Labour Manifesto Run Through

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Put a stop to Overseas only recruitment (Pro).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scrap the Bedroom Tax (Pro and Con).

Reinstating housing benefit to under 21s (Pro).

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

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

Inflation cap on private renting (Pro).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maintain Ban on foxhunting (Pro/Con).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Conservative Manifesto Run Through

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ban letting agents fees (Pro).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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!

 

Refugee Crisis: The Blind Leading The Blind (Warning Graphic Content)

I have waited for a long time to write this article. Many reasons account for this, the main one being that I have learned from previous experience it’s best not to voice opinions on a fresh subject. It’s better to wait for it to fully unfold and you can give a more thorough and formed opinion on the state of events. Another one being the picture of little ‘Aylan’ washed up on the beach. Any article written opposed to the migration across Europe of Refugees was surely designed to fall on deaf ears if released at that time. Liberals were screaming left, right and centre about ‘how can we let this continue?!’ when in fact they were being blinded by a largely opinionated left wing press who had carved out an elaborate story of ‘the poor refugees’. As always there are two sides to every story, yet the other side has not been viewed to the public almost as if it has been censored.

I shall start with the tragedy of little Aylan. Now let’s start with the ‘left’ side of the story of a brave little boy trying to escape the clutches of a war torn country and doing everything he can to get to ‘safety’. That all sounds fine. But let’s switch the onus onto his father. Let’s say for example I took my little boy on a rubber dinghy and tried to sail across the Irish Sea to Dublin as I was trying to escape the disgusting corrupt government and countless paedophile rings in high society and needed to cross into the safety of Ireland as my reason? (Not too bad of a reason!) What would the ‘left’ side of the story be for that? I can see the headlines now “FATHER ENDANGERS CHILD’S LIFE IN DINGHY NIGHTMARE” I would have my child taken away from me as he is clearly not safe under my supervision and I would have completely put his life in jeopardy, in doing so I would probably be tried and convicted of gross negligence for my actions. I’m not saying what happened isn’t bad, what i’m saying is if the father really cared about his son, he would have thought a bit more about his life and taken a different route, maybe across land through Turkey? I understand the desperation and what it does to people but your kids come first and you have a responsibility for that child. Not at one point should you put them in danger just to get to your ‘end goal’.

Next I would just like to brush on the subject of who is actually trying to claim asylum. Now checking on the latest figures for % of refugees that are men, it says that 49.5% are male of that 29% are aged 18-59. Bearing in mind that these figures are for the registered refugees, which as we’ve seen a large share of them haven’t been properly documented and registered. Stories of ripped up passports and faking passports are rife as refugees pass on the word that Syrians are getting treated differently. Going by these statistics it’s astonishing that whenever I see any footage on any of the major networks, the majority of refugees I see are men. The ones always causing trouble, men. The ones breaking police lines and rioting, men. The ones pouring away water and throwing away food kindly given to them, men. The ones travelling all the way to Denmark & Calais trying to get into England and Sweden, men. It’s a slightly alarming trend. It’s also a trend that will come back to bite the liberals in the arse when the next up to date statistics are released. We are lucky in the UK having the opt-out clause for the relocation quota set by Brussels. I’m slightly concerned that these aren’t genuine refugees at all, they’re just opportunists. I’ve got a question that will anger and ensnare the lefties, if these men are willing to go to such lengths and to fight all of the forces across Europe like in Hungary & Denmark, why are they not fighting ISIS and trying to gain control of their country back?

If you go by the UN’s figures there are currently 3.8 million Syrian refugees, predicted to rise to 4.2 million by the end of this year. Roughly 1/4 of these are men, that means almost 1 million. You’re telling me that 1 million men couldn’t join up to defeat ISIS? They are weak minded cowards. That’s what sets us apart, they expect everything on a plate and to take priority in the world as they’ve been effected. No strength of character, no fight. The only thing I see is intelligence, they have identified the EU as an easy picking. Good healthcare and benefit systems and a ‘safety net’ because of the EU’s left leaning. Also because of the left leaning there is no integration plans or lessons to refugees as we can’t tell them what to do, which is disgraceful in my eyes. All these people know is war, uncivilised society, raping and pilaging, if that’s all they’ve seen and are angered about it, who are they going to take it out on if they haven’t stayed to fight ISIS? It will be the nice appeasing west who try and be nice and give them a life. There is no structure in place to explain they need to live by our rules now they are here, any uncivilised action will not be tolerated and they should be taught how to live as we do and how to properly integrate. Instead all you will see is more and more crime in the built up refugee areas, a higher % of rapes in these areas (already seen in large numbers in Sweden) more violence between them and the native population. Now as I say this i’m not tarring them all with the same brush, a lot of this doesn’t represent about half of the refugee population, the nice law abiding women and children most likely. The problem with this being they get away with it as there is a fear among the EU states that they will be seen as racist if they act accordingly.

Here’s a quick history lesson for you nice folk reading this, the EU was designed at the fall of the Second World War to be the end of all wars in Europe between France and Germany as they had fought relentlessly for the past few centuries back and forth. An ‘ever closer union’ was envisaged. It was only created to work for about 8 states, not the 28/29 that we have now. In an age where the EU is no longer called for and has been seen to be failing and crumbling for last few decades, it is not designed to be a Union of States that can cope with such an influx of immigration from an ever expanding Asian, Arabic & African populations. If it wasn’t working before then why are we even beginning to think it’s possible to deal with this crisis while the very same infrastructure is at breaking point? The whole time people are saying ‘why can’t we help them?’, what about us? Surely we should be concentrating on fixing our own broken system first before taking these people in. This very same point has infuriated me for many years, take Libya for example. The public were saying we need to do something to help these poor people under Gadaffi’s tyranny. We take action and take the fucker out, then the public blame the government saying we shouldn’t have intervened and it’s our fault all these refugee’s are displaced. I call it the two-headed monster of Liberalism. To be fair we have seen it coming for a while, being a supporter of UKIP I have expressed my concern of our open borders policy before any of this started.

Then you look at the open arm policy of Germany & Merkel, failing to take into consideration the massive overwhelming number of refugees that would actually turn up. The only problem with this being that once they have come to Germany and find out there is no room for them as they’re full up (which has happened now) they’re then stuck in the EU with no place to go. Merkel has politically shrugged her shoulders and gone well they’re here now, my solution is to offload the burden onto the other member states who never asked for it through a refugee quota that is soon to be enshrined in EU law. I will literally have no sympathy for Germany if there are any terrorist attacks inside their borders from now on, in my eyes they have brought that on themselves. They haven’t properly checked and registered all of these refugees flooding through their borders and haven’t got a fucking clue who is now in their country. I’ve seen lots of different figures so far but the average is about 420,000 already in Germany with Merkel citing that they should expect up to 800,000 by the end of the year. I think yet again she’s highly underestimated the number of people being displaced, and with her publicly saying they are all welcome she doesn’t have any idea how many hopeless refugees this will attract. The number I quoted of 3.8 million from Syria is for now. It is thought that half of Syria’s 22 million population will be refugees by the end of next year. Meaning that the figure of 4.2 million by the end of this year will be more than doubled by the end of next year. So I ask Mrs Merkel, where are we going to put the other 6-7 million next year? The fact is she hasn’t even looked that far ahead, she is in reactive mode not a proactive mode. She’s giving a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

The only bit of good that has come from this is the Egyptian(?) billionaire i’ve heard is willing to buy an island in Greece to home the refugees until the conflict has finished. He’s even planning on calling it Aylan Island, what a nice touch. But for me this begs an even bigger question, what have Saudi Arabia done? The richest of the OPEC states, which is roughly 150km from the Syrian border and a lot closer than the EU! It is also a muslim country so no integration needed. When the conflict finishes, if it ever does then it isn’t far for the refugees to relocate back to. Also having all that oil money means they could facilitate all of these refugees, in fact i’ve seen stories of the tents that millions are using for their annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Why can’t they house the refugees there? They have the money and resources to do so, why is the pressure on us to look after them. We are not a neighbouring country, we are not muslim states, we don’t have the money or facilities, we are already overpopulated and definitely don’t have the space. Whereas Saudi Arabia has all of this plus endless desert to create new towns to accommodate these refugees? Before anyone tries to shoot that down saying ‘how can you house them in the desert?’ Look at a fucking map, it’s almost identical to Syria’s landscape and climate so it’s not unreasonable. It’s not like it’s not ‘safe’ either considering it’s spending on defence is through the roof, buying up US jets and weapons. People citing their poor human rights record as a reason are the same people standing up for ‘Islam the religion of peace’, surely then they would open up their arms for their muslim brothers and not lay a finger on them? Islam is flawed and outdated, and in the wrong hands/eyes is a dangerous ideology. Maybe what happened in Mecca the other day was vicious karma for Saudi Arabia’s short comings and failures? Make your own conclusions from what happened, that’s just my cynical view of it.

This moves me onto alternative routes of migration. Until this quota came out Finland, Spain & Portugal have received hardly any asylum applications. This points directly to my earlier sentiment that they are literally just going to Sweden, Germany and the UK for the healthy benefits packages. If you’re prepared to go all the way to Sweden which is possibly the furthest away nation in the EU to travel to from Syria (apart from Norway) then why can’t you make the distance to Spain or Portugal? Or even closer Finland? Simple answer they have nothing to offer. Maybe they weren’t brought up with the saying ‘beggars can’t be choosers’. Which is one thing I hope they begin to learn from us! I’m sorry but if you are ‘fleeing’ to safety then you shouldn’t get a choice as long as you get to safety. They are abusing the laws in place for refugees that give them free passage. To me it’s outrageous as the whole point of free movement between EU states is that you are from a EU native state. Yet these people from outside the EU are getting the same rights making it void. Also due to the number of them, passport checks are few and far between and also not very well documented, so anyone could get through potentially even from other countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The only EU leader that is speaking any sense is the Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, he’s the only one who has stood up against Germany in what he calls their ‘moral imperialism’. Which draws an interesting parallel, if you think about it Germany has in effect taken over Europe without a single shot being fired. They impose their ideas on the smaller member states that don’t have any clout and Germany has the biggest voice so it drowns out all opposition to it’s ‘solution’. The Eastern European members of the EU are mainly not in favour of the relocation program but are having it imposed on them as they are finally realising the downside to the ‘ever closer union’. The EU is on it’s knees in so many ways and I for one am watching closely for it’s downfall and i’m hoping this is the catalyst. Luckily, the UK is in a unique position where we already have a referendum coming on the exit of the EU and it wouldn’t rock the boat as much as a full member leaving. I’m disappointed that Greece hasn’t left the EU yet, same as Spain or Italy as it will kick start the domino effect. It’s better to be on the outside than inside, especially at a time like this. It perfectly highlights the constraints of being inside the EU, I want us to take back control of this country and fight for what is right! Then we take back the small things like control of our seas where the EU has been over-fishing and depleted fish populations and destroying underwater eco systems.

It doesn’t matter where you sit in this whole debate, only time will tell who is right and I hope for all your sake’s it’s me who is right. Mainly because if we carry on blindly behind Germany there will be nothing left to fight over. There is no one safeguarding our countries, institutions, traditions & cultures. We are at risk of losing all of this through overpopulating and excessive integration. Use your head and at least go into this with your eyes open and understand the severity of the situation that faces ALL of us. We have a right to be cautious and shouldn’t accept everyone willingly at the drop of a hat because some fat old woman in Germany says we should do so. We make our own choices and decisions and we think for ourselves. It doesn’t all add up and that should scare the absolute hell out of you, if it doesn’t then you’re already lost to their cause.