Apologies for the lack of posts recently life has been rather busy – if the course and a general election weren’t enough to keep me occupied I’ve also decided to look for a new job. I don’t like to do things by halves. This week has been a pretty hectic week politically also, most parties launched their manifestos this week; setting out their vision for Britain. In addition to this there was the first leader’s debate on ITV, however, this was a frustrating waste of time as neither Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May were there. While it was nice to see the Lib Dems, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and SNP all agreeing with each other (perhaps there still is hope for a progressive alliance) it was not a great exercise of democratic accountability as the two main candidates for Prime Minister were not present.
I’m not going to go into loads of detail about the manifestos, instead I want to share the press release that Northampton Liberal Democrats sent out about the launch of our manifesto;
“This week, Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats released our manifesto. It sets out a bold vision for a better opposition than that offered by a weak and divided Labour Party. It is only the Liberal Democrats who can provide true opposition to a Tory landslide, and the grim future that will bring our country. We will fight against a hard Brexit, and against cuts to the NHS and schools.
In our manifesto we have pledged to offer the British people a choice in deciding the direction our country goes. Last year no-one voted to leave the single market. Left to her own devices, Theresa May would take us down UKIP’s vision of the future. The Liberal Democrats believe that you should have the final say in Britain’s future. We are the only party offering a referendum of the final Brexit deal, if as a country we are going to be worse off, we should have the right to remain.
However, this election is far more than just Brexit. Here in Northampton we have seen the damage a Tory majority can do to our public services. If the Tories are given a larger majority with no proper opposition, things are going to get worse for those most in need. The Liberal Democrats are proposing a sensible and responsible 1p rise in income tax to raise £30BN over the next Parliament for our NHS and social care services.
The Liberal Democrats want to give the best start to our young people, who are faced with being left behind in the wake of Brexit and Tory cuts. We will invest £7bn in education, reinstate maintenance grants for university, and introduce a rent-to-buy scheme to help young people get on the property ladder.
By contrast Theresa May and her Tories are pledging to end free school meals, ditch the triple lock on pensions and introduce a personal death tax on your homes to pay for old age. Labour are not providing the opposition needed to stop the mean-spirited cruel policies of the Conservative Party.
Jill Hope (our candidate in Northampton South) commented: “I can’t believe that Theresa May is trying to woo UKIP supporters by proposing a hard Brexit, or even walking away without a deal. The consequences would be horrendous. She’s also turned on traditional Conservative supporters by dropping the triple lock on pensions, and by charging for home-based care. People on the doorsteps of Northampton have told me they can’t vote for a Conservative party that would impose a death tax, so their house would be sold after they died to pay for their care costs. She’s really got this wrong. The Lib Dems offer a real alternative to both Labour and the Tories. Don’t like their manifestos? Take a look at ours.”
Only the Liberal Democrats can oppose Theresa May and keep Britain a fair, open and tolerant society.”