On Thursday in Halifax, Yorkshire, Theresa May presented the election platform of the Conservative Party for the political elections to be held on June 8.
Since the shocking announcement of this election, in a blitzkrieg move three weeks ago, she had been regularly repeating the same slogans like a humanoid, claiming her “strong and stable” leadership is necessary to lead the country through the gauntlet of Brexit negotiations. So far, her election campaign has shown the limitations of leaders not used to be in contact with people, of the unlikeable spokeswoman embarked on a tour of clashes with North Korean spontaneity. Now finally, she releases “her” manifesto (after all, this is Theresa’s Team). The Conservative Party is almost never mentioned in the campaign.
And, in her opinion, this manifesto meets the five major challenges the country is facing: the need for a strong economy, the answer to Brexit and “a changing world,” addressing the “persistent social divisions,” “meeting the challenges of an aging society” and “keeping pace with technological development.”
This essentially translates into cuts to social assistance, causing tens of thousands of families to pay care to older relatives out of pocket, eliminating the universal subsidies of home heating utilities for pensioners, which will be replaced with an income tax exemption, and it will also eliminate universal free meals at primary schools.
Also the protection for pensioners, created by the former Cameron-Osborne government, will be eliminated: Unlike Corbyn’s Labour program, that would keep it, the May government will take away the guarantee that pensions would increase at least 2.5 percent. The NHS, the national health network, will receive an injection of £8 billion over the next five years.
On the fiscal side, the income tax will not be modified, and it abandoned the hilarious idea to balance the budget by 2020, as had been promised by Cameron-Osborne, and postponed it to a slightly less unrealistic 2025. Philip Hammond, the Finance Minister too inclined to raise taxes and with whom there is a cold relationship, was put on mute. Well aware of having bled the consensus in the Ukip, May also copied from her predecessor Cameron the equally unrealistic goal to cut net immigration by hundreds of thousands of entries per year. This is an old promise she issued when she was Minister of Internal Affairs, and was not reached.
Overall, it’s a manifesto, like May herself, that is trying to erase the image of privilege and arrogance of Cameron’s clique, leaning on the concerns of “ordinary workers” (ordinary working people, frequent choice of words that betrays the experience of a world full of exceptional idlers) and, above all, she is aware she is confronting a truly socialist leader.
As for the military budget, she allocates a minimum of 2 percent of GDP to NATO; of course, it will be met and exceeded with enthusiasm. Maybe this why, soon after, in nearby Bolton, a Labour stronghold, May visited a missile factory.
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