So the choice is now clear: a Tory manifesto that is uncosted and promises at least another eight years of grim austerity – or a Labour alternative that is fully costed and offers us all hope.
Hardly a difficult decision to make.
Yet if the opinion polls are to be believed, despite a surge in support for Labour, the Conservatives are still on course to win.
Theresa May clearly believes those polls. How else to explain the fact that she has decided to dump on pensioners, the one demographic that always votes and has therefore been largely protected from government cuts?
By removing the triple lock on pensions, means-testing the winter fuel allowance and leaving us all to fund our own care in the future – the “dementia tax” – she can at least make one truthful boast: we ARE now all in it together.
I say all, but I am really just talking about the majority of the population that May likes to patronise as “ordinary’ people.
We “ordinary” people can look forward to more of the same – and worse – if the Tories get back in on June 8.
And that is the big mystery.
Seven years of austerity, many thousands of jobs cut, the biggest squeeze on pay for 70 years, the removal of safety nets that allowed sick and vulnerable people to survive…and now the “triple whammy” attack on pensioners. But many still say they intend to vote Tory.
What kind of con trick is being played on the people of Britain?
The nation’s debt has doubled as living standards have fallen – yet many “ordinary” people seem more concerned about the threat to the wealthy.
You will no doubt have heard this: “But if we put up the top rates of tax, the best-paid people will leave the country.”
Like we should care!
Where do they think all these well-paid people are going to go? Do they imagine they will all give up those well-paid jobs in a hissy fit and move to somewhere they don’t speak the language, can’t get a job, and where, most likely, tax rates are higher than in the UK?
People who struggle to make ends meet have been convinced that they should be worried about what will happen to poor businesses if corporation tax goes up.
But just remember this: if Labour get in and raise corporation tax, as promised, we would still have the lowest corporation tax of any of the world’s richest G7 countries.
So stop worrying about the rich – they can look after themselves. And you can bet the last pound coin in your purse that they will. They always do.
It’s time to get selfish for a moment.
Worried about paying more income tax? Well, vote Labour and unless you earn more than £80,000 a year, you WON’T pay more. That’s 95% of you.
Don’t worry about the other 5% – they can afford it.
Had enough of austerity? Haven’t we all? And Labour is offering a route out of it.
What are the Tories offering? More of the same. George Osborne told us in 2010 that if we accepted his austerity plans, the books would be balanced by 2015. They weren’t. Now the Tories are telling us we must wait until 2025 for that.
That’s another eight years of belt-tightening. Another eight years of rising national debt before we can even think of paying it off. That’s if you believe them… and based on past experience, why should you?
Tories are also promising to cut immigration to the “tens of thousands”. Well, I say “promising” – that is actually an “aim”, according to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. Which is odd, as they promised that in 2010 and again in 2015. Last year, net immigration was 273,000, so how likely is “tens of thousands”?
And that assumes it would be a good idea – WHICH IT ISN’T.
A Global Future report – backed by British employers – said this week that we need at least 200,000 immigrants a year to avoid the “catastrophic economic consequences” linked to Brexit.
Putting that another way, cutting immigration – just to attract Ukip voters – is yet another way the Tories aim to make YOUR life worse. Without the contribution immigrants make to our economy we will all be worse off.
As our young children will be when their free school meals are removed – a policy described by school food campaigner Jamie Oliver as “a disgrace”.
And coming back to those pensioners who are being hit this time round, taking the winter fuel allowance from the better-off might sound like a good idea on the face of it. But there are no details attached and the Resolution Foundation has estimated that the only way to do this and save money would mean robbing 10 MILLION pensioners.
That’s a lot of pensioners being given a reason NOT to vote Tory.
All in all, it’s a pretty grim manifesto containing little that would encourage anyone to vote Conservative – unless you really think fox-hunting should be brought back.
I’ve even seen a conspiracy theory that May actually wants to lose the election, though that seems a bit far-fetched. More likely, she is so over-confident that she feels she doesn’t even have to bother making an effort.
Putting it more bluntly, she is just taking the piss – at your expense.
So why should anyone who is not already wealthy want to vote Tory?
Beats me, when Labour offers a vision that is so much brighter and more positive.
Voting Tory at this election conjures up an image of turkeys voting for Christmas.
I doubt any foxes will be voting Conservative – but if you are thinking of doing so, I would suggest thinking very hard about WHY before heading to the polling station.