The Tories’ general election manifesto is the most hard-right in living memory, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE
ONE of the most ridiculous pieces of spin from Theresa May’s media mogul mates in this general election campaign has been the sustained attempt to present May and the Tory Party as a moderate or centre ground party, with one national paper terming their manifesto as “blue Labour” and another even trying to argue that the Tories are now a party of workers.
This doesn’t just ignore the record of seven years of Tory rule, which has above all else been defined by the pursuit of a dogmatic, neoliberal ideology through austerity no matter what the economic or societal consequences, but it also ignores the actual content of the manifesto and the Tory campaign.
What is absolutely clear from the Tories’ manifesto — which does not repeat the explicit commitment of their last manifesto to advance living standards — is that they are preparing a massive assault on the living standards of the majority.
Deeper austerity is yet to come, and our public services and what remains of the welfare state will be further starved of funding and attacked on several fronts.
Take the NHS, for example. After years of broken promises when it comes to our most beloved national institution, within days of announcing their funding commitments for the NHS, the Tories had to admit that they were pledging no new extra money.
The education budget is being cut in real terms, with the Tories failing to match Labour’s funding pledges for schools.
Policies such as ending free school lunches, ending winter fuel payments except to the very poor and the “solution” to the social care crisis of making those needing it pay for it themselves from the value of their homes when they die (the fundamental principles of which have not changed despite the backtracking we saw earlier this week) represent a further shift to the right.
If this manifesto is implemented, a redistribution of wealth and power will continue to occur — but it will be from the many to the few.