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Well, here it is. With a backdrop of large scale protest the Conservatives have released their manifesto in Halifax today (18/05/17). Though from May’s speech at Canary Wharf yesterday you’d swear she was the only Conservative in the party let alone the government. Private Eye sum that up succinctly here:
I guess they do think we’re
- have no middle or long term memory
- don’t research anything and only rely on the MSM to tell the facts (this one is the biggie)
It’s hard to know where to start really, so I’m going to pick out some particularly awful howlers. And Mark Steel in the Independent’s piece on it just perfect.
But it is actually even worse than my parody predictions I made yesterday morning (17/05/17) ready to publish today. (I had to add a few things as more horrors came out than even I imagined.)
As they constantly ask Labour ‘what will THAT cost’ the first search term I used was ‘cost’.
There ARE no costings in the Conservative manifesto
even the BBC admits (I guess they don’t need one when what they’re doing is robbing Poor Peter to pay Power Paul) Here are OVER FIFTY proposals, all uncosted:
but by page 59-60 I saw the spite coming through loud and clear. “We will reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims.” We had a car insurance premium tax in 2016 under Osborne costing all motorists at least £100 more per year. Why? Because as Lloyd of the AA said “The UK suffers the unenviable reputation for being the ‘whiplash capital of Europe’ with the number of claims continuing to pile in, encouraged by vigorous cold-calling claims firms.” No numbers given: no context. Is this like the millions of dole ‘scroungers’ when in fact only 0.7% of claims are fraudulent and the DWP almost double that much due to their OWN ERRORS? Plus the added interesting stat in the graphic below…
And in the 2016 autumn statement another hike of 2%. The blame game. Something the Conservatives turn into a ‘fine art’.
Another stand out lie,
disproved in two steps: “And we will push forward with our plan for tackling hate crime committed on the basis of religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.” (Page 44) Well that’s gone well under the Conservatives, hasn’t it?
- This extensive Galop survey from 2016 calls them out right away on that (page 3):
Half of those who reported a hate crime to the police did not feel satisfied with the outcome, which compares poorly with other types of crime
■ The main reason for dissatisfaction was feeling that reporting produced no result
■ There are a lack of referrals to anti-hate crime support services Laws
■ A tenth of people who experienced hate crime felt that laws on this issue are inadequate.
Legal gaps include:
– A lower maximum sentence and recording problems for homophobia, biphobia and transphobia compared with other types of hate crime
– Exclusion of trans people from Northern Irish hate crime laws
– Exclusion of intersex people from hate crime laws
– The absence or weakness of laws against inciting hatred against LGBT people
– Victim rights are not backed by domestic law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland Criminal justice outcomes
■ Roughly 1% of sexual orientation hate crimes committed go on to be proven as hate crimes by a court [even less than rape- 5.7%]
■ At least 7,016 homophobic and transphobic hate crimes were recorded by UK police during 2014/15. That was an increase from at least 6,409 the previous year.
2. And as if that was not bad enough, B*exit saw a massive spike of 147% in reported hate crimes, usually with the chilling words ‘you’re next’ [once we’ve got all the blacks and Muslims out…]
We cannot blame the police for this. Figures out clearly show they’re at the lowest staffing levels for decades, done on purpose by the Conservatives to bring in G4S (hundreds of articles warning us this was coming here) and today (24/05/17) the ARMY (who are also underfunded, even the parliament.uk site says so) to bolster failing police numbers after the attack at Manchester Arena on the 22nd May and the ‘knifeman’ found by Buckingham Palace today (24/05/17). The chair of the Police Federation, Steven White, has called on the Government to “learn the lessons” from recent terror attacks and properly resource the police. Here are the figures below for just the past 15 years. No wonder Brandon Lewis was laughed at at the Police Conference (see part 4 of the election blogs.)
and here are official figures to show funding cuts were and are both brutal and deliberate:
Here’s a ‘good’ one:
• Guaranteed annual increases in the state pension through a new Double Lock to be introduced in 2020. What the bloody hell is a ‘double lock‘? The Guardian describes it was ‘weaker‘ (well that’s a given) but in short the lock that has been removed is “the 2.5% minimum annual rise”. Sounds like a lock after the horse has long bolted from the stable. So there MIGHT be an increase, they’re not telling you how much, and there’s nothing to back the ‘guarantee’.
• Dignity and protection in old age through the right long-term solution for elderly care. Ok, this one’s already being described as a ‘dementia tax’ by horrified observers. And this was released in Dementia Awareness Week no less. That a ‘final solution’? Page 64 of the manifesto says: “We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system (over 3 years) and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax.” LIES.
Well the first part is, anyway. On 11/01/17 the Conservatives voted AGAINST putting the money into health and social care that they’d promised and here’s the proof.
So what are the Conservatives really saying about care of the elderly? This (page 66)
So we will look at Winter Fuel Payments, the largest benefit paid to pensioners, in this context. The benefit is paid regardless of need, giving money to wealthier pensioners when working people on lower incomes do not get similar support. So we will means test Winter Fuel Payments, focusing assistance on the least well-off pensioners, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. The money released will be transferred directly to health and social care
Er nope, May announced at the Conservative conference on 17/05/17 at Canary Wharf that the winter fuel payment was stopping. If they need to ‘take’ £2 BILLION out of WFPs as the manifesto says, that does that mean?
- 10 MILLION pensioners will have it cut from them.
- According to the last census 1 in 6 people in the UK are pensioners.
- There are 65.14 million people in this country.
- 1/6 of 65.14 is 10.85 million.
- So all but 0.85 million (850,000) pensioners will never get winter fuel payments again, but an estimated 1.7 million pensioners live in ‘fuel poverty’ already.
So there’s another promise broken even before the manifesto went into the public domain.
So where is the money coming from to care for the elderly? On page 65, there’s their ‘plan’ hidden in newspeak.
- First…the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home. [Here it comes…]
- Second… single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold. This will ensure that, no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home. [So instead of capping care costs, or funding them, will alienate a fair percentage that still vote blue- well off pensioners, and increase fears that there will be no care for them if they get conditions like Alzheimers or dementia. And watch house prices shoot up so pretty much everyone’s house is worth that by the time they need the funds…]
- Third, we will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care. [In other words you’d better sell fast when your aged mum or dad dies because they’ll be after you for the bill!]
Add this to the year off unpaid for people to look after their elderly relatives and we can see where THIS is going…as said in part 3 of the election blogs:
The Bow Group which is a Conservative think-tank spoke up today. Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said:
“These proposals will mean that the majority of property owning citizens could be transferring the bulk of their assets to the government upon death for care they have already paid a lifetime of taxes to receive.
It is a tax on death and on inheritance. It will mean that in the end, the government will have taken the lions share of a lifetime earnings in taxes. If enacted, it is likely to represent the biggest stealth tax in history and when people understand that they will be leaving most of their estate to the government, rather than their families, the Conservative Party will experience a dramatic loss of support.” [my italics]
This affects us all- as one thing nobody can escape is aging.
The Bow Group gave more detail on this, summarised below:
Never heard of Dilnot? Well, he’s the Former head of the UK Statistics Authority, a long time Conservative, and used to be private secretary to Margaret Thatcher. And talking of the ‘Iron Lady’, I really ‘admire’ the Conservatives for their mastery of long term planning. Margaret Thatcher made it easier to buy your home, so that Theresa May could use it to pay for your terminal care.
I’ve not seen such a violent and systematic land and property grab since the Tudors when
- Henry VII ‘centralised’ the country through bonds (you’d better be good or we’ll take all your land and money) and recognisances (being forced to admit you owe the Crown money and signing it over in the event of your death) then when
- Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, throwing thousands of poor monks and nuns in the gutter whilst grabbing up all that gold plate like a medieval Scrooge McDuck.
And to top it off, you don’t just ‘get’ care, even if you use your house as post-mortem collateral. You will need insurance. And look what I found on Virgin’s site today (20/05/17).
Well that’s not fortuitous, even creepy, at all, is it? How long has this deal been in the pipeline?
Or how about this one
(page 69): We will retain the 95 per cent A&E target (here are 272,000 Google results where that’s shown as a lie) and the 18-week elective care standard (not met at all according to this NHS report even in 2015) so that those needing care receive it in a timely fashion. But let’s face it, they have form. In 2006 they made a massive gaffe when accidentally revealing a £64 BILLION (yep, that’s BILLION) NHS privatisation plan! MORE LIES!
How about this one, sneaked onto page 80?
Given the comprehensive nature of the first stage of the Leveson Inquiry and given the lengthy investigations by the police and Crown Prosecution Service into alleged wrongdoing, we will not proceed with the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. We will repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014, which, if enacted, would force media organisations to become members of a flawed regulatory system or risk having to pay the legal costs of both sides in libel and privacy cases, even if they win. [my italics]
Now I am not suggesting we stop the ‘freedom of the press’. But let’s look at why the inquiry was set up in the first place- following the News International phone hacking scandal. Remember that?
It resulted in the News of the World closing, had been endemic since 2007 with the part that caused the most outcry being murdered girl Milly Dowler‘s phone being hacked, and texts removed, making the parents hope she was still alive.
News of the World (NoW) royal editor Clive Goodman and hacker Glenn Mulcaire convicted of phone hacking. Editor Andy Coulson resigns. News International says Goodman is a rogue reporter.
8 July 2009
The Guardian publishes an article claiming hacking was more widespread on NoW.
1 September 2010
The New York Times implicates former editor Andy Coulson, citing the now-deceased former NoW reporter Sean Hoare.
21 January 2011
Andy Coulson resigns as David Cameron’s spin doctor, blaming coverage of phone hacking. Five days later, Operation Weeting, the Met police investigation into phone hacking, launches.
Three reporters on the News of the World are arrested: Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup. Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, is on holiday in the Caribbean and is advised by colleagues that she too could face arrest.
4 July 2011
The Guardian publishes an article online claiming Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked.
7 July 2011
The Met police says there are a possible 4,000 targets of hacking. James Murdoch announces the News of the World is to close.
10 July 2011
The News of the World publishes its final edition after 168 years.
Brooks resigns. Les Hinton, her predecessor, now in New York running Dow Jones, follows hours later.
Rupert Murdoch apologises in full-page adverts, saying: “We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred”.
Brooks arrested in relation to phone hacking.
Rupert Murdoch tells a House of Commons committee that appearing before it is “the most humble day of my life”.
27 October 2013
The phone-hacking trial of Brooks, Coulson and six others begins.
Oh hello, what’s this?
What do I spy on page 42-43? (abridged)
Our democratic institutions may be ancient but should not be neglected…
- We will legislate for votes for life for British overseas electors. [not unless they pay tax, thanks]
- We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600, similar to other Western democratic chambers. [what, the one that ensures Labour lose out on far more seats than you will? What a shock. Yes I know all Governments do it, but still…]
- We will retain the first past the post system of voting for parliamentary elections and extend this system to police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections. [Yes, I bet you will. FPTP utterly benefits you and I imagine your nose was well out of joint that Labour held two mayorals and won two in May.]
- We will retain the current franchise to vote in parliamentary elections at eighteen. [ALL the other parties want this reduced to 16. Many 16-18 year olds pay tax/NI and have other adult responsibilities, like carer for sick family members, they should be able to vote too.]
- We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. [You tried this once, or rather your minister Sir Alan Duncan did, you got blocked, how about amending it so despots can’t seize power and over the course of five years, totally f*ck up the country?]
- We will legislate to ensure that a form of identification must be presented before voting, to reform postal voting and to improve other aspects of the elections process to ensure that our elections are the most secure in the world. [Well, that buggers up the homeless (who CAN vote, though I’m sure you rather they didn’t) and the poor who can’t afford driving licences or passports doesn’t it? Or is this yet another way of trying to introduce ID CARDS?]
- We will retain the traditional method of voting by pencil and paper, and tackle every aspect of electoral fraud. [YOU have the brass b*lls to talk of electoral fraud? REALLY?]
[my additions in brackets/italics]
So this is not just Scrooge, but also Big Brother that are on steroids…
On page 82, we see this: “Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.” I bet you do. All because of ‘the “terrorists”‘… this is NOT the way to tackle cybercrime and p*sses all over ‘innocent until proven guilty’!
The Labour manifesto (page 120) shows how it should be done, with the onus on prevention without having to spy on ‘ordinary people’, rather to be able to access those who have come to the attention of the MoD: ‘Cyber security will form an integral part of our defence and security strategy and we will introduce a cyber-security charter for companies working with the Ministry of Defence.’ [my italics]
As the Independent says:
“…the phrasing indicates that the government intends to introduce huge restrictions on what people can post, share and publish online.
The plans will allow Britain to become “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet”, the manifesto claims.
It comes just soon after the Investigatory Powers Act came into law. That legislation allowed the government to force internet companies to keep records on their customers’ browsing histories, as well as giving ministers the power to break apps like WhatsApp so that messages can be read.
The manifesto makes reference to those increased powers, saying that the government will work even harder to ensure there is no “safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online”. That is apparently a reference in part to its work to encourage technology companies to build backdoors into their encrypted messaging services – which gives the government the ability to read terrorists’ messages, but also weakens the security of everyone else’s messages, technology companies have warned.” [my italics]
And the deficit?
That’s ok though, at least the kids are safe, right?
WRONG. On page 51 it says “We do not believe that giving school lunches to all children free of charge for the first three years of primary school – regardless of the income of their parents – is a sensible use of public money. There is now good evidence that school breakfasts are at least as effective in helping children to make progress in school. ” So a piece of toast first thing, that you have to go in early for and is already being DONE by teachers off their own bats in ‘Breakfast Clubs’ all over the UK, will now be done by the Government, but that’s ok, 900,000 children don’t need to eat again that day do they? From the cradle to the grave, the 99% are getting stuffed.
And today (24/05/17) it emerged that their ‘costings’ are so bad they’d only ‘budgeted’ 7p per child breakfast, with which they were going to replace the free lunches. They’d ‘set aside’ £60 million but experts put the cost of it closer to £400 million. So what do they do? Say the breakfasts won’t be for all children, and that schools would have to apply for them. Good grief. That makes it so much better doesn’t it, making ‘universal’ suddenly become ‘selective’? But this pattern is repeated over and over in the manifesto.
They know their manifesto is a disaster.
Their alleged flagship policy, on B*exit, barely exists. And the desperation at their HQ grows:
This is a lie.
Maybe if they bothered to read Labour’s manifesto– a full seven pages of it are dedicated to those negotiations (pages 23-30.)
The Conservatives on the other hand dedicate barely two pages to it (pages 35-37) in their manifesto (also see the manifesto blog) and do not detail what they will do. What little they do detail has already proven to be a lie or is frankly terrifying.
John Prescott, Labour Lord, one time deputy PM and former MP, let it slip today (27/05/17) that
I don’t think many will be surprised by this.
So what is the ‘story’ so far? According to Eoin Clarke, it’s this and I find it hard to disagree…
if the Conservatives are re-elected in June.
Their claim of aiming to balance the budget by 2025 is nonsense. They had to abandon the 2015 and 2020 target, and they won’t stick to this one either. But it’s a bloody good excuse to make more cuts isn’t it? The Government’s OWN body for examining and reporting on the sustainability of the public finances, the OBR, concede that the Conservatives have already cut spending to pre 1940’s levels…
This manifesto is full of more wind and prevarication than Baron von Munchausen’s hot air balloon. Or perhaps indeed, his pantaloons…
And perhaps of more interest to the discerning voter, is this. It lists FIFTY broken promises in various shades of blue by the Conservatives.