So now we have the Conservative Party manifesto and the set is complete. What characterizes this manifesto is that it appears safe and sound – touching buttons many resonate with (at least among those who do not NOT vote Conservative out of sheer belligerence) – commitment to the NHS (even though what I have seen currently does not leave me with concerns), maintaining education standards, more police officers, at least maintaining spending on the military, a “sensible” immigration policy, more houses (although not social housing), investing in needed infrastructure projects and no new taxes – by raising the National Insurance contribution threshold there will actually be a net tax reduction. It even has commitments to the environment to allay concerns of those who believe in a climate emergency. And “getting Brexit done” and in addition making a complete break from EU control by the end of 2020. While they don’t appear to be increasing the welfare budget, their record on job creation helps compensate. What is there not to like?
As an interested onlooker who may vote Conservative rather than spoil my ballot paper, it is difficult to see them not winning the election and possibly with an overall majority. But I am nervous. I like Boris and think his record as London mayor was not a bad one and his energy and ideas have much to commend him. But do I trust him to deliver – not really – he is a great bulls****** and honesty is not his greatest strength. In fairness though, he hasn’t had much chance to shine as PM, given plots from within and without to both undermine his leadership and to derail Brexit, hopefully to be resolved with a new Parliament and with it a clear election mandate. I do think too Boris is an opportunist in ditching austerity in favour of a message that is more likely to appeal. He has also put party before country in not coming to any deal with the Brexit Party.
A further concern is there has been since the Tories came to power in 2010 many instances of social injustice that if the alternative could convince me they would address these I could be steered away. The confusion these past three years over Brexit is as much down to Conservative muddled thinking and ineptness as the spoiling tactics of the opposition. “Get Brexit done” will no doubt appeal to fellow Leavers, but the treaty on the table is flawed. Some Brexit Party gripes on the weaknesses in our democratic system are unlikely to be addressed under a Conservative government. And having had a pop at Labour and LibDems over their regressive “progressive” ideas, e.g. to do with allowing abortion right up to term doesn’t mean the Conservatives have the moral high ground:
If pressed, and given the alternatives on offer are likely to fare worse if elected imho, it is likely that I will be reluctantly hoping for a Conservative government but not with a carte blanche given these aforementioned concerns. Enter the Brexit Party, and I will talk about how they may help to allay some of these tomorrow.