The general election was indeed very interesting. As I said I my previous blog post it went from being an election where the Tory’s were inevitably going to win, to a genuinely close race. Although I think that Labours impressive performance was largely down to the fact that they offered a radical manifesto of hope, a few trip ups and outright lies from the Tory party undeniably allowed them to be cornered by Jeremy Corbyns campaign and caused some people to turn from the Tory’s to labour.
A lot of the post-election focus has understandably been on Theresa mays efforts to cling onto power by throwing her two closest advisers under the public opinion bus, pleading to her MP’s not to get rid of her, and sucking up to the most right wing people in parliament. All these are important issues that I will be talking about myself in due course, but we must not forget some of the key issues from the campaign
During the election, extreme security lapses led to two avoidable terrorist attacks. One was committed by an Islamist fanatic known to be plotting a terrorist attack in the UK who was allowed to come back through the UK border and was left unwatched as he planned and executed the attack on innocent children. The next attack was committed by a well-known extremist featured in a Channel 4 documentary called ‘the jihadists next door’
As Home Secretary Theresa May oversaw the longest and deepest cuts to per capita policing levels in British history. She slashed the number of police by 19,000. The police chiefs warned at the time that they were getting stretched beyond their capacities, but Theresa May condescendingly accused them of ‘scaremongering’. Now that we have got army deployed on the streets, I think it is fair to say that that accusation has not aged well.
During the Election, Theresa May refused to release a report into the funding of terrorist networks in the UK, presumably because it allegedly implicates Saudi Arabia.. If it’s revealed that terrorist networks operating in the UK are receiving funding from our supposed allies, that undoubtedly the stuff that can bring governments down. What we don’t know is whether or not Theresa May was aware of this report when she was hawking them weapons as home secretary. So the question has to be, is anyone in the mainstream going to attempt to hold Theresa May to account?
After the previously mentioned terrorist attacks much attention was understandably given to our security services. However we should not let this overshadow the incredibly important issue of NHS funding.
Our doctors paramedics, nurses and surgeons were absolute heroes after the terrorist attacks, and NHS staff like mental health specialists and physiotherapists will be heroes of the recovery. The evidence is absolutely clear that the NHS cannot afford another five years of Tory vandalism. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone you know who works in the NHS about whether services have got better or worse over the past five years.
Many argue that the chaos in the NHS is being deliberately pushed in order to push more privatisation. This might sound like a conspiracy theory but the chairman of conservative health Paul Charlson even explained that the purpose of this ruinous Tory NHS agenda is to scrap the ‘free at the point of use’ principle and replace It with a US style private insurance model. Anyone who thinks that a private model would be preferable, really needs to go to their local hospital and ask how cost cutting has served them.
The Tories ran an unprecedented campaign of dark ads, spending millions on spewing their propaganda all over social media, front loading YouTube videos with political attack adverts and hijacking political google searches with paid ads. This might seem at first glance like normal behaviour for a political party but there are numerous factors to consider.
In my view the specific targeting of particular voters in particular constituencies with dark ads should be declared under local, rather than national campaign budgets. It should be seen as absolutely necessary to copies of every political advertisement are checked by the electoral authorities. Many of these Tory dark ads, such as one they used to hijack searchers for the Labour manifesto, contained outright lies about the opposition parties and politicians. The electoral authorities really need to explain to the public what they intend to do to stop the dissemination of outright lies.
Aside from the Dark ads campaign, numerous Tory politicians were guilty of just blatantly lying to the British public. Theresa May herself being among them.
Theresa May outright lied about Diane Abbott’s stance on the DNA database, by saying to a packed question time audience on national television that the shadow home secretary advocated the removal of the DNA samples of ‘criminals and terrorists’ from police databases. Abbot has of course done nothing of the sort. She has advocated the removal of the DNA of people proven to be innocent.
May also lied that Labour proposes ‘uncontrolled immigration’ when in reality their manifesto pledged clampdowns on all kinds of harmful migration and increased funding of services for areas that have large immigration influxes. The labour programme is actually far more sensible and reasonable than the Tory approach of recycling their twice broken promise to reduce immigration to an arbitrary number.
After Brexit, and now this something really needs to be done to prevent our politicians from deliberately lying to us.
Yes First Strike
One of the most bizarre aspects of the general election was the way Jeremy Corbyn was constantly ganged up on by members of the public and by the mainstream media, because of his reasonable No First Strike policy on nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Theresa May didn’t seem to receive any criticism at all about the announcement of her absolutely mad Yes First Strike policy.
I oppose the renewal of trident, but I at least understand the deterrent argument that people put up in favour of them. Yes first strike makes no so sense. Its total and utter madness that, in times of global conflict, would actually make the problem worse by significantly increasing the chances of a strike against London in order to eradicate the insane strike first leader, before they can launch a nuclear attack.
The Tory government need to be pressed a lot more on their Yes First Strike policy, because I’m pretty sure that most members of the public (even those that support trident) would be strongly against Theresa May essentially triggering Armageddon by using nukes as attack weapons.
Tory austerity dogma resulted in the slowest recovery from a recession since the South Sea Bubble Burst in the 18th century, the lowest levels of housebuilding since the early 1920s, the worst wage collapse since records began, and the least affordable house prices in history. Not only that but for seven years we have been pitifully left behind on the world stage because the Tories have been investing far less in infrastructure than any other developed nation. All because of the Tory’s ideological fixation with their economically inept and self-defeating cost-cutting exercises.
For seven ruinous years the mainstream media have time and time again failed to hold the Tories to account over their ideological fixation with austerity dogma. However, after more voters supported anti austerity parties than pro austerity parties in this election and the Tories are even claiming that they want to backtrack on austerity, surely now is the time for austerity dogma to be subjected to proper public scrutiny?
The Tories Dickensian policy of stabbing their core demographic in the back by threatening to assest strip their family homes if they dare to commit the ‘crime’ of getting dementia or one of the other horrible diseases, has not disappeared. They have simply announced that there will be a limit on how much wealth they can extract from frail old people and other disabled people. They have not said how much that limit is going to be, nor whether it would be an overall cap (a weak incentive to suicide) or an annual limit that rolls over indefinitely (a strong incentive to suicide).
What will happen to the Dementia Tax policy in future Tory manifestos is anyone guess, they certainly took a gamble with it this time. Nevertheless, questions need to be asked about the details that Theresa May has failed to disclose, and also over the morality of this policy. How is it remotely humane or decent to assest strip frail old people whilst simultaneously giving tens of billions in handouts to corporations and your mega rich chums?
Tory self interest
Theresa May could have maintained political power until 2020, but she clearly and undeniably put her own self-interest above the good of the nation by calling a snap election when her poll lead was at an all-time high.
After the failure of David Cameron’s EU referendum gamble, wagered in order to poach a few UKIP voters in 2015, Theresa Mays vanity election is the second time that the Tories have thrown the whole country into chaos by putting their own self-interest first. Instead of conducting Brexit in an amicable way, by taking the views of opposition parties and devolved governments into consideration and forming some kind of UK wide consensus. She wanted to crush all political opposition to be crowd the undisputable and unchallengeable queen of Brexit, so she could dictate the whole process of exiting the European Union herself.
It’s now abundantly clear that the Tory party simply cannot be trusted to consider the good of the nation as a whole, above the self-serving opportunism of their leaders.
One of Theresa Mays most despicable manifesto pledges was to throw the leveson report onto the fire as if Rupert Murdoch’s minions had never hacked into the phone of a murdered teenage girl.
During the election, the billionaire owned propaganda rags went into absolute overdrive with an unprecedented smear mongering campaign against the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn. Thankfully, the smear mongering didn’t pay off. Neither did it deliver Theresa May the super majority she was expecting when she called her self-serving snap election, but the malign influence of the billionaire press barons was still enough to help her avoid an astounding defeat, which means that there’s still the possibility that the Tory’s will try and bin the leveson investigation as a favour to their faithful mainstream media attack dogs.
Rights and Freedoms
Despite the wailing from Tory’s that we shouldn’t try and politicise attacks when they happen, Theresa May didn’t half opportunistically piggybank her hatred of human rights on to the terrorist atrocities.
She is just so incapable of thinking things through that she doesn’t even understand that the destruction of our western justice-based human rights would be seen as a massive ideological victory for the Islamist extremists. These depraved fanatics absolutely hate our liberal values and our non-sharia court systems. If we scrapped our human rights after one suicide bombing and a couple of sick rampages through the streets of London, they would obviously see it as a huge victory and wonder what could be achieved with a more concerted series of attacks.