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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.

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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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Liberal Democrat Manifesto

This is the first of the run throughs of manifestos that I am collating for the average Joe. As always I will do so by giving as much background information as possible without being clunky. I want to give you guys a fair chance at making your own minds up. Also I will rate the manifesto, this is marked out of a few points. Fresh original ideas, practicality and realistic pledges, being financially viable and finally whether they make sense! I’ll try not to be too boring and overbearing.

In the interest of being neutral and as impartial as possible (I will try but I will call out bullshit) I decided to start with the Lib Dems manifesto. What I expect is some good social policies, maybe unrealistic and non economically sound proposals and lots of ‘progressive’ policies for the virtue signaling brigade. That being said we shall see what they have in store.

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First up is the obvious. STOP BREXIT. It does exactly what it says on the tin. Whilst at least they have the bollocks to be openly Remain and actually have a stand point (just look at the shambles from Labour flip flopping trying to gain Leave and Remain voters); they’re going against the biggest democratic mandate in this country’s history. If they were to get in (unlikely) then it would be a big kick in the dick for democracy and ordinary voters up and down the country. It would cause a big disaffection with politics and is uncertain what lengths the public would go to, to reassert themselves over the ‘ruling class’. This will win them the most votes but at the very heart of it, is a minority stand point and will more than likely just split the Labour vote. They say they will use the £50bn to go into public services and tackling inequality. Big blanket term and doesn’t actually explain how they will tackle it and how they will funnel the resources to fight this inequality. So not only financially vague but wholly irresponsible. Bad shout. Also I have a hard time believing this, when I still remember Nick Clegg being one of the only leaders wanting the referendum in the first place. As usual Lib Dems willing to whore themselves out to get any semblance of power/votes.

Now we got Brexit out of the way we can get onto the economy, as i’m sure you’re sick of hearing about Brexit! Especially as it’s other key policies that shape a government and who actually gets things done.

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Equal opportunities between cities.

The good points: They promise to continue with the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine, so funding to these areas will continue, which I think is brilliant. For us to continue to grow as a country, we can’t just rely on the financial centre in the South East. Whilst it’s a great economic hub and creates enormous wealth for the country, I think that it’s only fair we use that wealth to pull up our brethren in the north. Investment into some big northern cities would be advantageous to us all, eventually I believe we’ll start to see ‘clean cities’ completely run on renewable energy. Slick, clean, classy modern cities is what we should expect from the future. Not that it will happen but we can dream, eh?

The bad point: You can’t please everyone. If you were to invest in Manchester and Birmingham, then Leeds and Newcastle would get jealous and possibly feel left behind. It’s a balancing act but a step in the right direction.

They plan to incorporate the British Business Bank more into the economy to help with small and medium sized businesses. Good point: They say they’ll work with normal banks to help as well. Encouraging small businesses is great as they make up a large part of the sector and creates aspirations for the normal person to one day own their own business.

Bad point: No one can trust the banks, they’re in it for themselves and will surely be out to make lots of money out of people. The only issue with pushing for lots of small and medium sized businesses is you can over saturate the market. Not only this but you can see irresponsible lending from the banks to people they know can’t pay it back. It could be businesses built on good ideas but not a solid enough business plan, leading to failure and loss of money. Yet again it’s trying to find a balance between responsible lending and pushing for a thriving small business ethos.

Upgrading the tourism sector and creating a new department in government to reflect this is a bad point, no good points. It’s using up money to create another level of bureaucracy we don’t need but will ultimately end up paying for. Whilst it’s good they’re trying to support areas that depend on tourism for their income, we would end up paying more for someone (Minister for Tourism) that doesn’t need to be there and all their staff and expenses, than actually trying to help out the tourism sector! Think i’ll pass.

House building targets are yet again a necessary evil that will never be met. I understand all major parties have to put it in there but we all know that there’s not much that can be done to get these houses built. We shouldn’t have to give up green belt land. This country is too densely populated as it is and we shouldn’t ruin the beauty of this country to try and prop up an unsustainable population. If you’re lucky enough to live in the countryside then you shouldn’t have to be concreted over. It’s the only irony of these parties that scream about the ‘climate emergency’ but want to wipe out nice green areas to accommodate a rising population. Let’s try to steer away from who is encompassed in that term population for now, otherwise I will turn wildly off topic as usual!

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Investment in public transport – Good point: Public transport has been slightly neglected and it would be good to see any increase in spending for this sector. They have also said they want to make all trains ultra low emissions by 2035 (electric or hydrogen) which is commendable.

Bad point: They want to continue with HS2. Which was a good idea but is impractical, impossible to implement and is rising in costs by the day. Needs chopping. Also whilst I think it’s great to make the trains electric or hydrogen by 2035, it doesn’t say how much this will cost or how they will pay for it! My thoughts are, it will be a huge cost and would more than likely come out of an excessive borrowing budget, fiscally unsound.

Rolling out fibre optic broadband across the UK is unrealistic and costly. If you want it then pay for it, I have to and so should you. I understand they want to connect rural areas but BT are already rolling out superfast broadband across the UK already and it only effects their customers not the taxpayer. Yes they’re doing it in stages and it seems like an eternity (I had to wait 5 years for it to come to my area, suffering with excruciatingly slow broadband in the meantime) but we just have to be patient. We want too much given to us on a plate nowadays. I won’t mince my words, the internet is not a basic human right. I hate using the term but there are places around the world without the internet or even worse censored internet and surveilled upon. There are more important things to focus our energy and money on. Next.

Taxation – Good points: None.

Bad points: Yet again they plan to go after the giant corporations. This plan will not work. They will simply relocate out of the country which we don’t want. Could you imagine a mass exodus of all the big companies to our main competitors in Europe, absolute disasterclass. They want to increase corporation tax to 20% which was lowered (to 17%) by the Tories to encourage business and create wealth, because hey money doesn’t grow on trees! They also want HMRC to employ more staff to go after the big businesses but when the big businesses leave, they will turn onto the normal taxpayer to fund all these policies and they will have a bigger workforce to chase normal people down. Not a good time for PAYE workers who do their own tax returns or small business owners, the people they’re trying to ‘help out’.

Promoting wellbeing – Good points: This is a subject close to my heart so I back this. Although the way in which they’re going about it is typically political. Enter stage left, the new Minister for Wellbeing. Another unnecessary post created for the pure purpose of presenting to parliament every year on main measures of wellbeing and how government policies effect them. They could have done without this, however this post could be used as the new head of Mental Health services, not likely though so would be under bad points but i’ll keep it in good for now as it is very important. They also want to increase “access to high-quality mental health and other health services” which is good but they don’t explain how they will pay for it again.

Bad points: “Introduce wellbeing impact assessments for all government policies.” Says it all really. We won’t make the big decisions for the country that need to happen because they may negatively impact Dawn from Doncaster. When you make decisions at the top level there are always going to be winners and losers, you can’t please everybody.

I now move onto Education and skills.

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Free childcare for 2-4 year olds and 9 month-2 year old 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year free. Good points: Childcare is a huge issue in this country and this does take good steps towards addressing it. Me and my wife are going through this right now, as she’s just about getting ready to go back to work and it’s almost not worth her going back due to the astronomical costs. More help is needed from the government and they should be doing more to help families. There are areas that need serious shake ups, this is one of them.

Bad points: Yet again, giving away free things without accounting for the cost of it. That will cost a hell of a lot of money and there is only so much you can tax people to pay for things. The other side of the coin are the type of people that don’t have kids who i’ve heard before saying things like ‘if you can’t afford kids don’t have them’ or ‘I don’t want to pay for somebody else’s kids’. I feel these statements are unhelpful, as you do need to replenish the population so that we can grow the economy in the future and it saves you having to import labour and dilute the native population, which is unneeded and easily combatted by encouraging our own people to have children. This being said, people have the right to not want to pay for other’s children, if they’ve made the choice not to have them and their right should be protected.

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Reverse cuts to school funding, allowing schools to employ an extra 20,000 teachers and reduce class sizes, restoring them to 2015 levels per pupil with an emergency cash injection. Good points: More teachers addresses the major problems we have in the teaching profession at present. I have put on here previously about the dwindling numbers of teaching staff, mainly down to the fact they can get paid better elsewhere for a less demanding job. Reducing class sizes increases the quality of learning for children and lessens the burden on teachers who have to usually contend with teaching a class of 30-35 children. It will also help especially in under funded inner city schools who need the cash injection to help with social mobility.

Bad point: It’s becoming boring but it’s not costed, however I will let this one slide as i’m sure everyone would be happier paying a tiny bit extra tax to fund this, as it is at crisis point and we can’t let down the next generation. I’m in agreement with this policy.

Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content will be included in RSE. Good points: Introducing financial literacy to the curriculum is a good step as it’s one thing that you actually need in life and are never taught! First aid and emergency life saving skills is also a nice touch, as it is a good thing to have skills wise and could spark an interest in caring for people or even lead to joining the NHS which we should encourage; as we shouldn’t have to rely on foreign workers to prop it up post Brexit. We will need to find the workers from somewhere, so recruiting from our own stock is the sensible option. Mental health education is a good step in making people aware of the issues we all face at some point in our lives. It can also help young people recognise the signs before they take hold which could potentially save lives.

Bad points: Environmental awareness is a tough one. If it is educational then great. If they try to push an agenda which you fear that the liberal leaning teaching profession would, then this could become one of those terrible ways of pushing unbalanced views on our children and they should be able to make their own mind up about this subject. Not have a certain version rammed down their throats. Age appropriate relationships and Sex education is another one i’m weary of under a Liberal administration. You fear they will push a weird progressive agenda onto impressionable kids and mess them up. It’s all age relative, if you’re teaching them when they’re say 15 years old about what to expect and what to watch out for (e.g older partners, grooming, etc…) then fine. If they’re 12 years old and they’re pushing to tell them having sex with one of these pansexual self identifying nutjobs then it’s wrong. You could warp the perceptions of an innocent child and potentially wreck their entire sexual life based on shaky foundations fed by a progressive fad of indecisive attention seekers. Which leads nicely onto LGBT+ relationships. The fact they added the + onto the end tells me it’s wrong, all wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, that should be touched upon in the standard sex education, obviously not in excessive detail. But to push across these views of Trans people to younger people is yet again dangerous. A lot of Trans people are mentally unstable and suffering from mental health issues that are not properly diagnosed and the fact it’s been thrust into the limelight and you hear these horror stories of parents pushing their own kids to transition into the opposite sex is abhorrent, it’s child abuse, pure and simple. If you accept this is normal and condone these actions, then you can’t be trusted to teach this subject to kids. End of.

Oppose any future expansion of grammar schools and devolve all capital funding for new school spaces to local authorities. Good points: They probably see it as ‘the same education’ for all, which is a nice idea to have but is unrealistic. By mixing all abilities you risk dumbing down the ultra clever ones, why sacrifice ones at a higher level for the benefit of a few slightly slower children? It’s the same reason you get put into ‘sets’ when it becomes serious (e.g GCSE’s).

Bad points: Opposing grammar schools has never made sense to me, ever since I learnt what they were. They increase the opportunities of kids that might not usually have the opportunity to have access to such a quality education. It increases social mobility exponentially and makes them aspire to be better than they normally would be. It also rewards being the best, the smartest and getting there by yourself. The only thing that could be changed, should be the stress surrounding the SATs test to prove you can get into these grammar schools. Kids shouldn’t be pushed by their parents to get in, the tests should be changed and there should be no indication the test is coming, also the normal grades should be taken into account of admission to grammar schools, as some children don’t perform well in one off situations.

Raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 and increase all teachers’ pay by at least three per cent per year throughout the parliament. Good point: I bought it up earlier, this would solve the issue of teachers leaving for better paid jobs, keeping good people with the skills needed to do the job. I’m behind giving teachers more.

Bad points: None really. Public services have needed a wage increase for a while.

Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects. Good points: Positive body image is important to push, so many issues with self esteem are embedded in body image from an early age, kids can be mean and damaging to each other. In pushing this, you can free the child’s mind and push them to reach their potential unhindered by poor self esteem and confidence issues.

Bad points: Stop. You need help. Gender appropriation is a myth. Men and women can do anything they want today. We’ve had two female Prime Ministers now (no need to point out they’re both Tories, but I will, just for balance.) there is no ceiling, that is the very top. The only issue now is paying them the same amount as blokes for the same job. The only time I would disagree, is if they’re not as competent and vice versa, a woman should get paid more in bonuses if she’s outperforming her male colleague and is more effective in her role. New age feminists are pushing it too far, this is a fact not an opinion.

Reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students, ensuring that living costs are not a barrier to disadvantaged young people studying at university. Good points: I received EMA when I was in sixth form, it was good and not too much money (think it was £30 a week) it really helped paying for public transport and things I needed for sixth form. As long as they don’t go silly and give them loads of money when they’re fiscally irresponsible, then i’m all for it.

Bad points: Can’t think of one.

I will move onto Health & Social care now.

Raise £7 billion a year additional revenue which will be ring-fenced to be spent only on NHS and social care services. This revenue will be generated from a 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax (this revenue will be neither levied nor spent in Scotland.) Good points: I think we can all agree this is okay and needed, from any party.

Bad points: None. They’ve actually costed a policy, hurrah. I jest.

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Introduce a statutory independent budget monitoring body for health and care, similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility. This would report every three years on how much money the system needs to deliver safe and sustainable treatment and care, and how much is needed to meet the costs of projected increases in demand and any new initiatives – to ensure any changes in services are properly costed and affordable. Good points: None.

Bad points: Paying more people to tell you we need more money is counter productive and lazy. The government should have fiscal responsibility of the NHS and that shouldn’t change. You’re never going to have enough money to properly run the NHS, this does not help. Ridiculous policy.

Support the creation of a new Professional Body for Care Workers, to promote clear career pathways with ongoing training and development, and improved pay structures. Good points: Improving pay should encourage more workers, which we desperately need. Giving them the training they need to perform their duties is a good step to ensuring the right people are in the right role. Totally onboard.

Bad points: None.

There is a lot of noise but no real cutting edge policies concerning the NHS so I have skipped a fair amount, mainly for your benefit! Now onto Freedom, Rights and Equality.

Introduce an ‘X’ gender option on passports and extend equality law to cover gender identity and expression. Good points: None as proved in court not long ago.

Bad points: I think this matter is more to do with tracing people in and out of the country and becomes a matter more of national security, which should be paramount over what some perceive as their personal right. It is a sensible step by the government to fight this as it has gone on far enough. This movement are just trying to create more issues and is trying to frustrate the normal procedures in place that are there to safeguard us. I can’t take anymore of this attention seeking madness. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile, there’s no escaping your past. You were born a man/woman, if you decide you want to change then good for you but you can’t change the fact you were born a specific way and by extension try to rewrite history by projecting your fantasy onto others; It could also be used as a way for someone to go off the radar, there would be untold issues of trying to track people whose identity suddenly stops as they change not only their gender but their name. They could leave the country as Mark Johnson, have a sex change, come back and then apply for a passport as Mary Johnson without anyone knowing. What if he’d committed a crime, he gets off scott free. Although I expect nothing less from the Liberal Democrats so i’ll move on.

Increase statutory paternity leave from the current two weeks up to six weeks and ensure that parental leave is a day-one right, and address continuing inequalities faced by same-sex couples. Good points: Two weeks just isn’t enough, I know from experience. Couldn’t agree more, yet again more has to be done to sort out the system and how the roles (of fathers especially) have changed. I also think it should be staggered so that you can enjoy different stages of your babies development.

Bad points: None as it doesn’t need to be costed, due to it being paid for by the employer and god knows we all deserve more from them!

Provide safe and legal routes to sanctuary in the UK by resettling 10,000 vulnerable refugees each year and a further 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children from elsewhere in Europe over the next ten years, and expanding family reunion rights. Good points: None.

Bad points: There are many. Let’s start with the numbers. It’s excessive, it should all be done on a case by case basis. Refugee is a dirty word now, as it has been abused and distorted from it’s true definition. A real refugee now would be say for example, British passport holders in Hong Kong. They’re quite literally being beaten and locked up by the Chinese imposed regime. They’re political refugees that we have technically signed up to protect just over 20 years ago (1997). I don’t buy the whole refugee from the middle east thing anymore. They quite literally have to pass through dozens of safe countries to get here and try to gain asylum. That isn’t a refugee, that is an economic migrant. We have enough of those, get in line and fill out the necessary paperwork like EVERYBODY ELSE. We need to focus on migrants from all over the world and make it a fair playing field. Get the very best and brightest, it’s a privilege to come to this country, not a right. A refugee is someone fleeing war and is displaced and can no longer return due to fear of their safety. Why not go next door to Saudi Arabia, a very wealthy country and not too far from your home, meaning when you repatriate (which all refugees should) it isn’t a huge journey for you. Or go north to Russia one of the top three richest countries in the world. No that’s right, you’ll travel to gullible European countries trying to do the right thing to show they’re caring, as they’re too scared to be called racist. Sick of it.

Stop Brexit and save EU freedom of movement. This is getting comical now. Good points: None.

Bad points: You will still be able to freely travel throughout Europe. You just have to produce your passport at the border, much like everyone used to before the EU. Personally looking forward to getting lots of stamps in my passport to show where i’ve visited. How do you think American or Australian backpackers travel Europe? By law you are allowed 90 days free travel throughout the Schengen area and we will be entitled to the same rights. 90 days. Nearly three months. If you’re going to travel for more than three months, then you might need visas but if you’re planning a trip of that magnitude, then applying for visas is probably not going to be much different from planning a trip to the US or Asia? People are just lazy, there I said it. All this information is readily available. Please don’t buy into these scare stories, this is just another ploy from people with vested interests trying to make you believe things are changing and people don’t like change, so it must be bad right? For the love of god, just do some research.

Give 16- and 17-year olds the right to vote in elections and referendums. Good points: Yet again none.

Bad points: I do really wonder if they were on drugs when making some of these policies. I’ll break it down like this. We don’t trust people to legally drink until they’re 18 as they can’t be trusted. But they’re willing to let them have a say in changing the country based on people offering them free things. They’re literally deluded. You can’t even go to prison until you’re 18, you’re not even legally an adult. That’s where the line must be drawn. Just because you can change something, doesn’t mean you should. It’s another example of being patient, we expect instant gratification due to the advancement of technology and we want everything right here right now. This can’t be applied to voting, a certain degree of responsibility and thought is needed when making a choice that will effect the entire country for the next five years. Also by extension referendums! Jesus, don’t even get me started.

Extend the right to full participation in civic life, including the ability to stand for office or vote in UK referendums, Local Elections and General Elections, to all EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years or more. Good points: None.

Bad points: This is irresponsible and unnecessary. You should only be allowed to stand for office and vote if you were born here. Before you think this is biased and ‘narrow minded’, my wife is an EU citizen and she agrees. She can still vote in Sweden and that is the way it should be. She’s a Swedish citizen and reserves the right to influence change in her own native land. The same should apply here. They’re basically trying to import votes, which is undemocratic and it stinks.

This last section is called Better Politics. I’m trying my hardest to stay focussed and unbiased but it’s oh so very hard.

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Reform the House of Lords with a proper democratic mandate. Good points: The House of Lords is long overdue a reformation. They have proved this in the frustration of Brexit. There is no longer a reason they shouldn’t be an elected body. I think it should be split into industries, those that have served at the very top of their professions for a long time and are honoured by the Queen, should then be put forward for the public vote. Say for example you have top scientists honoured. You had a top physicist, chemist, biologist etc… They would be in the category of science, there would be a certain amount of seats reserved for this industry. You would then vote on the ones put forward. Same would apply for business, technology, sport, education, economy, etc…a broad range. We would then have actual law makers who have incredible experience in their field. I also think they should limit the amount of ex-politicians allowed in the chamber, as they usually get put in the Lords after being law makers for a certain amount of time or serving in a government. Due to the Commons having far greater powers and being able to push certain legislation thorough the Lords without scrutiny, why should they then be able to effect laws in the Lords? It should be decided on the number of votes in the general election and share of the vote. So for example, if the Brexit party got 8% of the vote but no seats, they’d be entitled to a set amount of Lords to be appointed to the chamber. Same would apply for the Greens who consistently get about 3-4% of the public vote and only ever one or none MPs. I think if the leader loses the election which they technically do most of the time, then that leader would be the one put forward to the Lords. Meaning they’re not put to waste and would push the losing parties to be more competitive and advance their younger members, meaning fresh young talent gets through quicker rather than parliament being a stuffy old person’s game as it is now. It would also be representative, as it would mean the Lords would have high end political figures who commanded a fair amount of votes to be made party leader, would then be able to represent the views of the party in the other chamber. The ruling party would get a fair share too due to their share of the vote, which doesn’t always equate to huge amounts of seats. Only difference is their leader would obviously be Prime Minister, so wouldn’t be able to sit in the Lords. So maybe the longest serving member who loses their seat in that election would be the highest ranking for the ruling party? There are many avenues to go down but this would be the most fair I think.

Ensure that a new Prime Minister, and their programme for government, must win a confidence vote of MPs. Just had to go through this without good or bad points as I think this is lazy. I think they miss the exact point of a general election here. In fact, this very election was called because it was no longer a majority government, minority governments can’t rule as nothing gets done (as we’ve seen recently).

Legislate to allow all-BAME and all-LGBT+ shortlists. Good points: Still on drugs I see.

Bad points: Shortlists are a very bad idea. Nothing is more demeaning to the people on these lists as they know they’re only there due to the colour of their skin or their sexuality. If you want a free and fair society like they say they want, you will let them all get there on their own merit, not a quota set to involve them. Just look at the Tories, they have a Home Secretary and Chancellor who are BAME. You don’t need to belittle these people to try and give them a voice, if they’re not good enough to get there in the first place, then they shouldn’t be there. Just look at Diane Abbott and David Lammy. Look at them. Listen to some of the ridiculous stuff that comes out of their mouths. Proof that just because you are from a different ethnicity, doesn’t mean you should be allowed near a position of power.

Expect the BBC both to provide impartial news and information, and to take a leading role in increasing media literacy and educating all generations in tackling the impact of fake news. Good points: They’ve got to be having a laugh.

Bad points: Everyone knows the BBC are so biased it hurts. They can’t hide it and haven’t been able to for years. Perfect example was last night’s Have I Got News For You. Was laughing a lot more than usual, you know why? Because during election season (the duration of an election campaign) they can’t be seen to be influencing the result so have to ridicule and satire everyone equally. I wish I was joking. There was the most amount of Corbyn and Labour bashing I’ve seen in ages. There was still the tired old Brexit jokes but at least the observational humour wasn’t entirely directed at Tories and Trump for once. Whilst it was enjoyable, it was actually quite sad to think that they only did it because they’re made too and not because it’s funny. That would be true impartiality. In regards to the fake news, yet again looking at people like Andrew Marr, Fiona Bruce and Emily Maitlis you can see their bias in everything they do. The only true unbiased broadcaster is of course Andrew Neil, who goes after everyone equally as hard. The saddest thing about the abuse he gets is people actually try to paint him as biased, yet the one person in a bit of controversy is Boris as he’s ducking the interview. Surely then if Andrew was a ‘closet Tory’ as I’ve seen him labelled, why would a Tory PM be scared to do an interview with him? You watch all of his interviews and he gives everyone a hard time. Closest thing we have to Paxman. He was also the person who should have taken over Question Time. I don’t watch it anymore because it has descended in stature under Fiona’s stewardship. Unlike Dimmbleby who fairly put them in their place if they stepped out of line, she just squawks over them.

There is a section about Defence in which they commit to 2% of GDP under NATO rules and accept they need a nuclear deterrent. I didn’t feel the need to go into much detail as this has droned on for long enough!

There were a fair amount of good policies which slightly surprised me (maybe i’m going soft in my old age) but as usual the progressive dross shone through and they proved they’re still the Lib Dems!

Fresh original ideas: 3.5/5

Practicality and realistic pledges: 2/5

Financially viability: 1/5

Responsible and sensible pledges: 3/5

Total: 9.5 out of 20

It was ‘half good’. Unfortunately, that’s not good enough to win you an election. Considering they have approached the platform to try and win a ‘majority Liberal government’ (Jo Swinson’s own words), there isn’t enough in there to create the sing great enough to get a majority of seats. I do believe that taking the Remain stand point will garner a large section of Labour seats and a large share of their vote, as the only true Remain ‘voice’ it will probably only equate to about 30-35 seats in reality; due to our outdated First-past-the-post electoral system. It’s a massively improved effort and there are some genuinely good ideas in there. They should use this election as a spring board to continue growth, maybe introduce some slightly more conservative policies and edge towards the centre to garner support from Conservative swing voters. That’s where their strongest position has been (I believe they won around 50 seats when they last did this). The lasting thing this manifesto has imprinted on me was it’s length. It was awfully long and drawn out and would probably turn off your average voter who is not normally interested in politics. I had to condense a huge chunk of the manifesto down and only just managed to keep this entire post down to less than 6000 words. If you decide to do your own research (which I encourage) you will see what I mean and will fall asleep before finishing it.

I hope you found this helpful, interesting and insightful. Next up on the run throughs is Labour. Make a coffee and get comfy, i’m sure things will get a bit off topic! Thank you for reading but yet again I would like to push for you to read the manifestos or at least the summaries before casting your vote. The political landscape HAS changed and it does mean that you might not necessarily be aligned with a party as you once were. Especially if you’re a Labour voter. I’ll say no more!

 

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Letter of Intent

Good evening,
I’m contacting you this evening in regards to a subject that has effected my life greatly in recent months. I lost my brother to suicide back in February. Rather than wallow in sorrow, I have been racking my brain for ways to make a change and a difference so that there are more preventative measures in place.
The reason I have picked all of you specifically, is the varying degrees of experience and positions. Sir Paul Beresford is my local MP but is also a very long serving and experienced MP, so might have some good contacts in relation to this. Jackie Doyle-Price is Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, I felt this was part of her role as this is aimed directly at this department. Matt Hancock as he is the Health Secretary and that is an all encompassing title, due to Mental Health being at the forefront of debate at this present time. Finally, the Prime Minister because she has the power to make the decision that could save thousands of lives and could use her position to highlight the importance of mental health.
The two ideas that I have come up with are 1. Introduce a phone number dedicated to suicide. I understand there are organisations like CALM and Samaritans, however if you were to ask me their telephone numbers I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head. My idea is to use the number 4357 as it spells out HELP on the keypad of a phone, so is very easy to remember. Considering the way that technology has taken over everyone’s lives, this is a quick and easy way of ensuring you’re never more than a call away from help. Much like the 999 emergency number it’s short and will stick in people’s heads. Also it would free up precious resources in regards to 999 operators not needing to put suicidal people through to police or ambulance services, as the call wouldn’t need to be made, freeing up more time for other important calls. I talk from experience as my father was in the ambulance service for almost 30 years and spent time in the emergency dispatch centre as a child. If the number did ever get used in this way, i’d also like to lobby phone companies to have the number saved in every new handset sold. Slowly but surely our subconscious would know that you’re never truly alone. When someone is so low that they’re contemplating suicide they don’t always think to reach out, searching for numbers online. If the number was already on their phone and they were scrolling through their contacts, wanting to call a friend or family member but scared they might be judged or thought of as crazy, it gives them a quick and easy option to get connected to someone who can help.
2. I wanted to float the idea of creating an app called Buddy. Day in day out, we all ask each other ‘you alright?’. Usually we answer ‘yeah’ or ‘fine’. Even though we might not be as it’s an automatic response. What if there was an app that popped up and messaged you every day, asking ‘how’s your mental state today?’. Ideally programmed like Siri on iPhones, to give positive responses or if someone is really in desperate need of help give them information and direct them to organisations that can help. The fact that it would be an app and taking human interaction out of it to begin with is the key. You’re more likely to open up to a computer that has no preset emotions or preconceptions, judgements or social stigmas attached. Say for example you replied ‘i’m really low, i’m thinking of ending it all’ it would message back with a phone number for Samaritans or a webchat from someone willing to talk. Or if you say ‘i’m depressed’ it would give you a positive response like ‘don’t worry, there’s always help. Here’s a link to CALM, they help similar people who are in the same situation as you’ and give you information about CALM or MIND.
I understand you’re not going to get to everyone but the best thing we can do is try and save as many lives as possible. All of you i’m sure got into politics to make a change or a difference and to help people in some capacity. I don’t completely believe how most politicians are painted to be career politicians and are only in it for the money. I don’t want anything out of this other than to help people like my brother. The app would be free to use and accessible to all. It could be targeted at schools and young people as this is where most of the problems of later life start. My brother had issues in his childhood and turned to hard drugs in his teens, exacerbating his problems and it sent him on a downward spiral to his unfortunate end. Sorry to be morbid but you have to get where i’m coming from.
I also wanted to point towards the manifesto that you got voted in on, which I voted for. You wanted to be at the forefront of the digital age. To do so you must engage with the digital world and especially if you want to get through to younger people, as we have to get through to them on their own level. We can do this by weaponising the very thing they use the most, their phones. This counts as you wanted to ‘transform the management of our digital infrastructure’. Going ahead with these ideas is adding to the digital infrastructure of this country. It will become entrenched in the national psyche with the right campaign. We would also be a leading light in the world in this topic, as I have spoken to a few friends dotted around the globe and for example in Australia it would work too. It could be a universal number for all of the English speaking countries of the world. Something which you alluded to in your manifesto as well in regards to ‘maintaining the historical, cultural and economic ties that link us to our old friends and
allies around the globe’. You also promised ‘We will make the UK the leading research and technology economy in
the world for mental health, bringing together public, private and charitable investment’. We’re all working towards the same end goal of ending social stigma and getting those that need it, the help they deserve.
I hope that you all can agree with me on this and that it heightens the awareness of mental health issues in this country. Nothing could help more at the moment than something like HELP, which becomes a beacon of hope to all silent sufferers across the country and the globe. For once you can take a step towards helping them all, directing and guiding them to the resources we as a nation offer. It would also prove you are doing your upmost to help prevent them from doing anything final. The statistics are frightening enough. We spend plenty of money on trying to save lives conventionally through the NHS and the ambulance service. It’s time for a change of perspective and how we view ‘saving lives’. Maybe an initiative to get all GPs and doctors to have mental health training and understanding of living with the illness. From speaking to others who have used this service, GPs aren’t the most sympathetic bunch. Which I don’t blame them for. If you don’t understand mental illness as you’ve never gone through it yourself, it’s hard to put yourself in those shoes. 
 
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and look forward to hearing what feedback you have and what you have to offer on the subject. Like you say ‘Forward, Together’.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Luke Marriott
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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!

 

 

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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!

 

Featured

Brace Yourselves, Elections Are Coming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tories

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

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

 

Labour

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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!