Categories
2017 General Election Labour Manifesto

Labour Manifesto

I wasn’t going to bother writing about the Labour Party’s rediscovery of the magic money tree, but it is such a document of deceit, that seems to be deceiving people – given the polls, that I do need to do my bit to debunk it.

You could summarise it by “you can have everything for free because we are going to make the rich pay for it”.

Except it simply won’t work.  This is back of a cigarette packet economics, and that is probably offensive to cigarette packets.

Allegedly the manifesto is fully costed, but I could similarly say that my dream apartment in Ibiza is fully costed.  Let’s break it down.

The Labour Party say that they are going to raise £19.4bn by increasing corporation tax to 26%.  This might sound fine to you – you might think that a higher tax rate means more will be raised in tax.

However, economics does not work like that.  After a point, the more you increase the tax rate, the less total tax will be raised.

The theory behind it is called the Laffer Curve, and anyone claiming that they can raise more revenue just because they are putting the tax rate up, is either stupid – or lying to you.  It is sometimes hard to work out which one is which in the Labour Party.

Since corporation tax has been reduced in this country – total corporation tax take has increased.  Of course, part of that is due to economic growth (in itself partly caused by lower corporation tax), but the Laffer Curve will be playing its part too.

Lower taxes raise more tax.

This is a fundamental understanding of economics that Labour simply doesn’t understand.

They also want to increase income tax on higher earners – you know, the people that open companies, the people that take risks – the people that employ many of you reading this.

Is it a co-incidence that during this period of tax-lowering, that employment is at a record high, or that unemployment is near a record low?  And I assume you know that every Labour government in history has left with higher unemployment than it inherited?

There is also this mysterious £6.5bn that Labour are going to get back from tax avoidance.  Don’t make me laugh. The idea that John McDonnell is going to magically stop companies from avoiding tax, a ha ha ha ha!  In fact, higher corporation tax will likely increase tax avoidance.

This is a completely spurious, nonsensical figure, made up to make the numbers add up.  Utter nonsense.

There is more to criticise, including the proposed increases in stamp duty, increasing capital gains tax and reducing corporation tax relief, to name three, that would likely have a negative impact on the economy.

Then there is the pointless renationalisation of railways, water companies etc – for which they haven’t even bothered to cost – seemingly trying to con me and you, that it won’t be paid for by debt, but bonds instead.  Bonds are government debt!!!

However, I would support scrapping the married couple allowance which seems an utterly pointless Cameron-esque policy.  See, you cannot say I disagree with everything Labour propose!

Then we have the giveaways.

Tuition fees is the big one.  So we are going to go back to fully subsidising expensive university tuition for anybody that fancies going to university.  Hugely expensive and not a productive use of resources, plus reductive to the quality in education.

Free car parking in hospitals may sound good, but who do you think is going to use that?  Nurses and patients?  Or the bloke who works in the office next door, the woman doing her shopping, etc?  Not exactly well thought out policy.

There is a massive £4bn giveaway on benefits (which sounds on paper like it would cost a hell of a lot more – yet more money to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In fact, there are bribes to pretty much anyone that might normally consider voting Labour – public sector workers, the regions, students, layabouts, the unemployed…

It is quite simply a manifesto to bribe people, pretend the rich will pay for it, and land the country in economic ruin.

Of course, many people are too selfish to care, or too short-sighted to understand.  Some people will think “oooh more money for me” and not think about the consequences for the economy, and the subsequent consequences when economic ruin returns.

Some people actually blame the Conservative Party for having no choice but to reduce spending – when it was Labour that got us into this mess with their overspending – running significant budget deficits from 2001 to 2007 BEFORE the crash – and therefore being totally unprepared for the recession that they were partly responsible for causing.

Unlike previous elections, I am not campaigning for the Conservative Party.  I understand if people don’t want to vote for them and am generally not going to argue against it, except for the enjoyment of an argument.

But I cannot understand why anyone that cares about the future of the economy, the future of their country and their own future in 5-10 years would consider voting Labour.

Shall we try to finish on a positive?

I agree with Labour not setting a pointless arbitrary figure on immigration numbers.  I think their proposed Migrant Impact Fund is promising (though pretty sure we already have/had something similar).

I found one policy I agree with!  Woohoo!  Or is that two?

Overall this is a disastrous manifesto.  Never in my life has their been a more appalling, dangerous manifesto produced for the United Kingdom.

This is one dodgy dossier – a dangerous, delusional document of deceit.  It must be rejected.

Categories
2017 Election Conservative Manifesto General Election

Conservative Manifesto

I have finally got around to having a decent look at the Conservative Party manifesto.  Yes, I know it was launched over a week ago but I’ve been busy.  And a lot has happened in the meantime – not only to the manifesto itself.

You’ll likely know that I am no fan of Theresa May.  I find her a cross between Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband – with a bit of Nigel Farage thrown in for fun.  It is absolutely no surprise that she is throwing away the opportunity for a very large majority given her rather ghastly persona – perceived or real.

Yet I was impressed that she is pledging to do something about the generational imbalance.  The disparity between pensioners and younger working folk is immense and unfair.  Why should pensioners have a greater income than working people?

Pensioners have the houses, often excellent pensions, state pensions guaranteed to rise faster than inflation, and they have even got their own way on Brexit.  Yet I often hear from them, “I’ve paid my taxes all my life…” – oh forgive me, have you never used a state-funded hospital?  Your children didn’t go to a state school?  You haven’t ever driven on a road?  All the lampposts go out when you walk underneath?  Pensioners have paid their taxes – and we have a £1.7tr debt.  Thanks.

It really is about time the unfairness was resolved, and I think it excellent that winter fuel payments will be means-tested, the arbitrary and unfair triple-lock on pensions is now a double-lock, and they will now have to contribute more to social care.

This is true progress towards fairness.

Sadly this is balanced out with a Labour-esque non-commitment to the deficit – pledging a balanced budget by 2025.  As if there won’t be a recession by then.  The Conservatives are the only party that can claim economy competence and I don’t want to see that advantage draining away.

There is a touch of arrogance about not fully costing the manifesto – but Labour’s alleged fully costed manifesto is full of lies and deceit, as I will explain in another post – though the IFS do a pretty decent critique of it, albeit not going far enough in my opinion.

I’m neither here nor there with most of the education and health policies – I don’t really get the point of replacing free school meals with breakfasts.

I approve of the raising of the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 – though a more sensible and fair approach would be to do this with National Insurance instead – as this would benefit the poor more.  Or even just merge NI into income tax.

The immigration target to get it down to the 10’s of 1000’s is utterly pointless and highly disagreeable.  There is a pledge to make it harder for foreign students to stay once they finish their studies – which is a completely backwards policy for the future of our country.

Likewise I don’t get the point of the target on house-building – unless something drastic changes then the targets will simply not be met.  I’m interested in the ideas behind allowing local authorities to build more social housing and would like to know more.  Also, the pledge to eliminate homelessness by 2027 is welcome – but how on earth is that going to be achieved?

You know my feelings on Brexit – I couldn’t give a fuck who is negotiating as I don’t want any Brexit negotiations to be necessary in the first place.

I am, however, pleased to note that the 0.7% commitment to foreign aid has been kept.

That will do.  I could go into some of the less-important policies but I have written enough for a general insight into my thoughts on the manifesto.

I do agree with more of the policies than the other parties.  Hardly surprising.  Though there do seem to be rather a few aims instead of detailed policies.

It is a decent-enough manifesto.  It isn’t going to solve many of the problems of this country – but unlike Labour, it isn’t going to destroy the country either.  If I vote Conservative, then it will not be with enthusiasm or relish – it will be a grudging vote, whilst wishing there was a socially liberal, economically-sensible party.

Oh David Cameron, where have you gone?

Categories
2017 General Election Liberal Democrats Manifesto

Lib Dem Manifesto

Given that I am still undecided, I thought that I should pay the Liberal Democrat manifesto a little more attention than usual.

There are some appealing proposals for a liberal such as myself, including the introduction of a regulated cannabis market (why not all drugs?) and the repeal of the Snooper’s Charter.

However, any liberalism does not extend to the economy, with large increases in spending on the NHS and education, which are only funded by increasing the debt.  There is also the reversal of some benefit cuts.

Further to that, they are going to increase income tax by 1p for everyone.

EVERYONE.

Bad enough when Labour propose to increase the rate of income tax on the rich (you know – the people that open companies and employ many of us), but to increase income tax on everyone will just discourage work and make us all poorer, at a time when living standards are fairly stagnant.

It seems that they are simply trying to appeal to Labour-lite voters.  I am not a Labour voter.

Yes I am missing something.  Brexit.

If you have read any article of mine, you will know that I want no kind of Brexit.  If the Liberal Democrats offered no Brexit – ie that they would stop the Brexit process, then I would vote for them.

To offer a second vote is pointless.  It’s a ratification vote.  If a second vote, on the deal, was lost – the Brexit question is closed.  Lose two referendums and the matter is conclusive for many a year.  And unless there is some kind of significant shift in public opinion (still roughly 50/50 split if you look at polls with balanced questions on Brexit), then I can only see another defeat for those of us who believe the future is dark, outside of the huge single market that is the European Union.

I cannot see that there will be any conclusive shift in public opinion, until Brexit happens, and when people start to notice subsequent negative effects on their lives.  Therefore, just like death itself, Brexit has to happen.  We have to have a Brexit failure to be able to reverse the process and be able to go back into the EU.  This is a long-term game – no point in just putting off Brexit.  People need to experience how bad things will be.

Thereby that policy of a second referendum on the deal is pointless.

I may still vote for the Liberal Democrats in some kind of anti-Brexit, anti-May protest vote, but it remains unlikely.  Who am I going to vote for, remains a good question.

Oh for a liberal party.

Categories
2017 General Election Who Can I Vote For

Who Should I Vote For…Or Who Could I Vote For?

So the remain campaigner that became Prime Minister and definitely was not going to call a general election before 2020 has plucked up the courage to call a general election before 2020.

You know that I am a life-long Tory.  But also a passionate Remainer. And I feel offended, bruised and damaged about Brexit, and the expected destruction to UK society, culture and probably, the economy.

For the first time ever, this is a difficult choice for me on who to vote for.  In fact, for the first time ever there is actually a choice for me to make.  I normally am the only trying to persuade people of whom to vote for.  Now I am the persuadee.

This is my first assessment of who I might vote for, prior to the manifestos/Brexit bullshit being released.

I guess I should start by working out who I cannot vote for.

Firstly I can rule out any of the I’m not racist but I don’t like what my country looks like with higher immigration parties – looking at you UKIP, and anyone else from the same respective basket of deplorables.  Yeah, Hillary, I stole your famous phrase.  Sue me.

I can also very easily rule out the Green Party.  They actually give Corbyn and Labour a run for their money on economic illiteracy – their latest idea was to grant a 3 day weekend and then to increase everyone’s wages arbitrarily for the money they would lose by not working.  Right…

There are no reasons to vote Labour unless you want higher benefits and don’t give a fuck about the national debt.  Corbyn even supports Brexit.  Labour continually cock-up the economy, one only needs to look at Labour’s Great Recession in 2007/08 for a reminder of how disastrous they are.  And now with Corbyn they are actually a bit more socialist, and hence a bit more potentially disastrous.

That said, the Conservatives are now the Brexit Implementation Party, and are dreaming of taking us into a recession of their own.  I certainly cannot support them.  I really do not see how I can vote for the Brexit Implementation Party.

So then there are the Liberal Democrats.  I could vote for them.  In theory.  They are the remain party.  They have a very weak leader but generally agreeable policies for a social and economic liberal like myself.  But would voting for them instead of the Brexit Implementation Party therefore increase the chance of a Labour government?

The Liberal Democrats are not going to win a majority – we are more likely to see Paddy Ashdown eating a hat.  So what would happen if they won a sizable amount of seats such as in 2010 and a coalition was required for a stable government to be formed?  There is no way that they could go into coalition with the Brexit Implementation Party.

Could they potentially govern with Labour?  Even though Corbyn supports Brexit?  My guess is that it could happen with some kind of Brexit-releated fudge.   But if this means that there is a chance of a Lib-Lab coalition, or even a Lib-Lab-SNP coalition, then how can I vote for that?

So I have fairly conclusively ruled out voting for all major and all minor parties.  But I will vote for someone.

Maybe the Bus Pass Elvis party will run in my area.

Or failing that, maybe someone could pay my deposit and I’ll run as a “Fuck Brexit” independent candidate.

Categories
2015 Conservative Majority General Election

I Always Believed…

Well, well, well.  A Conservative majority.

Apparently a shock to everyone.  But not myself.

I have to admit there were moments that I was concerned disaster could strike.  Or perhaps we would fall short of having enough even with the Lib Dems.

I did place a bet on a Conservative majority at 11-1 – I always knew it wasn’t the most likely outcome, but I really did believe that we could get that majority and those odds seemed crazy.  Perhaps I was deluded, but I really thought that we could pull it out of the bag – 1992 style.

It is the best reward for rescuing the economy, strengthening the NHS, the excellent education reforms…the list goes on.

I do feel a bit sorry for Nick Clegg.  It was highly commendable to enter coalition, very brave and history will regard him highly.  I’m pleased that he won his seat, and would be happy with the idea of a small ministerial post for him, if such was possible to offer.  Probably very difficult, politically but could be helpful in arguments over Europe.

It isn’t going to be an easy 5 years.  The NHS apparently needs a ton of money.  The economic growth slowed in the first quarter of 2015, though hopefully it was a blip – there are warning signs in the world economy.  Russia and ISIS will continue to test the western world, and we will need to get involved in reforming Europe.  Scotland will be very difficult to placate, and will some Tory MPs over the issue of Europe.

But thankfully we are going into this challenge with David Cameron in charge of a Conservative majority, instead of the chaos of Ed Miliband’s semi-socialism.  And how good was it to see Ed Balls losing his seat?

One of the particular highlights of the general election results was UKIP only getting 1 seat.  Something I also predicted.  It shows that a negative party based on anti-immigration and anti-Europe will not succeed.

Also, the “ordinary person” Russell Brand today claimed that he has no influence on politics, after telling people to vote Labour.  Well, how about this you arrogant, hypocritical, vacuous tosspot – perhaps you did influence people.  You influenced them to not vote Labour.  Millions…actually probably just thousands of people heard you back Labour and concluded that Labour was not the party for them after all.

In fact, Labour isn’t the party of the ordinary person or the working person.  That is the Conservative party.

The absolute highlight of last night, and what resonates with me more than any other part of the outcome, is that yet again, we have defeated socialism.  Every time Labour try to offer the public some form of socialism, the British public reject it.

Mrs Thatcher’s honour is preserved.

Categories
2015 General Election Losing Elections

Is It A Good Election To Lose?

It hasn’t been a good week to be a Conservative.

There are several points which could be picked up on, and these are my favourites.  Or these are possibly my socialist enemies favourites.

Firstly the rather unedifying way that it was pointed out that Ed Miliband is a backstabber and could stab the United Kingdom in the back.  This is not something I want to hear prominent Conservatives saying – what I wanted to hear was the commitment to renewing our nuclear defence.  Which was in there but was rather overshadowed.  I’ve had enough of hearing Conservatives talk about what we can all conclude are the negatives of Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.  I want positive election pledges.

Secondly a rather confusing policy about train fares being frozen.  Excuse me?  Why are we copying socialist failed policies?  I appreciate that there is a difference – the rail operators are only allowed to increase prices at a government set percentage plus inflation, as per legislation.  Energy firms are part of the private market.  But it is a really bad signal to be suggesting price freezes are ok for one industry and not for others.  Economic theory is reasonably proven that price controls cause supply failure in markets – Venezuela is an absolute perfect example at the moment.

There could be an argument for freezing rail prices given the large government subsidy to the railway and the monopoly position most rail companies enjoy.  It is after all a totally different market due to the network inflexibilities.

One remembers the very large increases in rail fares under the Labour government.  And council tax, and national insurance, and petrol taxes and Gordon’s beloved stealth taxes.  Do you remember the tax?

I am also concerned that the anti-markets mood seems to be winning and gaining ground at the moment.  Do we want to be like North Korea?  Do we want to emulate Greece?  It seems to be that many people do.  Why do people think a return to the days of British Rail is a good idea?  It was a disgraceful service. Yet people also seem to favour nationalising energy companies, water companies and various other industries,  How has this gained ground?  How has Thatcher’s revolution started to become degraded?

Where are Conservative ministers when it comes to explaining and promoting the economic theory behind market privatisation, who is promoting the benefits of free markets?  Who is defending capitalism?  I do worry sometimes that there is a vacuum of leadership.

And how are UK businesses going to pay to give employees 3 days off to go volunteering?!

Finally for this week, the polls.

Yes I know polls come and go but yesterday’s were fairly unedifying for a Conservative.  One poll had Labour at 37% to a Conservative 31%.  Two polls also had Labour ahead – two had the Conservatives ahead by a point – but unlikely to be enough to win the election – we know the electoral system is biased towards Labour as it stands.

But should I be bothered?

Whoever wins the next election is going to have a very tough 5 years.

The European Union will feature prominently next term, especially if the Conservatives win, but Labour will not be able to brush this under the carpet.  It could again tear the Conservative party apart, but ignoring it could cause huge problems for Labour, especially in working class territory.

Immigration will continue to be high (until Labour’s next recession) – the NHS will need more money pouring in and there will be more problems in the health service on occasion.  And housing – is anyone going to build the houses we need?

The great bear to our east under Putin will continue to prod and poke us.  Who know’s what Russia’s next move is.  What is the next government going to do?  Who is going to stand up to Russia?  Not to mention ISIS and the next wave of terrorists, whom have not formed yet.  And what about if Argentine invade the Falklands?  Or what if, heaven forbid, Saudi Arabia came under ISIS control?

And then of course the economy.  How are we going to handle the next recession with this great big debt around our necks?  Because it will come.  Despite what Labour promised in the past, boom and bust has not been defeated and never will.  The economy works in cycles and I will be shocked if there is no form of recession between 2018 and 2021.

But when you have a debt as large as ours and a deficit that not even the Conservatives have been able to control – who is going to be the one to make massively difficult decisions in the face of panicking markets (by the way there are already nerves in the gilts markets by the prospect of an uncertain election).

With a debt our size then privatising the NHS might have to happen.  Or massive cuts to it.  Or huge cuts for pensions.  The economic situation is still fucking serious.  We need to be running a budget surplus soon.

So maybe us Conservatives should just sit back and let Labour deal with all the problems.

Maybe it is about time they cleared some of their own mess up for a change.  About time they got all of the unpopularity for making difficult decisions.

I really am sick to the back teeth of socialists lying, deceiving and denying what went wrong.  Denying their involvement, nay, creation of the greatest recession in 80 years.  Labour are the party of economic irresponsibility and they piss me off so much,  How dare they destroy my country?

Plus many of us Conservatives are not 100% reconciled to David Cameron.  He makes a decent leader and I fully support his leadership.  But I do really want Boris as leader,  He would be an inspirational leader.  He would really take our country forward and I feel that he would be able to deliver a two-term Conservative majority.  He has that common touch.

Clearly though it would be selfish to not want to finish the job of repairing Labour’s mess.

Historically the Conservatives have to pick up the pieces from Labour and recreate the country – just look at the United Kingdom prior to Margaret Thatcher – known as the sick man of Europe, and begging to the IMF for funding.  Controlled by the unions instead of the elected governments.  It was a shambles.

It is our job to fix the mess.  To restore the pride of the country.  To ensure we return as many people to employment as possible.  To ensure our country has a future.

The United Kingdom needs a Conservative government,