These are my Top 5 concerns that we will have to endure over the next 5 years, as quoted from the Conservative Party Manifesto 2015. The list is blunt and brief so you might have time to read it, because obviously nobody had time to read the Manifesto in full, right?
Firstly, consider this headline under the ‘Big Society’ commitment within the manifesto (pg.55) as you read all of the following points:
“Our commitment to you: Promote equal treatment and equal opportunity for all in a society proud of its tolerance and diversity”
1. “We will fund the replacement of properties sold under the extended Right to Buy by requiring local authorities to manage their housing assets more efficiently, with the most expensive properties sold off and replaced as they fall vacant.” – pg.52
Firstly, Right to Buy – that is fine if you can also ‘Afford to Maintain’ – think about it.
As for selling off the most expensive local authority (LA) properties – that is a fairly blatant form of social cleansing. It will create great pockets of wealth. It restricts choice for home owners and renters (private or social), because they will be priced out of certain markets through the manipulation of state assets. The further Conservative pledge to build one home in the same local authority for every home that is sold is, quite simply, never going to happen. The Government can not stick to housing targets as it is. For further thoughts, read ‘Is it right to buy?’. Also read this article about the uprooting of LA tenants in London (Independent). And this one (Guardian). And this one (Evening Standard). And this one (Independent). And this interview with Michael Gove (Jon Snow, Channel 4).
2. “…We will make our economy more inclusive, by removing barriers that stop women and disabled people from participating in our workforce.” – pg.17, and “Last year alone, 140,000 disabled people found work. But the jobless rate for this group remains too high and, as part of our objective to achieve full employment, we will aim to halve the disability employment gap: we will transform policy, practice and public attitudes, so that hundreds of thousands more disabled people who can and want to be in work find employment.” – pg.19.
Well these were just lies. On Friday 8th May, the day after the election, potential cuts to the disabled work access scheme were announced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This, to be blunt, is discrimination – it is ‘selected equal opportunities’. For a bit more coverage, read this article (Independent). And this one (BBC). And this one (RT).
3. “We will protect hunting, shooting and fishing, for all the benefits to individuals, the environment and the rural economy that these activities bring. A Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.” – pg.23
I don’t think I need to say much about this one. Hunting and shooting for the purposes of sustainable farming is one thing. But in this instance, I smell a fish, or rather, a fox. For further info read these comments (Independent / Ricky Gervais). And this one (Guardian).
4. “…cut Income Tax for 30 million people and take everyone who earns less than £12,500 out of Income Tax altogether. That means by the end of the decade, one million more people on the lowest wages will be lifted out of Income Tax, and people who work for 30 hours a week on the increased National Minimum Wage [6.70] will no longer pay any Income Tax at all.” – pg.27
Nobody aspires to earn less than £12,500 or work 30 hours a week on minimum wage (equating to a salary of £10,542) because IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO LIVE ON.
5. “We will then put these changes to the British people in a straight in-out referendum on our membership of the European Union by the end of 2017.” – pg.30
I don’t have the brain or paper space to interpret how utterly devastating I think it would be if we left the EU. To go back on decades of hard work, negotiation and progression would, I think, be irrevocable and catastrophic to our economy and to all of the variances that make the UK exciting, accessible and interesting. And I don’t think any lay voter (including myself) can possibly understand the extent of the impact that leaving the EU would have. Sometimes, we have to trust the people at the top. Luckily, I don’t actually think that there will be a referendum – don’t you think this was just put in to appease the far-right voters? Yeah, me too.
These Conservative endeavours will make money, but it will be at the expense of social progression, consumer choice and the common good. Those are just five that I picked out but if you want a few more:
6. “There are over 250 new free schools – set up and run by local people – delivering better education for the children who need it most.” pg.33.
Schools run and funded, essentially, by P.T.A.’s – can you imagine? No, well here are some more wise words from Michael Gove about how unimportant it is that buildings for learning need to be anything more than functional. About which he also said “We won’t be getting Richard Rogers to design your school, we won’t be getting any award-winning architects to design it, because no one in this room is here to make architects richer.” Clearly the only architects he knows are those manhattan loft-owning, moustache growing, Saab driving architects in the movies.
7. “A free media is the bedrock of an open society. We will deliver a comprehensive review of the BBC Royal Charter, ensuring it delivers value for money for the licence fee payer, while maintaining a world class service and supporting our creative industries. That is why we froze the BBC licence fee and will keep it frozen, pending Charter renewal.” – pg.42
Ugh, I find this one too depressing to talk about. But I suppose some people don’t watch or listen to the BBC, or attend any events hosted or funded by the BBC, or listen / watch to BBC news, or let their kids watch cbeebies. Hold on, who are these people? And where exactly can they get a better return on £150/year?
8. “The creative industries have become our fastest-growing economic sector, contributing nearly £77 billion to the UK economy…” – pg.42
But we don’t want good architects to design our schools.
9. “We have abolished or merged over 300 quangos.” – pg.47
What the hell is a quango?
10. “As hosts of the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, we helped secure the adoption of the London Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade and will continue to lead the world in stopping the poaching that kills thousands of rhinos, elephants and tigers each year.” – pg.55
But we don’t give a fuck about the foxes.
11. “The next Conservative Government will scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights. This will break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK.” – pg.60
Presumably to stop the world suing us for discriminating against the disabled.
END. (of the world).