Just 3 days to go until the June 8th general election and the main thought that I’m having is ‘what the hell is happening?’ I feel very worried that this is all going to end up badly, so much so that I hardly dare look at the news lately.
When the election was first announced the Conservatives had a very strong lead of over 20%, but just a few short weeks later their lead over Labour has narrowed to just 3% according to one of the polls. That is of course not guaranteed to be right as the polls are often wrong, but the indication is definitely that the gap has narrowed substantially.
I think that one of the main things to cause this massive shift is the different promises made in the Labour and Conservative party Manifestos. Of course the other political parties have published manifestos but as they are extremely unlikely to ever get in power I won’t be talking about them much.
Labour Party Manifesto
I won’t go through everything, but I call this the pie in the sky manifesto. Because of all of their promises it’s bound to be popular with voters, but anyone with any common sense can see that the idealistic promises are unlikely to be achievable. Scrapping higher education tuition fees, reversing unpopular (with those who get them) benefit cuts, nationalising power, mail, railway and buses. 10,000 more police, 100,000 new council homes and more money spent on the NHS. They are also threatening to borrow to invest £250 billion over 10 years on energy, transport and digital infrastructure.
That all sounds absolutely brilliant until you look at where the huge amount of money is going to come from. Taxation they say, they want to tax higher earners more and increase corporation tax by more than a third. They want to limit higher paid workers earnings to no more than 20 times more than the lowest paid workers.
Politics of envy I think. Restricting pay restricts incentive, it’s also a bit illogical in that if you restrict earnings you get less tax from those workers you are aiming to get more from. Increase corporation tax you make it harder for businesses to thrive and especially smaller businesses and that will damage the economy. There is also something they are threatening called land tax which has been dubbed the garden tax. That will affect (increase) the council tax of anybody with a garden and will probably hit farmers badly and increase food prices. I have no doubt whatsoever that if they get a chance to do all of that everybody will end up paying more tax, not just the high earners and wealthy.
Remember that there was nothing left in the treasury when Labour lost power in 2010 after 13 years of running this country – into the ground? The Conservatives turned that around and the economy has improved at the same time as reducing taxes for the lower paid workers ( the saying that the Tories are only for the rich is now outdated). The lower tax threshold has almost doubled in 5 years meaning that many low paid workers are now exempt from tax. For me personally it means that at 60 (Labour raised women’s retirement age to 65 in the 90s and the Tories increased it to 66 for everybody in the last government), although I wasn’t able to retire I was able to afford to cut back my hours and have a better quality of life. As it is this working class life long Labour voter is better off under the Tories.
Conservative Party Manifesto
Again I won’t go through everything. This sensible manifesto might be boring up to the Labour party manifesto but in my opinion it’s more realistic, honest and achievable. As with Labour the Conservatives are promising to increase NHS funding, that’s good on both parties. They will raise the tax free personal allowance further. Meaning that myself and many other lower paid workers will be better off financially instead of the inevitable tax increases under Labour.
What has caused the most consternation among voters is the so called ‘dementia tax’. Back in the 1990s elderly people were dying from hypothermia because they were having to choose between heating their homes or buying food. Labour’s Gordon Brown introduced a winter fuel allowance, currently £300 for pensioners over 80 and £200 for those under. It was a great thing to do, but the payment was given to all pensioners automatically even if they are millionaires.
In the Tory manifesto we see that they want to means test this allowance and just give it to those who most need it. They want to use what is saved to finance more social care – the Labour party have been up in arms calling it the dementia tax and saying that the Tories want to take from pensioners blah blah blah. What the Labour party aren’t saying is that Labour said that they wanted to means test the winter fuel allowance in their 2015 manifesto but they didn’t say what they wanted to spend the saved money on. Rather hypocritical in my opinion and at least the Tories are trying to do something about looking after our aging population.
The Conservatives want to ensure that nobody has to sell their home to pay for their care during their lifetime, and new rules will allow pensioners needing nursing home treatment to keep more of their assets to pass on to their families. As I’m on my own and getting older I feel reassured that there might be decent care for the elderly when I reach a point when I need help.
The Tories want to raise the threshold where tax is paid on inheritances. Labour want to lower it. As house prices have risen it has meant that more houses are worth over £1,000,000 and especially in London. That doesn’t mean that everybody who owns a high value house is well off. A family might have been living there for many years before the value rose. I don’t think it fair if a family home has to be sold to pay inheritance tax so therefore agree with the Tories on this one.
They promise to increase the education budget and to allow more selective or Grammar schools. Hypocritical Labour are against selective schools despite the fact that many of them got their education in Grammar schools and choose to send their children to selective or private schools. I passed the 11 plus exam and chose to go to a Grammar school, 2 years later the Comprehensive system was introduced and suddenly I and my schoolmates were moved to another school and in the same classes as those who were at least a year behind in most subjects. We were held back by the less well educated students and most of us were so disillusioned that we left school early. Children should be educated at their own pace not at slower student’s pace so I totally agree with Grammar schools for everybody.
Again the Tories are promising to reduce migration to the tens of thousands while Labour refuse to make a commitment to numbers. In fact they want to get rid of income thresholds for spouses of migrants who want to come to the UK. That would mean that instead of the British half of the relationship having to prove that they can earn enough to support their spouses they will be free to go overseas and marry anybody and bring them into this country whether they can support them or not. More migration means that schools, housing and the NHS are stretched further never mind translation costs.
The Tories are pledging to meet an existing commitment to build a million homes by the end of 2020, with a further 500,000 by the end of 2022. Also allow local authorities to build more council houses which tenants would be able to buy after 10 or 15 years.
The only thing that I don’t like about the Conservative party manifesto is a commitment for mps to hold a vote on whether or not to allow fox hunting again. In my opinion it’s bloodthirsty and cruel and should stay banned.
Brexit: Labour or Tories
The reason that this snap election was called was because of the bickering in parliament over leaving the EU. As the negotiations are due to begin soon after the election we need a government that is supportive and behind the negotiations. As the Labour, SNP, Green party and Lib Dems don’t support Brexit they could slow down if not halt the negotiations. Jeremy Corbyn has said that he wouldn’t walk away without a deal, Theresa May has said that no deal is better than a bad deal.
In my opinion Mrs May is right, she needs to go into the negotiations strong and indicating that she won’t accept a bad deal for this country. Jeremy Corbyn is showing the weakness of a wet blanket that the EU negotiators will be sure to take advantage of.
Theresa May has shown respect and dignity in the wake of the Manchester bombings and called electioneering to a halt for several days after the atrocity. Jeremy Corbyn disrespected the victims by starting to electioneer before the agreed suspension was up.
Throughout his political career Corbyn has cosied up to terrorists, called them his friends and has bragged that he has voted against proposed anti terrorist laws many times. Last week he lied and said that he had never met the IRA yet there are pictures of him cosying up to members of that terrorist organisation. Until a few days ago he refused to condemn the IRA bombings, now when he wants to be prime minister the lying hypocrite is saying what the public wants to hear and contradicting his former stance.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell signed a letter calling for the police to be disarmed and MI5 to be closed down read here he denied it but there is a picture of him holding the letter up. Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the police shoot to kill policy until this week. In the aftermath of the London terrorist attacks he has now said that he has changed his mind. I ask if he has said that to get more votes or if he means it? It’s a certainty that if the armed police hadn’t responded so quickly and shot the terrorists dead there would have been far more innocent people slaughtered.
A Matter of Trust
Personally I do not trust terrorist supporters Jeremy Corbyn, his shadow chancellor and shadow home secretary to keep this country safe. I don’t trust them to get a good Brexit deal and especially as the shadow cabinet are all second and third choices due to the fact that the original shadow cabinet of more experienced mps all resigned because they do not agree with Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. If the elected members of parliament for his party don’t agree with the man and his policies how will he ever run the country effectively?
As for trusting the Tories – I don’t entirely but I think that this country stands a better chance of getting through difficult times with the Tories and Theresa May at the helm. She is stronger than Jeremy Corbyn by far.
A Coalition of Chaos
Because the gap between the 2 major parties has narrowed so much my real fear is that there will be a hung parliament and Labour will get in power by forming a coalition with the SNP and Liberal Democrats. The SNPs one real goal is to tear apart the UK. They have made a mess of running Scotland while they have been in power so why give them more destructive power. The undemocratic Lib Dems want to demand another Brexit referendum because they believe that those of us who voted out of the EU are not intelligent enough to know what we were voting for. Who the heck do they think they are to reckon that they know better than millions of voters. I shudder to think of the consequences of a coalition between that lot.
So I truly hope that Theresa May and the Conservatives get enough mps to block a coalition between that lot and run this country effectively. I ask myself why before his strange election to be leader was he never anything but a backbencher for Labour and the only answer that I can think of is that he was never deemed suitable by successive party leaders to be anything more than a backbencher. Until Labour turn away from the far left favoured by Corbyn and his cronies I will never vote Labour again.
In the following video you will see how Corbyn dodges questions about our nuclear deterrent, but I didn’t expect him to admit that his beliefs would put this country in more danger of being destroyed.
I Patricia Jones am the author of this article and owner of the site. I live in West Yorkshire in England and work part time in a largish store.
In my spare time I go swimming regularly, draw, make jewellery, socialise and write. Not much time left over but whatever is left is for building this blog.