Sunday, April 30, 2017

Can you see what's wrong with this Leave.EU Tweet?


You know who Leave.EU are right? They're the extreme-right anti-immigrant, pro-Brexit campaign that are currently being investigated for committing electoral fraud during the EU referendum campaign.

They're the guys who came up with that "delightful" anti-immigration poster that was modelled on anti-Jewish propaganda from the Nazi era. They're an incredibly nasty group funded by a particularly nasty bunch of right-wing millionaires.

On Saturday 29th April they posted one of the most mind-bogglingly stupid Tweets I've ever seen.

1. Anthony Joshua is proof of the benefits of immigration

As the BBC sports commentator Conor McNamara pointed out, Anthony Joshua comes from a family of Irish-Nigerian origin, and is therefore a wonderful example of the benefits of immigration.

2. Klitschko is an absolute legend

Like his fighting style or not, it's impossible to deny that Wladamir Klitschko is one of the most legendary heavyweight boxers of all time. Yes he lost this particular fight, but he's 41 now. Before his decline Klitschko was the second longest reigning world heavyweight boxing champion of all time, and his 23 successful title defences is second only to Joe Louis (26) and ahead of boxers like Mohammed Ali (19) and Mike Tyson (9).

The extreme-right keyboard warriors at Leave.EU accusing Klitschko of "grovelling" in order to piggyback their pathetically cheap jingoistic agenda onto Anthony Joshua's hard-fought victory is an absolute disgrace.

Joshua had the decency and good grace to pay a heartfelt tribute to his opponent after the fight but these extreme-right cowards felt free to use Klitschko's epic defeat to peddle their own tawdry agenda. I bet the cowardly right-wing keyboard warrior who posted this Tweet would never dare accuse Klitschko of "grovelling" to his face.

3. So much disrespect

The extreme-right Leave.EU keyboard warrior who posted this was so disrespectful to one of the all time greats of heavyweight boxing they didn't even spell his name correctly in the hashtag. It's Klitschko not "Klitchsko" you ignorant scum.

4. Klitschko is Ukranian

Ukraine isn't even in the EU.

5. I thought you guys hated him?

It was only January this year that Anthony Joshua received an absolute torrent of vile abuse from the extreme-right after he posted a picture of him praying in a mosque.

It's funny how the extreme-right can switch from absolutely hating a guy because of their anti-Muslim bigotry (Joshua isn't even a Muslim, he just has an interest in all religious faiths) to piggybacking their own fanatical extreme-right agenda onto his victory isn't it?

It's almost as if they're 100% immune to cognitive dissonance isn't it?

6. It was an epic fight that Klitschko almost won

Anyone who watched the fight between the 41 year old legend and the new kid on the scene (who only started boxing 10 years ago!) knows that it was a truly epic fight. Klitschko knocked Joshua down in the 6th round and had him reeling for the next few rounds, had it gone slightly differently Klitschko could have won it.

This was definitely not the kind of easy fight the delusionally over-optimistic Leave.EU mob seem to imagine that the UK is going to have with the EU 27.

7. 27 vs 1

The UK isn't facing a one on one diplomatic fight like a standard boxing match, they're facing a 27 vs 1 diplomatic nightmare. The EU27 have already agreed their Brexit strategy and we're standing alone against them as Theresa May dithers.

Joshua put on a brilliant performance to beat his opponent, but not many would put money on him to win against 27 other boxers all fighting him at the same time with a carefully pre-planned fight strategy would they?

8. Theresa May is no Anthony Joshua

Theresa May thinks that she can convince the British public that she's a "strong and stable leader" simply by repeating the phrase like a broken robot, but whether the people actually believe it and re-elect her appalling government, she's so obviously not.

She's petrified of facing Jeremy Corbyn in a head-to-head TV debate; She's terrified of facing the other party leaders too; She's terrified of unscripted encounters with members of the public and is intent on conducting her election campaign in a succession of "safe spaces" full of bussed-in Tory party sycophants where members of the public are excluded, and the press are more often than not barred from asking questions; she refuses to answer simple questions when she does come out of her "safe space" hiding zones and she U-turns all over the place like a drunk.

How out of touch with reality would you have to be to actually imagine an erratic self-serving coward like that is the right choice to lead the UK into the most complex and risky diplomatic process the nation has ever faced?

9. Woeful tactics

Diplomacy is not all that much like boxing so I know I'm beginning to over-stretch the analogy here, but Theresa May's woeful so-called "negotiating strategy" makes her an obvious walking total knock out if she doesn't run away crying first!

The centrepiece of her so-called strategy is to do a "no deal" flounce away from the negotiating table which would trigger an economic meltdown to make the 2007-08 global financial sector insolvency crisis look like a walk in the park.

In boxing terms Theresa May has informed her opponent that if they hit her too hard she's going to run out of the boxing ring crying, forfeit the match fee and make an absolute embarrassment of the country she's representing.

If Theresa May does flounce out of Europe it'll be the UK economy that is left reeling from the ensuing chaos, and grovelling for trade deals with other nations (a "no deal" strop means the UK resorts to WTO tariffs with all nations, not just the EU ones).

Imagine the delusional over-optimism of the type of Brexiter who imagines that the likes of India, Turkey, China and the US wouldn't use the UK's position of weakness to their advantage with "you need us more than we need you, so what are you going to give us in return?"

10. Below the belt stuff

One of the only weapons Theresa May has in her armoury is the threat of using the lives of EU citizens in the UK as bargaining chips in the reckless game of brinkmanship she's playing, which is clearly the kind of lamentable below the belt tactics that are not going to win her any friends at all.

Conclusion

The Leave.EU mob are a foul jingoistic bunch who tried to piggyback their fanatical extreme-right agenda onto the success of a great young fighter who was disgustingly abused by the extreme-right just a couple of months ago!

They're suffering from an astoundingly over-optimistic delusion that the UK is going to come out of this scenario with some kind of magnificent victory, when in reality there's no chance of any such outcome, especially if we end up with a weak, spiteful and dithering charlatan like Theresa May leading us into the fight.



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Read Jeremy Corbyn's speech on education policy


On the same day that Theresa May did a catastrophically inept interview on the Andrew Marr show (evading questions, robotic repetition of her ridiculous "strong and stable" mantra, refusing to admit that nurses relying on food banks to survive is wrong, trying to whitewash the ongoing Tory electoral fraud investigations ...) Jeremy Corbyn received a standing ovation from hundreds of head teachers for his speech about Labour's education policy.

The mainstream press will give Corbyn's speech minimal publicity, and hardly any of the scant coverage that does appear will frame the speech in terms of the rousing ovation that it received.

That's why I'm providing a transcript of the speech so you can judge it for yourself.

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[Introductions] ...


It is a great honour to address you, leaders of one of the most important professions in our society, those who look after the education, the wellbeing, and the future of our children.

That is why Labour is making our children’s education one of the cornerstones of our General Election campaign.

The choice in this election could not be clearer – and it’s not the re-run of the EU referendum that the Prime Minister wants it to be.

Britain needs a government for the many not the few – one that’s ready to invest in our economy and public services. But the Conservatives have demonstrated that cannot be them, preferring to give the richest and largest corporations tax hand-outs worth tens of billions.

The NHS and social care have been pushed into a state of emergency. Housebuilding has fallen to its lowest peacetime rate since the 1920s. Schools across the country face real terms cuts in funding per pupil, and class sizes are rising – while those young people who want to go to university face huge debts.

There is no greater responsibility than ensuring our children get the education that they deserve. I know this, you know this, parents up and down this country know this. But it is clear that this Conservative Government has its focus elsewhere.

The NAHT has correctly pointed out that this election is make or break time for our children’s education system.

As all of you will know, the National Audit Office confirms that schools are facing a cut of three billion pounds in real terms by 2020, the first real terms cut in education budgets in a generation.

This is an absolutely staggering figure and shows the need for a complete change of direction in how the government of this country treats our schools.

And we have to ask ourselves: is this how we want to treat the education system of our children? Is this how Britain’s children deserve to be treated?

Do our children deserve to be held back by a chronic shortage of teachers?

Do our children deserve to crammed into schools like sardines?

Do our children deserve to be taught by teachers whose morale is at an all-time low?

Not by any fault of the teachers, they are the people who also bear the burden of government cuts, but the fault of governments who fail to recognise the importance of investing in the lives of children, and those who teach and support them, up and down this country.

That is why we must value teachers, because if we don’t we lose them. And you know better than anyone there is a recruitment crisis and that crisis will be made even worse if we don’t secure the rights of EU nationals.

Last year 5,000 teachers from EU countries qualified to teach here and there are thousands more working to teach our children. So that’s why, as Keir Starmer set out this week, a Labour government will guarantee the rights of EU nationals living here.

And if we lose teachers, we lose subjects, we narrow the horizons of young people. So that’s why I passionately believe in an Arts Pupil Premium so that every primary school child will benefit from a £160 million cash boost to help pupils learn to play instruments, learn drama and dance and have “regular access” to theatres, galleries or museums in their local areas.

And yet, while all this is happening, while funding to our children’s education is cut, multinational corporations have received multi-billion pound tax giveaways

How can it be right that money is being siphoned straight out of our children’s schools and directly into the pockets of the super-rich?

We have to be clear, once and for all, that enough is enough.

Throughout this General Election campaign, we will be making absolutely clear our commitment to build a country for the many, and not just the few.

A vital part of that will be creating an education system that provides for every child regardless of their background, or their parents’ income.

Labour will introduce a National Education Service, ensuring excellent learning opportunities for all from early years to adult education.

What we need now – and what you as teaching professionals need now – are concrete answers and concrete solutions to the problems that our education system is facing.

That is why Labour has set out a plan to help give every young person the best start in life possible, by introducing universal free school meals for pupils at primary schools. It’s a policy that is fully costed, and will be paid for by introducing VAT on private school fees.

There are clear educational benefits to providing universal free school meals. It boosts the attainment and level of education of our children. We know that these early formative years are the most important in a child’s education and we have a duty to provide for our children the best we possibly can throughout that period.

It’s a policy that demonstrates how a Labour government would care for the many, and not just the few.

We will ensure that every single child receives a healthy and nutritious meal which will not only boost children’s productivity in the classroom but also helps to ensure their personal wellbeing, no matter what their background.

Children eating together is a great start in life.

So not only will the policy help children throughout their time in education, it will also help teachers who will see the benefits of improved concentration and improved attainment in the classroom.

And it will help parents who will not only save money but will have the peace of mind in knowing that their child is getting a healthy school meal during the day

Investing in the health of our nation’s children, is investing in our nation’s future.

If we are to truly place value on our children’s education, we must also place value on the teachers, head teachers and other school staff who deliver that education.

We must put an end to the continual attacks on the teaching profession, end the downward pressure on pay and conditions, the constant undermining of morale and the erosion of standards that means we have more unqualified teachers than ever in our classrooms.

That’s why, as part of the comprehensive programme Labour has set out today to strengthen rights at work and end the race to the bottom in the jobs market, we have confirmed a Labour government will lift the cap on public sector pay.

It cannot be right that those who provide our vital public services have their pay squeezed year after year. Britain’s public service employees deserve a pay rise.

And we must give the teaching profession the recognition it deserves, not only in terms of pay, but also in terms of status in our society.

We need to listen to you, the teaching professionals, on how you believe schools can be improved and respect the huge wealth of talent and knowledge that lies in the teaching profession as a whole.

I have always believed that the people who know how to a job best are those who do it day in day out. We must start listening to parents, teachers and head teachers: you are the people who know how schools should be run and you are the people who best understand the needs of our children.

That is why Labour has taken our lead from the NAHT – and from the other teachers’ unions – when we set out in no uncertain terms our opposition to the expansion of grammar schools in this country.

Not only does the mass introduction of segregation in our education system not help the overwhelming majority of this country’s children, it also returns us to what are frankly Victorian notions of education based on a narrow curriculum.

The task is clear: we must build an education system that suits the needs of our children and the opportunities they will have in the jobs market of tomorrow.

And if we are to build an economy worthy of the 21st century, we need a schools system that looks forwards, and not backwards to the failed models of the past.

We must recognise that every single child in this country has talents and every single child deserves the chance to flourish and thrive to their maximum potential in whichever field suits them best.

But our children’s schools do not exist in a vacuum. I am always in awe of the local head teachers I work with. Like thousands of children, I have learned so much from them.

And what I admire most is their commitment – not just to managing their schools and to educating our children – but the multi-faceted demands of the children in their community: their housing issues, immigration problems, their mental health. You are the heart of your communities.

You are part of a wider care system and you need the other parts of that system to work effectively alongside you, youth services, the NHS and social care.

Support for schools by these services is essential to promote pupil wellbeing. The duty to directly address pupils’ mental health needs ultimately rests with the social and care services.

No school should be asked to fund health and social care services from the school budget. That is why Labour has pledged to address the chronic underfunding for social care and the NHS.

As you all know schools are most effective as places of learning when they work together with high quality social care and health services to meet the needs of all students but especially those who are most vulnerable.

One in ten children and young people in this country suffer from a mental health condition and 75 percent of adult mental health problems are found to begin before the age of 18.

We must prioritise the mental wellbeing of our children. This is the least they deserve.

It is vital that we enable early intervention and provide support when problems first emerge but to do this we must build an education system that integrates social and health care.

Improving the way our society deals with mental health is a particular concern of mine because I am passionate to see opportunities for all.

That’s why I have been so impressed by the work so many of you do for children with special needs and how good special needs co-ordinators can liberate children from what has sometimes been a lifetime of exclusion.

That focus on the individual child is what drives our determination to reduce class sizes. We know that half a million children have been landed in super-size classes of 31 pupils or more.

This government is failing on education on its own terms. The Prime Minister herself has said that super-sized classes are proof of a school system in crisis. So then why is it allowed to continue?

Why are our children’s schools, not getting the funding that they deserve? This is a choice. And it is the wrong choice. The cut to schools funding is also a breach of their manifesto the Conservatives’ pledge to protect schools funding.

Labour will ensure schools have the resources they need.

I’m afraid I can’t give you a sneak preview of the full Labour manifesto today but be assured if it’s a choice between a tax giveaway to the largest corporations paying the lowest rates of tax in the developed world or funding for our schools. Labour will make very different choices from the Conservatives.

We have already started to set some of that out not just our free schools meals policy.

And our commitment to reintroduce the Educational Maintenance Allowance for college students from lower incomes.

We are also committed to restoring maintenance grants for university students so that no one is held back from realising their ambitions and so that every schoolchild knows that the options of further and higher Education are available to them.

We must not be ashamed to value education, for education’s own sake.

Schools should exist to get the very best from our children, to give them the best start in life, to enable them to succeed in whichever walk of life they chose.

Whereas Theresa May’s government has repeatedly cut resources and staffing we will invest in our children’s futures because they deserve nothing less.

The excuses from the government come thick and fast. They’ve blamed teachers for not working hard enough, they’ve diverted funds to their vanity projects. £138.5 million wasted on schools that have closed, partially closed or never opened in the first place.

We will not bring back a system that blamed children and parents for not passing the eleven plus and getting into a grammar school.

They blame everybody else, to divert attention from their own damaging failures. They need head teachers to tell them, own up, take responsibility and say sorry.

Labour will give schools the funding that our children deserve, the funding that teachers and headteachers deserve and the investment that our country and our economy deserves.

This election can be the chance for a fresh start, with a Labour government that will invest to create shared prosperity, protect our public services and build a fairer Britain.

A Labour government will work with you, we will give schools the funding the need and we will ensure you and your staff get the respect and resources you need.

We have a duty to our children and we will meet it.

Thank you.

[Standing ovation]



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Remember that the Tories are planning to slash £billions from the education budget. Find out how much your local schools are going to lose here.

Also remember that it's not just our schools that are facing severe funding cuts at the hands of Theresa May's government either. The NHS is in chaos and the Tories are still cutting away at it and deliberately provoking an unprecedented recruitment crisis. People are dying in house fires because of the ongoing Tory cuts to the fire service, and disabled people are suffering appalling deprivations because of Tory cuts to the disability welfare budget.


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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The EU 27 have agreed their Brexit strategy, Theresa May is still dithering


It's a month since Theresa May triggered Article 50 and the EU27 have already unanimously agreed their negotiating position.

Meanwhile our
"strong and stable leader" has taken a two month holiday from working on the problem at hand in order to fight a ridiculously self-serving snap election that she had repeatedly promised the public and the markets that she wasn't even going to call.

Theresa May's dithering leadership has been absolutely woeful. It took her an excruciating 9 months of meaningless "Brexit means Brexit" platitudes before she finally triggered Article 50, then she pretty much immediately threw the nation into the turmoil of a self-serving snap election causing another two month delay in the UK actually setting out a negotiating position beyond her 12 incredibly vague points (some of them extraordinarily wishful fantasyland stuff that's never going to happen) and the astoundingly reckless threat to do an economically suicidal "no deal" strop if our "strong and stable leader" doesn't get her own way.

To put this pathetic dithering into perspective, it's taken all 27 remaining EU states just one month since Article 50 was triggered to negotiate and ratify their negotiating stance.

The UK clearly won't be making any progress on the problem until after June 8th because Theresa May and her three Brexiteers will be too busy campaigning until then. So it's going to be pretty much an entire year since the Brexit vote and Theresa May will still be dithering (assuming she doesn't somehow contrive to actually lose the election despite pretty much the entire mainstream media being on her side).

How can 27 incredibly diverse nations (Poland has an extreme-right government, the Portuguese coalition government includes their communist party!) have finalised an approach to the Brexit problem in just a month, but Theresa May is still clearly and undeniably just making things up as she goes along, U-turning all over the place and hiding in Tory "safe spaces" instead of actually fighting a real election campaign?

You'd have to be completely divorced from reality to imagine that such a dithering "oh let's have a surprise election now instead of concentrating on the problem at hand" approach is the strategy of a "strong and stable leader".

It's the strategy of a dithering self-serving charlatan.

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OR

Do you want a good deal out of the Brexit negotiations?


I've seen quite a few people saying that they're planning to wilfully ignore the Tories' woeful track record in government and vote for them anyway because they want to see the UK get "the best deal possible" out of the Brexit negotiations.

It's easy to see why people might imagine that Theresa May is the right person to lead the UK into the most important diplomatic negotiations the UK has ever faced because the right-wing dominated UK press have been lauding her every move since she was appointed Prime Minister by her Tory chums, and now the Tory party have taken to repeating the phrase "strong and stable leadership" like a bunch of broken robots.

I feel a tad patronising for actually pointing this out, but it's important to remember that just because someone repeatedly claims to be a strong and stable leader, and their chums in the right-wing press refuse to hold them to account over anything, that doesn't actually make them a strong and stable leader at all.


The problem for this "best Brexit deal possible" argument for voting Tory of is of course that Theresa May isn't actually promising a good deal from the Brexit negotiations at all is she?

What she actually did in her January 2017 clown costume speech was to horrify pretty much everyone apart from her extreme-right fans in the tabloid propaganda sheets by dumping the threat of a mutually ruinous "no deal" strop on the negotiating table.


Remember that an economically ruinous "no deal" cliff edge Brexit followed by Britain turning itself into a low-wage, low-welfare corporate tax haven is precisely what the extreme-right Eurosceptic wing of the Tory party have always wanted*.

The appalling scenario Theresa May threatened the rest of Europe with is exactly what quite a lot of her Tory MPs actually see as the best possible outcome!

The threat of a "no deal" flounce was clearly more of a sop to the extreme-right element of the Tory party than anything even remotely resembling a coherent diplomatic strategy, because shocking and enraging the people you have to negotiate with is a ridiculous thing to do before the talks have even got underway.


If you believe a belligerent threat like if you don't give me what I want I'll do a "no deal" flounce away from the negotiations and then set about turning the UK into a tax haven is going to deliver the UK a really good deal, you really don't know anything about diplomacy at all do you?

It's simply not possible to persuade a much more economically powerful opponent to give you the best deal possible in a 27 vs 1 diplomatic negotiation by starting off with an open threat to blow up an economic bomb over their countries and turn yourself into a tax haven aimed at extracting wealth from their economies rather than actually earning your own.

Just try to have a think about how Theresa May's behaviour looks on the continent.

Try to consider why there's an ever-so-rare total agreement amongst the EU 27 that they're not going to allow Theresa May the quickfire corporate friendly UK-EU trade deal she wants before she's even guaranteed the rights of EU citizens living in the UK or addressed the problems that Brexit has created for the Irish peace process.


Do you honestly think that Theresa May using the lives of EU citizens like gambling chips in the reckless game of brinkmanship she's determined to play with the entire social and economic future of our nation is a good strategy for achieving the best possible deal with the EU?

Or do you admit that this is actually the kind of behaviour that would strongly harden attitudes on the continent against Britain (especially if the British public give her a thumping majority as a reward for behaving in this unconscionable manner)?


If you want any kind of good deal out of Brexit, then it's painfully obvious that a bellicose and belligerent intellectual lightweight like Theresa May is one of the last people in the country you'd trust to lead us into the negotiations, especially given that she's the one who threw the threat of a ruinous "no deal" Brexit flounce onto the negotiating table in the first place!

I'm not telling you who to vote for on June 8th, but what I will say is that if you vote for Theresa May in the expectation of getting a good Brexit deal, be prepared to be bitterly disappointed.


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OR

* = See this article about John Redwood's fantasy of turning the UK into a tax haven from back in 2012.

30 things you should know about the Tory record


Theresa May said that we should judge the Tory government on their record, so here's a list of some of the things that any reasonably well informed citizen should know about the Tory record in government since 2010. 

Election fraud 

The Tory party committed electoral fraud in 2015. They've already paid the maximum fine the Electoral Commission could levy against them for election cheating, and 30 Tories are facing the prospect of criminal prosecution for financially doping their way to victory in a number of marginal constituencies

A vote for Tories is a vote to empower electoral cheats

Longest fall in value of wages since records began

Under Tory rule British workers have suffered the longest sustained decline in the real value of their wages since records began. The fall is so bad that it's the joint worst wage collapse in the developed world with Greece. The difference of course is that Greece did that to their workers because they were forced to by the Troika, the Tories did that to British workers because they wanted to.

A vote for Tories is a vote for lower wages

Spectacularly missed economic targets
In 2010 the Tories promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015. In 2017 they're still nowhere near eliminating it, and they've openly admitted that they won't be doing it any time before 2021. Over 11 years to do what they promised to do in under 5, and more new public debt created in the process than every single Labour government in history combined? If that's "strong economic management", I'd hate to see what Tories would classify as chaotic, debt-soaring ineptitude.

A vote for Tories is a vote for more economic mismanagement

The austerity con

After such spectacularly missed targets and George Osborne's departure from Westminster politics it's amazing that millions still believe in his austerity con, but Theresa May is still parroting the same kind of economically illiterate justifications for a blatantly unjustifiable economic agenda. The evidence is now absolutely clear that austerity only succeeded in transferring wealth from the majority to the super rich minority at the expense of the real economy.

A vote for Tories is a vote for the continuation of the Tory austerity con


NHS cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories slashed £20 billion off the NHS budget. Their current spending plans involve a further £22 billion in funding cuts between 2015 and 2020. Slashing the NHS budget, closing dozens of hospitals and other NHS facilities; reducing services; and laying off tens of thousands of staff would be bad enough in it's own right, but at a time of rapidly increasing demand on NHS services it's a recipe for disaster.

A vote for Tories is a vote for an NHS in crisis


NHS recruitment crisis

One of Theresa May's first acts as Prime Minister was to scrap NHS bursaries, which caused an astonishing 10,000 decline in applications for nursing courses. Add into the mix the fact that NHS staff from EU countries are quitting the NHS in record numbers and there's a massive NHS recruitment crisis on the cards.

A vote for Tories is a vote for a massive NHS staff shortage


Systematic abuse of disabled people
The amount of appalling schemes and degrading assessment regimes disabled people have to go through under this Tory government is absolutely shocking. There's so much of it I've written a full article detailing over a dozen of the worst things.

A vote for Tories is a vote for the continued abuse of disabled people

Huge rise in child poverty

Since 2010 the number of children growing up in poverty has risen by 400,000. The latest Tory cuts to the child welfare system and in-work benefits are set to plunge another 250,000 kids into lives of poverty.

A vote for Tories is a vote for child poverty

The harshest cuts of all on poor families with children
Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has revealed that under Tory spending plans the worst hit demographic of all will be poor families with children. The trend is absolutely clear. The poorer you are, the harsher the cuts you will be facing, and if you have kids you'll be hit harder than those without.

A vote for Tories is a vote to further impoverish the already poor (and their children)

Most unaffordable homes ever
Since 2010 the Tory government has overseen the lowest levels of housebuilding since the 1920s. When Theresa May was Home Secretary she increased demand on the nation's housing stock by overseeing the biggest surges of net migration in UK history. This combination of weak supply, very high demand and collapsing wages has pushed house prices to their most unaffordable level ever.

A vote for Tories is a vote for unaffordable housing

Contempt for private sector tenants
In 2016 Tory MPs (1/3 of whom are landlords) voted down an opposition amendment to their housing bill that would have required landlords to ensure that rented accommodation is "fit for human habitation".

A vote for Tories is a vote for slumlords renting shit houses to people with nowhere else to turn

Public transport chaos
As a result of the shambolic Tory privatisation of the railways the UK has the most expensive, most over-crowded and least reliable rail service of any comparable developed European nation. What's more is that the profiteering private companies who operate the services take more in government subsidies than it cost to run the entire system under British Rail!

A vote for Tories is a vote for crap, over-priced and over-crowded rail services

Biggest education funding cuts in decades
The Tories are planning the biggest education funding cuts in decades. Follow this link to find out how much they're planning to slash from the budget of your local school.

A vote for Tories is a vote for underfunded schools

The school privatisation agenda
An awful lot of people don't seem to have even noticed that the Tories have been privatising thousands of state owned schools, property and all, for free, into the hands of private sector pseudo-charities, many of which are owned by major Tory party donors (like Philip "Carpetright" Harris, Alan Lewis and John Nash). Read this article about the scandalous Perry Beeches academy chain to get an idea of the seriousness of this Tory vandalism of our education system.

A vote for Tories is a vote for unaccountable profiteers running the English education system

Rip-off tuition fees

With the assistance of their lying Lib-Dem sidekicks the Tories introduced £9,000 per year tuition fees for university students, meaning English students now face the highest fees in the world for study at public universities. The fees are so high that 2/3 of graduates will never be able to pay off their student debts, despite paying a 9% aspiration tax on their disposable incomes for their entire working lives.

A vote for Tories is a vote for lifetimes of unpayable student debt for millions of graduates

Huge rise in Food bank dependency

The Tories have seen a huge rise in food bank dependency since 2010. Over a million food parcels were handed out by the Trussell Trust last year, and they're just one of the food bank organisations. New research has shown that areas that have suffered the rollout of the Tories' hopelessly botched Universal Credit scheme have significantly higher rates of food bank dependency than areas where it hasn't been rolled out yet.

A vote for Tories is a vote for food poverty
 

The Hinkley Point C scandal
The Hinkley Point C deal is one of the most scandalous affairs in UK political history. The Tories have agreed to bribe the French and Chinese into building us a nuclear power station by promising to use taxpayers' cash to pay them double the market rate for electricity for 35 years, then cover the cleanup cost at the taxpayers' expense too. The reason we have to bribe foreign governments into building our nuclear infrastructure for us is that the Tories privatised the UK's nuclear expertise in the 1990s, and the private company was then allowed to be purchased by the French government.

A vote for Tories is a vote for the most expensive rip-off deal the UK has ever signed up to


Social care crisis

The Tories have slashed £4.6 billion from the social care budget at a time of rising demand due to the UK's ageing population demographics. This social care funding crisis has coincided with the biggest increase in the death rate since the 1960s, and is putting an immense amount of pressure on already overstretched NHS services and unpaid carers.

A vote for Tories is a vote a social care system in crisis

Defunding of local government
The Tories have slashed local government budgets so harshly that the leader of David Cameron's own Tory council famously wrote to him to plead for him to stop. What's most disgusting about this assault on local government budgets is that the most savage local government cuts have been focused on the poorest areas, while some leafy Tory councils actually got increases in their budgets.

A vote for Tories is a vote for even more ruination of local government services

Tax-dodging corporate outsourcing parasites
The Tories have brought giant outsourcing corporations in to do all kinds of government functions. Huge numbers of these corporate leeches are now having their contracts renewed automatically with no cost-benefit analysis and no competitive tendering process. The Labour Party have proposed a new law to ban outsourcing companies from receiving government contracts if they're based in tax havens. The Tories are quite happy to continue using taxpayers' cash to pay tax-dodging corporate outsourcing companies to do the work the government should be doing itself.

A vote for Tories is a vote for tax-dodging corporate outsourcing parasitism

Fire service cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories slashed 30% off the fire service budget resulting in the loss of 10,000 firefighter jobs and the closure of 39 fire stations. Between 2015 and 2020 they intend to slash another 20%. In 2015/16 the number of fire deaths increased by 17.4%.

A vote for Tories is a vote for more people dying in house fires

Police cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories axed 34,000 police jobs. Between 2015 and 2020 they intend to axe tens of thousands more. The police have managed to juke the statistics by non-recording vast numbers of reported crimes, but the impact of these police cuts can't be hidden off the violent crime statistics, which have increased by 96% between 2012 and 2016.

A vote for Tories is a vote for fewer police on our streets and more violent crime


Sweetheart tax deals
One of the sickest things about the Tory government is the way they allowed HMRC to draw up sweetheart tax deals with massive corporations like Google, Starbucks and Vodafone. Why should Google get to negotiate a 3% tax deal when ordinary working people have to pay what they actually owe?

A vote for Tories is a vote for more sweetheart tax deals with multinational corporations


The Snoopers' Charter
Theresa May's Snoopers' Charter is the most extreme state surveillance law ever introduced in a developed nation. It allows over 20,000 government employees to trawl through the private communication data of innocent people (including loads of non-terrorism related organisations like the Food Standards Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Gambling Commission). It also allows the state to tell lies in court in order to secure convictions.

A vote for Tories is a vote for extreme surveillance and an end to the concept of privacy

Dictators and despots

Theresa May and the Tories love sucking up to dictators and despots like the Islamist tyrants in Saudi Arabia and the Turkish autocrat Recep Erdo─čan. The disgraced Liam Fox was even in the Philippines to suck up to the brutal dictator Rodrigo Duterte and talk up our "shared values".

A vote for Tories is a vote for closer relations with dictators and despots


Contempt for human rights
Theresa May has a burning contempt for your human rights. She has expressed her determination to tear up the European Convention on Human Rights on many occasions, and join Belarus as the only European nation that doesn't adhere to the human rights legislation that was bestowed on Europe by the British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

A vote for Tories is a vote to scrap your own human rights

Taxpayer subsidised malice
One of the worst things about the Tory government is the fact that several of their malicious anti-welfare schemes actually cost more to administer in corporate outsourcing fees than they will ever save in reduced benefits payments. The Work Capacity Assessment regime for sick and disabled people and their draconian sanctions system are both examples of socially ruinous schemes that actually cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds to operate.

A vote for Tories is a vote for more money to be wasted on malicious Tory anti-welfare schemes

Rising inequality

While UK workers suffered the worst collapse in the value of their wages on record the tiny super rich minority literally doubled their wealth. Take from the poor to give to the rich, that's always been the Tory agenda. The worst thing is that these malicious reverse Robin Hoods even had the gall to tell us "we're all in this together" as they were deliberately rigging society even more in favour of the tiny super-rich minority than it already was!

A vote for Tories is a vote for an even more unequal Britain


U-turn after U-turn
Theresa May keeps repeating the phrase "strong and stable leadership" like a broken robot but she's not strong or stable. She's too much of a coward to face Jeremy Corbyn or the other party leaders in the TV debates, she's conducting her election campaign in "safe spaces" full of handpicked Tory sycophants bussed in from miles away, and she U-turns so often it's impossible to know which way she'll be facing in the morning. She's U-turned on supporting Remain during the EU referendum, on the National Insurance hike, on "now is not the time", on not calling a snap election ...

A vote for Tories is a vote for the lady who is for turning


Threat of a "no deal" Brexit strop
perhaps the most worrying thing of all is the way Theresa May has made the threat of a "no deal" Brexit strop the centrepiece of her diplomatically inept Brexit negotiating strategy. If the EU 27 call her bluff and she ends up walking the UK over a "no deal" Brexit cliff edge the social and economic consequences will be catastrophic. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that the imposition of WTO tariffs, the flight of businesses, border checks and all the other chaos that would come with a "no deal" flounce would wipe between 6.3% and 9.5% off the national GDP. To put that in perspective the recession that followed the 2007-08 global financial sector insolvency crisis (you know, the one we're still trying to recover from) wiped 4.8% off GDP.

A vote for Tories is a vote for the threat of an even bigger economic meltdown than the last one


Disclaimer

I've limited myself to 30 things because I don't have all day to sit here writing and backing up all my assertions with sources, but there are so many other things that didn't get a mention (like legal aid cuts, sack-at-will legislation, numerous spectacular court defeats, filibustering Tory MPs, £1,200 unfair dismissal tribunal fees, Secret Courts, the gagging law, hundreds of Sure Start centres closed, massive tax breaks for fracking companies, mental health funding cuts, the rape clause, the garden bridge fiasco, highest childcare fees in Europe, In-work benefits cuts, bigoted and homophobic Tory MPs, loads of new PFI scams, countless dodgy privatisations, hidden air pollution reports, a blank cheque for the private companies that operate Trident, refusal to help the UK steel industry, Troy Brexit liars like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, prisons chaos, slashed adult education budgets, economically illiterate cuts to flood defence spending, the anti-democratic Great Repeal Bill power grab, cosying up to Rupert Murdoch ...).


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