The conservatives, along with their media allies, went into this election believing that they only had to "turn up on the day" in order to achieve a landslide (or even a tsunami-like victory) on June 8th, eyeing 150 or 200 seats more than Labour. Over the course of the last 10 days, this overconfident attitude in taking the result for granted has eroded as more people found Labour policies were not as ominous and world-shattering as the prophets of doom in the media initially claimed.
The publication of the fully costed Labour party manifesto "For the many not the few" draws more support from the voters with promises which are both popular and sensible, and strike a chord with many ordinary people around the country. The disintegrating Conservative Party has nothing to offer the people of this country except more of the same and another five years of austerity, cuts, falling living standards, declining services, a continuing crisis in housing and the further decline of our NHS and social welfare. The open warfare within Conservative ranks over their announced "policies" has diminished their credibility as a government and has certainly eroded any opinion poll lead they may have thought that they had.
The deafening silence from their media supporters is indicative of a party that is in serious trouble and of a propaganda machine that knows it. The Tory manifesto does not create a level playing field; their policy towards funding social care means millions are going to get caught in May's cash-it-in-to-live strategy. From just over £100,000 to, say, half a million, you're going to cough up until an actual cough kills you. Let's not be delicate about this: everyone dies; some last longer than others, and they're the ones whose relatively healthy infirmity costs them - and their children - more. May and her cohorts are the ones her mean and divisive plan won't affect.
It is punitive - not only to those who have worked hard, saved and contributed, but to their children. This scheme is just the thin edge of the wedge. The ultimate goal is clearly a system of private medical and social care funded by insurance and equity release. In the bright Tory future the care system is run by private providers, paid for by the individual, by way of products marketed by the financial institutions. One can only surmise how this will affect familial relationships if parents become infirm and need help, and what resentment, guilt and tensions this will create and compound at an already difficult time. This is not strong and stable direction - it's pernicious and draconian. One more point: in the present desperate housing situation where more and more people are living in rented property with little future prospect of owning the asset, where is the Government going to get the cash to support their degenerative years?
The Tory manifesto is one of the most significant issues of the entire campaign and warrants proper scrutiny and coverage by the mass media. However, it looks as if people are going to have to use their own resources from now on via social media to ensure anything that undermines the relentless Tory propaganda campaign gets a proper hearing The country needs a change. Economic and Social policy are failing. A political party needs to be innovative and imaginative in solving the problems we face. The Labour Party under the leadership of Corbyn has tried to give the electorate something to rally around, a manifesto that would actually improve conditions for everyone - unlike the divisive agenda since the Tories came to power in 2010.
The lack of detail in the Tory manifesto just goes to show their utter contempt for the electorate and this election. The mindless catchphrase of 'a strong and stable leadership' defies belief when applied to the same Conservative government that has brought the country to its knees. What arrogance to expect to be re-elected on a manifesto promising more of the same. This election is a wake up call to all that is wrong with the UK and society as a whole. Call Jeremy Corbyn what you like, but he has the passion and drive that inspires millions of people.
If we don't begin to change now and stick it to the Tories, the party of all our yesterdays, there isn't going to be economic or social growth. We have got to educate and invest, we have got to work towards a more inclusive society and reject trickle-down economics, for trickle-down is an illusion – it's more like gush-up. If we continue to adhere to the economic policies of the last thirty years it will only guarantee more suffering. I vote Labour. I am proud to vote Labour. Stereotype me all you wish. The alternative is more homelessness, more poverty, more food-banks and the continuing persecution and scapegoating of the disabled and the most vulnerable.
May is not exactly looking strong and stable judging by her recent about turn on the 'Dementia Tax'; By not admitting this change is a U-Turn she's looking ridiculous quite frankly. There is of course, a wider message which is, she is able to change this proposal or policy (we do not know which) because they were allowed to get away with an uncosted manifesto of aims and ambitions, as admitted by Michael Fallon on Newsnight recently. If Labour had changed their manifesto in the same way the Tories have, the press would have ferociously pounced on any costing changes, scrutinised and enhanced their rhetoric of nothing add's up. The Labour manifesto is now looking more like the strong and stable programme, but please form your own opinions on this matter, ultimately you're the judge and jury.
The reality is that this is simply the Tories being Tories. They could'nt care less about the desperate needs of the poor and vulnerable. This is simply a case of cynical political expediency.
John Sweeney for Political Provocateur