People, gather round, because tomorrow we vote for the next government from Westminster.
To my shame, these blogs have ignored one element of society that is blessed with the many columns of the 5th estate and claims to have given us much in the last 5 years, even though we elected only one of their number in 2010. How generous they are.
So, What have the Tories done for us?
They introduced the Welfare Reform Act, with the Bedroom Tax, and Universal Credit, they have a private company incentivised to take away disabled allowances and generally slashed spending with no support and have left the most vulnerable in our society high and dry.
Ok, so apart from the Bedroom tax, Universal credit and stuffing disabled people, what have the Tories ever done for us?
They have made education more expensive – students in England and Wales leave uni more than £44k in debt, which is crazy. In Scotland, the costs to protect students from Tuition fees rise, but that has been delivered and held by the SNP. Labour and Lib Dems welshed on this when they ran Holyrood, but then the Lib Dems did a stunning backflip to get into WM government and ditched promises to stop tuition fees. Nick Clegg is sorry.
Right . . . So apart from Welfare Reform and Tuition Fees, what have the Tories ever done for us?
They’ve trashed the NHS good and proper. In their last election campaign, Tories promised “no more top-down reorganisations” of the NHS, which was reiterated in the coalition agreement with the Libe Dems (yes, them again). What has followed is the largest, most damaging top down reorganisation of the NHS in England ever seen. And all the savings from the NHS mean less money is allocated to the NHS for Scotland, which the SNP have tried to keep on track with absolutely limited privatisation.
In the referendum campaign, Labour told us in Scotland the NHS was fine in the UK. But we know the standards of care creeping in south of the border are falling behind what we want to see in Scotland. Kailash Chand of the BMA said “Government Policy and privatisation mean the NHS as we know it could be gone in as little as five years”.
Interesting how many Tory, and even Labour MPs have directorships in private health providers!
Indeed! Well OK, but apart from a crumbling NHS, Education to all who can afford it and the ‘you’ll no be well fare act’, what have the Tories ever done for us?
Well, the Tories are to the Environmnet what Ghengis Khan was to peaceful negotiation! When Cameron said his government would be the greenest ever, he was talking about envy or something, but not the environment. The Coalition (yes, you too Nick Clegg) have enthusiastically encouraged Frackers, even to the extend of changing Tresspass law to allow fracking beneath homes south of the border without homeowners permission. Talk about an enabling act!
Jeez, so the Tories have fracked off the environment, but surely the economy is sound though?
Well, the bankers are happy. But priority número uno was to eliminate the UK deficit by 2016-17. They are miles off! They say there are some more Jobs, but how many of those are zero hours contracts? In the EU, the UK has the second largest deficit (commiserations to Croatia). Deficit. That’s not good. 2014-15 deficit at £87bn. Over twice what Osborne predicted it would be this year.
On a positive note, the Tories and Liberals cut tax on the highest earners.
Hmmm. Right so apart from failing on economic targets, letting the environment go to Frack, privatising the NHS, penalising the poor for, well, for being poor and breaking promises on education, are there any redeeming features of the Tories?
Absolutely. Just one. They’ll be horsed out of government if anyone has been paying attention. Genuine progressive parties on the rise, we could even see a higher quality of politics seeping into Westminster, where principle and policy trumps profit and spin.
And as for the Lib Dems, who misjudged their own members and supporters and chose to help the Tories, I hope their judgement will be swift and conclusive. Don’t darken our door again!