Big issues in brief
12 reasons you should vote Conservative tomorrow
We take a look at their outstanding track record and their genuine intentions
Ahem. Sorry about the misleading headline. What I meant to say was:
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT VOTE FOR THE CONSERVATIVES ON 8TH JUNE
The Tories are the party of the 1%, quite literally. Look at their policies alongside a breakdown of population statistics:
1. If you care about people who earn below £80,000 (95% of the population), do not vote Tory
The Conservative Party has not ruled out VAT increases or income tax rate hikes on the “basic” or “higher” rate tax bands. It has even implied it would reduce the rate of the “additional” (highest) rate tax band, benefitting only those earning above £150,000. By contrast, the Labour Party has committed to not increase the tax rate for the lowest paid 95% of the population (those earning £80,000 or less). It has committed to not increase VAT, and today pledged to decrease it when economic growth allows. VAT is a stealth tax that disproportionately affects the least wealthy, so a lower VAT rate will be welcomed by everyone. Furthermore, Conservative austerity measures and spending policies have had a severe impact on the middle and particularly working class. Watch the video. Even if you are in the top 5%, the tax increases are unlikely to affect you significantly unless you’re in the top 1%. The top 1% would still keep over half their earnings under Labour. If you have an understanding of how progressive taxation minimises the wealth disparity that causes most of the problems in our society, and you have a sense of moral responsibility to society, the Conservative Party is not the party for you.
2. If you care about the NHS (around 89% of people do not have private health insurance), do not vote Tory
The Conservatives have been purposely underfunding the NHS in order to make it fail, as a “justification” for privatisation. Many Tory MPs have shares or board positions in private healthcare companies and stand to profit from privatisation. Waiting times have increased significantly under the Tories and the Red Cross recently declared that the NHS is undergoing a “humanitarian crisis”.
2. If you care about women (50.8% of the population), do not vote Tory
Conservative policies and austerity measures have had a massively disproportionate effect on women. Watch the video for a brief summary. Even if you are not a woman, you are still negatively affected by the discrimination of women in society.
3. If you care about children (23.4% of the population are under 15) and university students, do not vote Tory
The Conservatives have caused immeasurable harm to children through their austerity programme. There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2014–15 (28%). This means that many children now rely on food banks, or otherwise they go hungry. They have also harmed children’s life prospects by expanding the rollout of for-profit academies (including free schools) and they aim to select against all except the children they consider to be the “brightest” through their nationwide reintroduction of grammar schools. They are taking away school meals from primary school children and have costed school breakfasts at 6.8p per child. The Tories have also been accused of covering up the child abuse scandal. Furthermore, the introduction of £9,000 per year university fees has left students with an average of £44,000 worth of debt. Although some of this will never be repaid by many students, it leaves them under the shadow of a lifetime of debt. It has also led to the defunding of universities, which in turn affects staff and researchers and forces higher education providers to become like business, churning out students and research like a factory rather than academic institutes.
4. If you care about disabled people (16.8% of the population), do not vote Tory
The Conservatives have systematically discriminated against disabled people through their unnecessary austerity programme. Many disabled people can no longer get access to the most basic things they need to survive. Watch Alex’s heartbreaking story; if it doesn’t make you angry, I don’t know what will. The “dementia tax will only make this worse”. If, for some reason, you don’t care about other disabled people, you need to consider that you or someone close to you may get ill in the future and be in a similar position to Alex.
5. If you care about the elderly (16.4% of the population are 65+), do not vote Tory
Even though pensioners are one of the Tories key voter bases, they do not benefit, on average, from Tory policies. Their manifesto harms elderly people through the introduction of the “dementia tax”, the removal of one of three protections on pension values and the removal of the £300 winter fuel allowance from all but the poorest. NHS privatisation also disproportionately affects the elderly, who are often reliant on it and who have funded the system through a lifetime of taxation.
6. If you care about ethnic equality (12.9% of the population are non-white), do not vote Tory
The Conservative Party has a long tradition of institutional racism. Below is a not-so-exhaustive list. Furthermore, their austerity policies disproportionately affect minorities (i.e. ethnic minority communities tend to fall into lower socioeconomic bands, on average) and the anti-terrorism “Prevent” strategy that they back treats Muslims with distrust. List: Thatcher’s support of apartheid in South Africa and her labelling of Nelson Mandella, one of the most widely respected freedom fighters of all time, as a “terrorist”; Zac Goldsmiths anti-Muslim campaign of hatred against Sadiq Khan; Boris Johnson’s continual racist writings (“blacks have lower IQs”; black people are “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”; claiming Obama has an “ancestral dislike” of Britain due to his “part-Kenyan” heritage); various councillors (and councillor candidates) letting racist remarks slip (referring to Islam as a “religion of peace and rape”; posting a picture of a gorilla alongside a critical comment about an Asian councillor; calling Middle Eastern people “sons of camel drivers; saying the “solution” to travellers is to “execute them”; saying that she would never support “the Jew” Ed Miliband; calling another councillor a “Chink”; saying that Romanians would “stick a knife in you as soon as look at you”; complaining that none of the prospective parliamentary candidates “has a normal English name” and questioning “why are the Candidates Department so keen on these foreign names?!!!!”; saying there are “too many Pakis”; claiming it might be easier to find a job as “a black female wheelchair-bound amputee who is sexually attracted to other women”; tweeting “scenes we’d like to see: the refugees Nicola (Sturgeon) invites into her house are Daesh moles”); comparing the criticism of parliamentary expense fraud to the gassing of Jews by claiming (“branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler’s gas chambers”); a Tory MP organising a Nazi-themed stag party; Tory minister Oliver Letwin describing black people as having “bad moral attitudes”, and saying schemes to help black people would be spent in “the disco and drugs trade” and employment programmes would only see black people “graduate… into unemployment and crime”; David Cameron referring to “a bunch of migrants” in a blasé way that belittled the backstory of refugees.
7. If you deplore the proliferation of poverty and necessity of food banks, do not vote Tory
Trussell Trust alone issued 1,182,954 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis last year (436,938 to children), up from 25,899 in 2008–9.
8. If you care about wildlife and the environment (100% of the population are affected), do not vote Tory
The Tories have an appalling record on environmental issues, despite Cameron claiming the coalition would be the “greenest government yet”. Unnecessary culling of badgers, May’s intention to reintroduce fox hunting, the scrapping of subsidies for renewable energy, reducing incentives for buying cars with lower emissions, scrapping a scheme to improve the energy efficiency of homes, introducing widespread fracking, selling off the green investment bank, selling off forests, routinely breaking air pollutions limits. The Tories don’t care if it doesn’t make profit.
9. If you care about Brexit (100% of the population will be affected), do not vote Tory
May’s negotiating skills have been brought into disrepute, given the aggressive stance she has taken, which will alienate the UK from the EU. This will ensure we get a bad deal. In fact, May claims that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, but no deal is the worst deal possible. Her inability to debate and reason with others has also been put in the spotlight during this election campaign, as she has parroted meaningless rhetoric and refused to engage in debate with other political leaders.
10. If you care about the economy and productivity (100% of the population are affected), do not vote Tory
130 leading economists back Labour’s manifesto. Meanwhile, Tory policy has resulted in the proliferation of zero-hour contracts, minimal economic growth (the lowest in the G7) and a massive decrease in real wages, meaning that less money is available to the majority of the population to spend in the economy and reinvest in society. It takes a Brit an hour to achieve as much in the workplace as a German does in 39 minutes. Meanwhile, we sell off essential utilities such as nuclear power plants and railway franchises to foreign states, which profit on our misery.
11. If you care about democracy (100% of the population are affected), do not vote Tory
The Conservatives were fined a record £70,000 for electoral fraud in the 2015 election and one MP and two of his team members have been charged. Furthermore, they have been raising over ten times as much from large donors as Labour. The fact that large corporations and individuals with vested interests can “buy” democracy through donating and lobbying is a stain on our political system. They are also gerrymandering by trying to redraw constituency boundaries, in order to eliminate Labour.
12. If you care about how the UK government sponsors terrorism and intervenes in foreign policy (any of us could be affected, and millions abroad are affected), do not vote Tory
The Tories are more interested in making profits from selling arms to Saudi Arabia than protecting us from the terrorism that the Saudis fund. They are more interested in bombing innocent civilians in Middle Eastern countries that Britain has destabilised than funding our NHS and education system.
In summary, there is no common-sense or moral justification for voting for the Tories. You know what to do tomorrow: at all costs, vote to keep the Tories out of power.
I could go on, but I’m running out of time before the election. If you would like a more exhaustive list, click the link.