. I’m in two minds as to whether Arsene should stay at the club in the background as sometimes it can be a distraction, as the new manager is always compared to the outgoing manager and doesn’t help if he’s still around (e.g Ferguson). Ideally if he does stay, i’d like  him to become director of football and oversee the youth academy as his true talent lies in developing young players and making them ready for the first team.

Thank you for reading!

Predictions

It’s that time of year again! I’ve decided to wait for the window to shut before making any predictions this year though.

Arsenal: Top 2 finish – We have actually gone and done it. The shameful side of the fanbase have been baying for Arsene’s blood through the whole window and he has given everyone what they want and what every pundit has said over the past ten years. A CB and ST, as we’re “a CB and ST away from challenging for the league” even though we have progressively been getting better year on year for the last 3 years! Having bought very shrewdly in Mustafi a regular in the German National team, which is no easy feat. And Lucas Perez who has been dubbed as the Spanish Vardy, who should share the burden of the goals with Giroud who’s been so underrated and under appreciated. Also not forgetting Rob Holding who has been pound-for-pound the best signing we’ve made, considering he’s made more clearances, won more aerial duals and made more tackles than the boss man Koscielny! Man City wasted almost £50 million on Stones and we paid £2.5 million on him. Granit Xhaka is a beauty to watch, we have finally replaced Viera in my eyes, the passing, leadership and ‘industrial’ side of the game all rolled into one, he’s also not shy of sticking the boot in, a proper enforcer in the ranks once again. All in all it looks to be an amazing season if you’re an Arsenal fan as the fanbase has to unite under the Arsenal banner as Arsene has done exactly what all his critics have been screaming for, if we can crack on and make a proper atmosphere in the Emirates again, we can win something this year. Expect some amazing European nights and a long go at the FA Cup again this year, depth in the squad is sublime.

Granit Xhaka mid-screamer. Note the former Spud player Mason turning around in pure terror as Granit unleashes his left peg.

Bournemouth:Relegation Scrap – Having made the biggest ‘coup’ of the transfer window by getting the best English Midfielder on loan (Jack Wilshere), they should have an exciting season when he starts to link up with his best mate Afobe, yet I don’t think it’ll be enough to get them into mid table spots, they’ll enjoy their scalps of some of the bigger teams along the way but with the league being so unpredictable with this disgusting amount of money being injected into it, I think things will start to even out as the rich clubs get richer (e.g Man United) and we go back to how it was with people buying the league. If they can get Wilson firing on all cylinders after he had all of last season out then they could surprise a few but the forecast still looks dim.

Bildresultat för eddie howe jack wilshere

Burnley: Relegation Scrap – Sean Dyche has done an incredible job with Burnley considering they couldn’t compete financially with the big boys, they’re now enjoying the fruits of their labour after gaining promotion back to the Premier League and get that windfall of funds. They’ll still be near the bottom come the end of the year, yet I expect some good home results this season.

Bildresultat för sean dyche 2016/17

Chelsea: 5th – Chelsea have made a good acquisition with Conte and he seems to be coming up with the goods so far. Yet they let themselves down on the last day of the window by buying David Luiz again. Kante will be tested immensely having that clown behind him, I for one am licking my lips in anticipation for Arsenal’s trip to Stamford bridge if he is playing as I feel Özil, Sanchez, Ox and Perez\Giroud will tear him a new arsehole. (This article was drafted before our prefect 3-0 display at the Emirates!) Also I feel it’s only a matter of time before Costa is sent off for being a cunt, interpret that in whatever way you want, be it spitting, eye gouging, slapping, tripping, shirt pulling, dissent, he will be getting sent off more often and hopefully it will curb that disgusting side of his ‘game’ if you can call it that. Hazard seems to be back to his best after going on holiday for the whole of last season and will drag the team to Europa League places as they have no European football to hinder them, yet I think the two Manchester clubs and Arsenal are a still a step above them in many respects.

Bildresultat för antonio conte chelsea

Crystal Palace: 7th\8th – They have addressed their main issue of not having a good enough striker for this league, say what you will of Benteke but when he gets going he’s a top goalscorer. Pardew has been around long enough and I think he’ll make a significant improvement this season and will scrape through and get a Europa league qualifying round spot, either in the league or through a cup. It’ll be good to have another London rival in the top half of the table.

Bildresultat för benteke crystal palace header

Everton: 7th\8th – I like how Everton is set up at the moment, they have the players, the resources, a good home ground and a cracking manager, I hope this is the season they prove me wrong and go for top 4, yet I still don’t see it happening. They’re a work in progress and could grow to be a major force in the next few years, however they aren’t quite there yet. This season is a building block and I don’t expect many to take points away from Goodison Park this year, also another team I think could go far in the Cups.

Bildresultat för ronald koeman everton

Hull City: Mid Table obscurity – They’ve played a blinder the first few games of the season and got robbed of a point when Man United rolled into town, if they could keep it up they’d see themselves in the top half of the table, yet it won’t happen. Mike Phelan deserved Manager of the Month in my opinion, for motivating that small squad of lads and coming up with those results in the face of almost not having a fully fit 11 to put out on the field. I also fully expect to meet Hull in the FA Cup for our customary annual fixture!

Bildresultat för mike phelan 2016/17

Leicester City: 9th – They did it, hats off and all that jazz, but another year another season and they will have to contend with a clogged up calendar with European football without their Midfield enforcer Kante to make the difference, no offence but Drinkwater is nowhere near the player he was. Mendy looked good against Arsenal and could come in handy but they will come up against some stiff opposition and take into account they won’t be able to keep that tight knit group together like last season as the tinkerman will have to tinker to keep things fresh and you’ll start to see a different team. That’s why when everyone lost their heads when they won and said it was the greatest achievement, I still believe that Nottingham Forrest and Brian Clough edged it. It all depends what Leicester do in Europe I guess!

Bildresultat för claudio ranieri

Liverpool: 3rd – Well they’ve been tearing the league up from the start and Klopp is really kicking on with instilling his style of play in the team. They’re sublime to watch and have the firepower to play any team in the league out of the park, we lost first game of the season to them in an all action encounter. They also beat Chelsea, the game to watch for will be Man City and Pep. Whilst I expect Arsenal and City to go Top 2, Liverpool will be right behind you can believe that. They don’t have European football to hold them back either. I think they’ll get 3rd and maybe even a cup!

Bildresultat för klopp glasses falling off

Man City: Top 2 – Well it’s happened, Pep is here and has hit the ground running. He has really pulled the best out of De Bruyne and is really one of the most exciting midfielders to watch in the league. Aguero is STILL the best striker in the league and will crack 25 goals this year. He could fire them all the way to winning the league depending on how Arsenal get on. It will be tight at the top and may even go down to the last game of the season. The only place I see negativity is the defence and Claudio Bravo. He’s a good keeper and all but there have been some questionable decisions made, it could impact how they play. At the moment it doesn’t matter as they seem to be able to outscore everyone anyway!

Bildresultat för pep guardiola kevin de bruyne

Man United: 4th – They’ve attempted to buy the league this season in a knee-jerk reaction to Pep going to City, they’ve got that foul human Jose in and spent ridiculous amounts of money on players for the coming season. From what i’ve seen recently, going on a 3 game losing streak I don’t expect great things this season from them. Rooney is finished, the only plus is seeing Zlatan in the League, everyone’s favourite Swede. Jose will secure a Champions League spot, you can almost guarantee it, yet they seem to struggle in the Europa League almost as if they’ve got a superiority complex where the players think they’re too good for the competition. Go out and prove us wrong by winning it! They aren’t the finished article like their Blue rivals, scousers or the mighty Arsenal so 4th is a realistic finish.

Bildresultat för zlatan manchester united

Middlesbrough: Relegation – It’s a shame to say it as I was quite happy to see an old ‘original’ premier League team return (Much like Sheffield Wednesday or Nottingham Forrest) but they look out of their depth and will be scrapping with the likes of Burnley to stay up. I don’t think Karanka can be blamed, he’s made good signings but it won’t come together in time. They’ll grab some well earned points come February but I think it will be too late.

Bildresultat för aitor karanka premier league

Southampton: Mid Table obscurity – I like Claude Puel and I think Southampton were unlucky not to get a point out of the Arsenal game if i’m honest. I expect them to do okay but with Europa League matches piling up and the managers inexperience in the league will lead to a mid table finish and maybe round of 16 in Europa. A good side that are 2 or 3 players away from challenging for 4th.

Bildresultat för claude puel

Stoke: Staying Up – There is no doubt that Stoke will stay up. They might finish 17th but they will stay up. I was really expecting them to smash teams apart this season but they’ve fallen flat on their face. I truly do love watching Bojan play. They have a good manager and the squad to compete but getting off to this start can’t help in the dressing room and the confidence isn’t there. The league is wide open from 7th downwards and some teams are still trying to find their place.

Bildresultat för bojan 2016/17

Sunderland: Relegation Scrap – Will they won’t they. Will they get going under Moyes, he’s got the experience but I don’t think he has the right team behind him. Pickford looks to be an exciting young prospect and has almost cemented his place in the starting 11. There will be some tough games ahead and if they haven’t got many points on the board by mid November then i’d start to get a bit worried for another ‘big’ team that can’t go down, much like their Tyneside rivals last year.

Bildresultat för david moyes sunderland

Swansea: Staying Up – Another club that look alright but won’t set the world alight this year. They’ll get some goals out of Fernando Llorente as he is a classy finisher but I don’t think they have enough to get mid table and aren’t bad enough to be fighting for their lives at the bottom. Expect draws, and lots of them.

Bildresultat för fernando llorente swansea

Spurs: 6th – Now I would be a bit biased but let me have a look at this realistically just for arguments sake. For a start they aren’t playing at home this season which is unsettling, even if they’re sharing Wembley for European games which is an honour for them. I expect them not to do too badly in their group, they have a good manager and I expect him to push them like last year and they will probably make last 16/round of 32 and finish just outside of top 4 as the big boys return to the fray after being absent last year. I can tell you, this stadium malarkey is no walk in the park.

Bildresultat för white hart lane new stadium

Watford: Mid Table obscurity – They’ve had an okay start to the season and Mazzarri isn’t a bad manager, they look solid and can get points on the board. They’ll be overpowered by the next level of opponents like Everton/Crystal Palace but they’ll pick off the weaker teams in the league. They have a nice style of play this year and Deeney is so underrated. However, like I say Mid table at best.

Bildresultat för mazzarri deeney

West Brom: Relegation Scrap – Now, I have respect for Tony Pulis and think he’s an exceptional manager with the resources he’s had at this club and Stoke, but I don’t think West Brom scare anyone. They can grind out the draws where needed, but that isn’t enough in this open league anymore, he has the experience to keep them up but you do wonder if these are one of the ‘big’ teams that are ripe for relegation. The league is changing.

Bildresultat för west brom tony pulis september 2016

West Ham: Mid to Bottom Table (16th) – Another team in transition, attempting a stadium move. They have the players, Payet in particular is World Class and Antonio is having a blinder at the moment, Slaven Bilic turned out to be a hit last year but this year throws up different situations and a new home. They seem to be stuttering but I feel they have just enough to beat off opposition.

Bildresultat för payet rabona

Future Landscape

I’m going to start with the statement from the Remain campaign that the Brexiters don’t know what’s going to happen if we Leave the EU. “Don’t take the risk”. Okay then, please tell me what’s going to happen if we STAY in the EU then…? The simple answer is no one can tell what the future holds, the future isn’t written. The same applies with the EU, no one knows what’s going to happen.

Let’s talk certainties then, if we Leave the Economy will shrink, I can admit that but only in the short term, the markets/investors don’t like uncertainty but once we’ve actually left and the dust has settled everyone will know where they’re at and it will spike back up when there is less doubt. Next, Trade won’t stop immediately after we Leave. For the next two years whilst we’re negotiating trade deals, everything will stay the same as it is now. DO NOT expect change overnight! Anyone thinking they’ll wake up on the 24th of June and we’ll immediately be free from the shackles of the EU is deluded. There won’t be a massive wave of immigrants running to Calais thinking they’re going to get blocked from coming in, that will most likely happen nearer the end of the two years when we will be stemming the flow and we rescind the Freedom of Movement. Everyone inside football will be kicking off (excuse the pun!) about how players from the EU will now be subject to work permits and Visas, which is no different from any player from outside the EU, might I add. All that’s happening will be a levelling of the playing field, in more ways than one. We’ll also watch the Eurozone crumble and burn without our money.

Let’s talk about the certainties of the Remain side, to start we won’t get another chance to vote on this for about 20 years (minimum), no matter how hard we try. So watch everything unfold like we’ve warned and then be like “we want to leave now” but can’t. Continued waves of immigration (sorry to go on about it, but it’s a contributing factor) unrestricted and higher than before. Expect your local services and infrastructure to be flat out, much like it is already, but worse. House prices will go up as there will be more demand for them, less school places for your child and larger class sizes. There will be a massive shortage on teachers (this is certain to happen if we Leave too) as they are already leaving in large numbers and it’s not being addressed by the government, however it will get to the point where it’s all over the news. More countries WILL join the EU including Turkey(!), thus diluting our voice (which is pretty quiet in EU terms) even more. Our EU contributions will go up as they will “punish” us for even having the referendum and making them pay money to scaremonger the British public into remaining, plus if we take on another member state then contributions will go up anyway.

The one thing that has bugged me though, is that David Cameron hasn’t actually said that if we Leave, when he will activate the article in the Lisbon Treaty. Expect some floundering about and political posturing immediately after the votes are counted. He’ll be making speeches about his party and how they should move on together blablabla basically saying “you’re not going to overthrow me” but everyone knows if Leave wins (and we hope it does!) then it’s only a matter of time before he’s fighting for his job. They’ll give him a vote of no confidence and he SHALL be overthrown, then ensues the massive Tory Party civil war between George Osborne and Boris Johnson. Which Boris will win as George Osborne is in the Remain camp, yet Boris will have to keep him onside as he has his own support inside the party. Much like Blair and Brown.

As far as future landscapes go, I think it has to get worse before it can get better. That’s a realistic view of proceedings. But it’s worth it on so many levels. We will have to endure 2 years of non stop negotiations, changes and losses. After that we will have FULL control of our country again. Everyone’s life will be improved in terms of quality of life, especially thinking of the fisherman who will have their waters back. Admittedly we won’t start to see the major benefits for about 5-10 years, e.g demand for school places, hospital waiting times. Also not in an offensive way but in about 20-30 years time when the baby boomers start to ermmm “reduce in numbers” the strain on the NHS will be a hell of a lot less, as years of tougher immigration restrictions keeping numbers down and the larger, older generation start to leave us, we will start to have a manageable and sustainable population.

Yet another one of the questions no one can answer in the remain camp, how many is too many? We’re so densely populated on this tiny little island, where do we draw the line on our population? England (Not the entire UK) has the 6th largest population density in the world, of countries that has a population over 10 million. These are numbers taken in 2011, which in the last 5 years i’d say we’ve taken in a few people…with Net Migration (Immigrants coming in – Brits leaving, for those of you that don’t know) at about 300,000 a year that number is only going up. Where are we going to put these people? We already have a housing shortage, plus the houses that are available are too expensive due to excessive demand. This will impact yours (if you’re my age) and your children’s lives. It means larger families putting their children in smaller and cramped conditions, lowering quality of life. These are the type of things that no one is saying or putting across in the arguments because as soon as you start talking about immigration people start to clam up and feel embarrassed or offended. Don’t be. You could tell this to someone who’s a Remain person and give them those facts and the type of response you’d get is “What’s wrong with immigrants? Why don’t you like immigrants?” They completely miss the point and automatically assume you don’t like immigrants, which is what we’re up against. People saying we should be outward looking and not inward looking, you’re right. I’m looking out at the problems in the world and realise we have just as many problems inside our own borders. Let’s put it this way, say you’ve got loads of problems at home, like your boiler is broken, you’ve got tiles falling off the roof and some little bastard has smashed your windows in, you’re not going to go and give a couple hundred quid to the homeless guy on the street are you? Sort your own problems out first, then if there’s anything left over then do your best to help others. You can’t give what you don’t have.

I’m not going to go with the slogan of Put The Great In, Great Britain, I think this country is still pretty great and we have good lives on the most part. But it’s currently being held back and could be so much better. If we Leave I want to change the name of Great Britain to Amazing Britain… I joke I joke. But seriously, why stop with what we have when we can Improve and Innovate. If we all came together and worked for the future of our nation like we used too, the possibilities are literally endless. If we Leave we can inspire the next generation to be more creative and lead the world like we once did. We led the way in exploration of the world, our children could lead the way to exploring outside of this world. (How’s that for outward looking?) We should be looking forward to how the future make up of the world will look and should be helping to steer it, not be in the back seat. If you stare at the ceiling you will only believe that’s the highest you can go, there’s a big beautiful sky above that. The Leave side is looking out the window at the sky and hoping whilst the Remain side are still looking at the ceiling and wanting to STAY where they are. This is our Berlin Wall moment, it’s time to rip it down and join the rest of the world again, hoping that others will follow suit. We can lead Europe as a whole out of the Dark Ages if we Leave the EU and show it CAN be done. We can give hope to countries like Greece, Spain and even France who are showing distaste with the EU. Spread Hope, Not Hate.

Have a serious think about what you want your future to look like, especially if you’re an undecided voter. I know I can’t tell people to Vote Leave, I want you to come to that conclusion on your own. Think about what’s right and wrong. Be sure when you go into the voting booth, you know where you’re putting that X.

Thanks for reading and please share!

 

The Coming Season

After having a break from writing due to not having enough time to fit it in, I have finally got around to sitting down and putting something together!

I will start with my Premier League predictions for the new season.

I shall start alphabetically with my team Arsenal. Predicted finish: 1st

Yes I understand that I said this last season, but we looked dangerous last season and broke the ‘hoodoo’ of not being able to beat anyone in the top 5. Beating both Manchester clubs & Liverpool last season we jumped along in strides and also collected a consecutive FA Cup. This team is going places and is in a winning mindset. On top of that making a shrewd acquisition in Petr Cech, who is already making a contribution to the team with his wealth of knowledge, experience and prowess. He looked right at home in his debut against Everton and despite being beaten by a thundering shot from Ross Barkley, made a crucial save and commanded the area well. First big test will be against Chelsea in the Community shield. That being said, over the course of the season we will look safer at the back and deadlier up front. My side prediction of Alexis Sanchez getting the Golden Boot should also be mentioned. All this being said i think Chelsea will really push us for the title and think it could go down to the last game of the season. Arsenal should finish with 83 points.

Aston Villa: Predicted finish 15th

Aston Villa look to be saved under Tim Sherwood, I was impressed with what I saw of Villa after he took over. He now has a chance of getting a pre season with the team and bringing in his own players and also after just selling Benteke will be able to sign a big(ish) name to fill his boots. They have made 3 good additions so far and not to mention they battled hard to get to the FA Cup final last season, that is no easy going. I still think they will struggle to crack the Top 10 but this is a work in progress and will take a few years to get Villa back to what I remember of them up in Europa League spots.

Bournemouth: Predicted Finish 17th

This is a big gamble saying they will stay up. I have doubts they will, as the sheer number of players coming in and not having a chance to settle and integrate properly in a new league to them. That being said I think they have got some good players in with a mix of experience and fresh talent. Sylvain Distin & Artur Boruc have Premier League experience and will bring that to the back 4. Also Tyrone Mings is the next big thing and should develop well if playing next to an experienced player like Distin. They will struggle to get points but I see them as this year’s Leicester and sort themselves out near the end of the season.

Chelsea: Predicted finish 2nd

We are all aware what Chelsea are capable of. They will look to replicate what they had last year, yet I don’t believe it’s the same story. Losing Cech will of rocked them and Mourinho in a big way. Yes they have a great replacement in Courtois, yet losing such a big player can have a negative impact on a team. Look at Arsenal when the Invincibles started to melt away. We were never the same again. They will push and challenge but you know the saying, when you’re on top you’re a target to get picked off. I think if Arsenal beat them at the Emirates, which isn’t likely if we’re honest. If they do though, like when they beat City last season and get over the hoodoo, then we shall see the swing towards Arsenal and the vital point swing that will come in handy at the end of the season. Chelsea should finish with 82 points.

Crystal Palace: Predicted finish 11th

Crystal Palace have made a cracking signing with Yohan Cabaye, you see teams signing lots of players but sometimes all you need is the right signing to make the difference. I think he will shine under Pardew again. I think Bolasie will be their key player like he was at the tail end of last season, yet again I was quite impressed with what I saw of Palace last season and expect good things from them.

Everton: Predicted finish 9th

I know this sounds low and it’s nothing against Everton, I genuinely think they play attractive attacking football under Martinez, but I think it’s the teams around them that have improved more and will finish higher. Europa League spots will be hotly contested this year. I see them getting wrapped up with Man City, Stoke, Spurs & Swansea/Southampton. Leaving little room for Everton, I just think they’ll lose out to these others, whilst keeping a good home record but falling short away from home to those around them.

Leicester: Predicted finish 16th

I think Claudio Ranieri is a good choice in taking over from Pearson, he’s done well in the past in the Premier League, admittedly he had millions to spend under Chelsea and already had a good team around him at the time as it was the beginning of the Abramovich era. This is a different challenge for him and it all hinges on how they start the season. If they get off to a flyer like last year they will greatly appreciate the points at the end of the season and will keep them clear of relegation.

Liverpool: Predicted finish 4th

Another gamble considering they have pretty much bought Southampton and it didn’t work amazingly last season. Yet I think if Benteke can get firing under Rodgers then he will push the team back into the Top 4. The players and talent are there it’s just whether they can work together and I think now the shadow of Stevie G has left they can start a new clean slate under Henderson, who I don’t dislike completely and think that he’ll step up and be a good successor. Plus they don’t have that Sterling drama hanging around their neck anymore. Coutinho will be there key player, I know we only saw glimpses of his brilliance (Liverpool fans claim it was in every game) I feel he will have his breakthrough season this year and really make an impact. It will be interesting to see what Rodgers does with him and Firmino.

Man City: Predicted finish 5th

City fans won’t believe me obviously but hear me out. They are in a transition period, though they are addressing the ageing squad problem by buying young English talent, it doesn’t automatically fix the problem. The only consistent player will be Sergio Aguero, who is still the best striker in the league in my eyes. He will carry the team this year, his goals will be vital in keeping them in contention. I hope to see David Silva return to his best also. Let’s just hope they don’t forget Yaya’s birthday this time around either!

Man United: Predicted finish 3rd

Van Gaal will bring the best out of his team this year, after making proper additions of his own and starting a dynasty. Trying to replicate the whole ‘galacticos’ thing, I think Schweinstieger will be crucial if he can stay fit, which I highly doubt. He’ll have a good 8 weeks at either end of the season and that’ll be it. This being said I think that this is the year that we see the re-emergence of the Man United we used to see under Ferguson. I think they’ll finish on 80 points.

Newcastle: Predicted finish 16th

I’m not sure what to think of Steve McClaren, yes he’s got experience but i’m not sure he’ll do well this time around in the Premier League and I think Newcastle will suffer as a result and I don’t see him lasting the duration of the season. I’m not usually one to write someone off before i’ve seen what they can do but I just have a bad feeling about Newcastle. Wijnaldum is a good signing but I feel they already have good options in attacking players. Cabella should have a good season but Cisse’s inconsistency will prove to be the downfall of Newcastle this season.

Norwich: Predicted finish 20th

From what I saw in the playoffs, Norwich were a force to be reckoned with but this is a completely different kettle of fish and a massive step up. Nathan Redmond is a player i’ve always admired and I think he’ll be their key player but in the Premier League you can’t rely on just one player. I don’t think they have good enough options to compete properly in the league. They will scrap with Sunderland & Watford for survival but all 3 will go down. I think it will go down to the last day much like a few years ago when Qpr stayed even though they lost to Man City, with Norwich losing out and finishing bottom.

Southampton: Predicted finish 6th/7th

This is the toughest section, so tough that I can’t decide. I have been so impressed with Southampton, Stoke and Swansea and where they are going as clubs that it’s difficult to see who will prevail in the fight for the Europa League spots. I see Southampton coming close to Champions League football but missing out. They’ll be in the top part of the Europa League places though. I’m excited to see what Jordy Clasie is all about, not much to add as Southampton were the amazing surprise package last season.

Stoke: Predicted finish 7th/8th

Mark Hughes is working well at Stoke and I see a 5th/6th place finish next season. This season he will be just shy of that as this is a club on the up, trying to build something. I love seeing Bojan in this league and I feel if he can stay injury free he will really crack on this season and prove to be an amazing asset. Not much to add to this either.

Sunderland: Predicted finish 18th

Dick Advocaat did the unthinkable and saved Sunderland last season, now this could go either way, they could get relegated like I think or do what Southampton did and become a surprise package. I don’t think their new signings will add much to them this season. I don’t rate Sebastian Coates and obviously not fond of Kaboul. Jermain Lens is an unknown quantity and only time will tell if he’s up to the job, I can’t comment as I don’t know anything about him. I think it will be a slow finish for Sunderland, they will decline near the end of the season, get a surprise win and think they’re safe and drop back into relegation on the penultimate game of the season and have their fate sealed on the final day.

Swansea: Predicted finish 8th/9th

I can Swansea doing well this time out, they have made amazing additions to their squad so far and think that if they hit form at the right time they could achieve their highest ever finish. Yet this is unlikely and feel they will creep into Europa League with a string of top draw performances. Though I haven’t predicted Europa League spots properly as I haven’t vectored in Spurs, it really will be a massive scramble between Swansea & Stoke who both have so much to offer! Watch out for Andre Ayew.

Spurs: Predicted finish 6th-8th

Spurs will reach their customary Europa League spot and have periods of good performances and do the same thing they do every year and declare they will make Top 4, only to fail miserably. They will make a few shock wins against big opposition, maybe Man City & Arsenal (at White Hart Lane) but that will be the extent of their glory this season. Expect mediocrity from a team that should really be fighting for Top 4. They will really begin to suffer when the stadium move starts to begin.

Watford: Predicted finish 19th

Watford have made 3 strong signings in Capoue, Behrami & Vydra. Will it be enough to keep them up, probably not. Expect some spectacular performances against other lower half teams, but not reaching the grade points wise. I hope they prove me wrong but I just see them as one of those yoyo clubs that will fall back down to the Championship and keep a large chunk of TV money for their troubles.

West Brom: Predicted finish 13th

I like Tony Pulis and think he’s a good manager, very consistent and I believe he will do the job. Yet again mid table security though as I don’t think his team have the drive to push into the Top 10. Maybe a good cup run would lift them? It’s hard to tell which way they are heading. The bookies are slashing odds for them to be relegated, I don’t believe the hype on this occasion.

West Ham: Predicted finish 12th

Haven’t seen anything of Slaven Bilic so can’t judge, the club have made sound additions to an already good team. I feel they will do well this year but fear the manager might come under criticism as it’s all a big change from Big Sam and what people are used too. Nonetheless, they will finish strong yet short of what they are capable of.

As always thank you for reading! It’s just a bit of fun, don’t take it to heart.

Premier League Prediction

With the new season starting this weekend I have taken some time to do a little prediction without knowing the results. I took the fixture list and put down for every game and what the result would be and the results were surprising.

 

 

The league on the 28th of December looks a little something like this:

  1.  Arsenal
  2. Chelsea
  3. Manchester United
  4. Manchester City
  5. Everton
  6. Liverpool
  7. Tottenham
  8. Crystal Palace
  9. Hull City
  10. Stoke City(on the same points)
  11. Sunderland (on the same points)
  12. QPR (on the same points)
  13. Newcastle United
  14. West Bromwich Albion
  15. Aston Villa (on the same points)
  16. West Ham (on the same points)
  17. Swansea
  18. Leicester City
  19. Southampton
  20. Burnley

Before you start and say this is biased because i’m an Arsenal fan, we were at the top at Christmas last year so not so unrealistic. I shall also give a few explainations, Manchester United for example will do well as they don’t have European football and seem to be revitalised under LVG so a top three finish isn’t out of their grasp, much like Liverpool last season. The pressure is all on Manchester City as defending champions, Arsenal will be very strong after (finally) strengthening their squad and will be a force to be reckoned with.

Everton only just fell short of Manchester City in my prediciton table by 2 points as they have improved immensely. Liverpool will suffer due to having European football again and I feel their team will not work quite as well as they expected. The biggest surprise to myself being Crystal Palace in 8th, however this is understandable due to Tony Pulis turning the team around and grabbing the points where he can. Hull City have improved under Steve Bruce as well and I expect them to be at least mid-table by Christmas, yet it is to be seen how his team will cope with Europa league, so Hull City is the only question mark in my table that I will say now I will get wrong, my predicitons are made down to Premier league games only.

 

 

All of the teams next to each other with (on the same points) could be in any of the spaces they share with the others so for example, if at Christmas QPR are in 10th rather than 12th i’m still technically right! The only one I think could change depending on the second half of the season would be Leicester City as I think the crunch games near the end of the season could keep them up. Any other thoughts about this let me know! Feedback is welcome, no hate though please as it was done fixture by fixture so as not to be biased.

Thanks for reading!