Wednesday 12 June 2024

The manifestos



I shall be away on holiday all next week (hiking, based on Arnside in the southern Lake District) so shall spend all Friday worrying about what I have/haven’t packed (it is predicted to be wet rather than sunny), so won’t have much chance to absorb whatever is in  the Labour manifesto. However I suspect it will be pretty much “the mixture as before:”  economic policy hemmed in by  parameters set by the Tories, restrained hostility towards immigrants, timidity towards Europe and no change in the political system which is demonstrably inefficient but  which they think will give them their turn at power (on average one in every three.)

The Conservative manifesto is a disgrace to a country nurtured on 15+ centuries of Judaeo-Christian teaching and the Enlightenment: an appeal to the lowest instincts of  greed and nationalism.  Shame on them.

Neither the Greens nor the Liberal Democrats are likely to form the next government so I think it would be more sensible if they would say what they will “press for” if they can influence or share in the government, rather than what they will “do.”

The Green manifesto has some glimmers of responsibility and hope. Following their priority of preserving the planet they wish to expand and repair the NHS and will impose a wealth tax to pay for it, also, remove VAT from community activities, put a limit of 20% on the maximum ownership of the media and introduce a digital Bill of Rights

 I know I am prejudiced, but I genuinely feel our Liberal Democrat manifesto is the most honest  and attractive.  It is, as far as I know the only one which promises to restore our international reputation and shoulder our international responsibility by restoring the overseas aid budget to 0.7% of GDP.  I hope this will be top of the list of things we are able to “press for.”  

 We will  also abandon the cruel and probably illegal scheme to deport refugees and asylum seeker who arrived by “illegal” to Rwanda, and provide some legal means of getting here. 

On poverty we will end the two-child limit, improve the carers’ allowance and offer a partial solution to the care problem by providing free “In home “ care.”  We will try to reach “Net Zero” in 2045, five years earlier than the Tories or Labour aim and try to tackle the courts backlog (though I’m not clear how, nor how we obtain an extra 8 000 GPs, who take ten years to become fully trained.)  

 We want the voting age to be lowered to 16, (something on which  I am not keen,) but – wait for it - we would REJOIN THE SINGLE MARKET and (eventually) the EU itself.

 Tory Cabinet Minster Grant Shapps has pleaded today that we should not give Labour a “super-majority”.  Quite right too.  We shall do better than “the mixture as before” if Liberal Democrats and Greens have enough MPs to share in, or at least influence, the coming government.

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