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Tory Manifesto: blood, sweat toil and tears – for what?

18th May 2017

Tory Manifesto: blood, sweat toil and tears – for what?

The Tory general election manifesto for 2017 has been accurately described by Skawkbox as ‘the stupidest suicide note in history’. What the Tory Manifesto actually promises is more pain, pain, pain.

The Tories have been in office since 2010. Theresa May has been a Cabinet member throughout that period.
What have they achieved?
• Housebuilding is at the lowest level since the 1920s. As a result fewer people can afford to buy homes and rents are going through the roof.
• Real spending on education per child is declining. While starving public education of funds the government is wasting hundreds of millions on building free schools that are not needed.
• The NHS is in crisis. Waiting timers for operations, and for dealing with emergencies, are beyond acceptable levels. All this while the Tories are showing their priorities by cutting corporation tax and taxes on the rich.
• Even the government agrees that social care is in meltdown. We’ll see from their manifesto how they propose to deal with the situation.
• Above all, since the Great Recession struck in 2008, living standards for the majority have fallen and won’t recover till 2022. This hasn’t happened since the Napoleonic Wars. How do the Tories deal with this?
    They don’t talk about it. They pretend it hasn’t happened, because they think we’re all stupid and haven’t noticed. After all, they and their backers are doing fine. Look at the Sunday Times Rich List for 2017. It that showed the richest 1,000 in the land increased their wealth over the past year to £658 billion.

Theresa May doesn’t want a normal Parliamentary election based on the Tory record. No wonder. They have failed. They declared their prime economic target was to get down the government debt by imposing austerity on the mass of the population. In fact the debt was under £1 trillion in 2010. Now it’s over £1.6 trillion, and still rising. George Osborne promised to eliminate the deficit, so the debt would stop going up, by 2015. He failed. Now Philip Hammond is putting the break-even date back to 2025. Should we believe him?

What May wants is a Presidential election on her as negotiator on Brexit. She is demanding dictatorial powers - to do what? To sell us a pig in a poke. Less than a year ago May was campaigning to ‘Remain’. Now she’s for Brexit. Her outfit is clueless. Every day new issues pop up. What about?
• Gibraltar. OMG. Never thought of that!
• The land border in Ireland. Why didn’t somebody remind her?
• What will replace the Common Agricultural Policy? They haven’t a clue.
• The Common Fisheries Policy. Ditto.
• Etc, etc, etc.

May and the Tory press accused Labour of wanting to go back to the 1970s. Our Prime Minister apparently holds an idealised picture of the 1950s. From her childhood she recalls dimly a bucolic fantasy of grammar schools and fox hunting.

The Tory manifesto is a recognition of past failures and a promise of more to come
. • The triple lock on pensions is to go. Pensions have been pledged to rise by prices, earnings or 2 ½%. In some ways this was a cynical promise. Pensioners are very likely to vote, and far too many of them vote Tory. If the triple lock goes pensions will be cut, no doubt about it.
• The pensioners’ winter fuel allowance will be means tested. £200 is not a lot of money considering even Theresa May considers the energy market is ‘broken’. In other words a previous Tory government dismantled the public sector provision of gas and electricity and let a bunch of monopolists screw the elderly and everyone else with their racketeering energy bills. Thanks a lot, fellas.
• Free meals for infants to go. This is outrageous, and so petty. Remember Margaret Thatcher? She was dubbed the ‘milk snatcher’ when,as Education Secretary, she abolished free school milk. Now Theresa May follows in her footsteps as the meal snatcher.
• The Tories are noticeably coy about promising to hold taxes down. The only pledges are not to hike VAT and corporation tax. In 2010 they inherited a 28% rate of corporation tax, which they have slashed to 19% with just 17% to come. Most of us are not corporations, so that is no benefit to us. All other taxes are liable to be hiked by the ‘low tax’ Tory party
• In 2015 the Tories lyingly promised they would cap social care costs to £72,000. The day after the election, that promise disappeared up in smoke. What they are doing now is to tell people to sell their houses in order to pay for social care. You can stay in it while you’re still alive (how kind!), but it should be paid to cover your social care debts after death. When Labour came up with a similar proposition in 2010, the Tory press savaged it as a ‘Death Tax’. What’s changed?   
• The Tories are also promising more money for the NHS. Hang on, a minute. Isn’t this the same wretched shower who’ve been starving our health service to death for the last seven years?
• The Tories promise controls on migration. The LRC has a clear position on this, in favour of free movement of workers. All the same the Tories, and Theresa May as Home Secretary for six years in particular, have spectacularly failed to reach their own target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

That raises the final question: why should we believe any of this? The social care proposals, and many other plans, have a ‘back of a fag packet’ feel. The Tories know working people are anxious and deeply unhappy with the way things are going in Britain. It is quite obvious they delayed their own manifesto launch to see what other parties were proposing.

May called this election. She had nothing positive to offer the British people. The Tory campaign is based on fear. Labour offers hope. Vote Labour and sweep away the Tories like a bad dream.

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