Saturday, 29 April 2017

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 Erdoğan. 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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