Politicians frequently say their General Election is the most important of their lifetime. Most of the time, they are lying or exaggerating. The General Election of 2001 was, for instance, not a particularly important election. This time however, is likely the most important General Election in a generation, if not a lifetime, due to this pivotal moment in British history.
Like any election, there are a lot of issues involved in GE 2017- everything from the NHS to the personality of your local MP. And obviously voters have their pet issues- I have even heard some bizarrely say that they cast their vote depending on a party’s stance on fox hunting. In this election however, the choices come down to two overarching issues: the economy and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.
Put simply, the Conservatives in the election are a moderate conservative, big-tent and patriotic party. Labour is a party with leaders who are revolutionary, ideological, and against the British constitutional settlement. Below is why Labour is bad for the economy and bad for Britain and why the Conservatives are the best party to govern the nation.
Labour is led by Marxists. Most Labour supporters are not Marxists, especially the PLP and the likes of Tony Blair and Liz Kendall. However, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Diane Abbott (in her case Mao) have expressed their admiration for Marxism- as recently as this year and more openly before. Communism is of course responsible for more deaths, misery, and poverty then any ideology in the twentieth century. However, as Jeremy Paxman pointed out to Jeremy Corbyn, what’s in the Labour manifesto is a more watered down version of his ideal socialism- basically a long list of handouts. The list of handouts would also be very bad for the economy. Consider just a few of the following:
- Raising the income tax on everyone earning £80,000 and above. This strategy would discourage hard work and encourage tax avoidance. When France raised their top income tax to 75% for instance (and raised other taxes across the board), people fled France for Britain- making London the sixth largest French city in the world and largest outside of France. Labour’s plan would put taxes up on over 1.2 million people- everyone from small entrepreneurs to large business owners who hire and invest in people. More money in the pocket of the state means less money in the private sector- where the vast majority of people are employed. Furthermore, there are no guarantees that increasing taxes will produce more revenue for the government- tax receipts increased when the top rate of tax was cut to 45 p.
- Increasing corporation tax. Many credit the UK’s remarkable economic growth with the cut in the corporate tax to the lowest in the G7- which will soon be lowest in the G20. Under Labour’s plans, corporate taxes would jump all the way up to 26% causing Britain to lose its competitive edge- at the very time Britain is leaving the European Union and competing with them for companies. Furthermore, the corporate tax rises will likely not lead to more tax revenue- the UK has taken in more tax revenue since cutting corporate taxes.
- Banning zero hours contracts- Nearly 1 million people are on zero hours contracts– most of whom wish to work them due to the flexibility they offer. Nearly all of these people’s jobs would be at risk under a Labour government.
- Out of control spending- Oxford Economics stated that Labour’s plans would lead to the highest debt and borrowing of any party- amounting to 3% of GDP in borrowing alone and 92% of GDP in debt by 2021-22. This is assuming a good economy too, which is unlikely given Labour’s proposals to punitively tax job creators and companies. In the event of an economic downturn one only need look back to the last Labour government, which increased the size of the state to 50% of GDP and increased spending more than any country over any post-war decade.
- Raising Inheritance Tax Rates and on Land Values aka the “Garden Tax”- This are the two most despicable tax rises in my opinion. These are not intended to raise money, but to punish people for being free property owners not under the thumb of the state. The inheritance tax is intended to hurt you so that you can not pass along your home to your family. The “Garden Tax” is even worse- it is a brutal power play to eliminate homeowners and landlords. For a brilliant article on the sheer vindictiveness of the Garden Tax read the hyperlinked article by Allister Heath.
Overall, Labour’s economic programme, much of which is not gotten into including the relic nationalisation plans, would harm the country and lead to Britain having its highest ever peacetime tax burden according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Even with all those tax rises however, their plans would not balance the budget. Rather, Labour’s plan, like all socialist schemes, is an attempt to weaken the individual at the expense of the state.
I will not claim the Conservatives’ plans are perfect by any means. They still spend too much and are a little too interventionist. However, what is clear is that they will not do all the above which Labour will do. However, when casting your ballot consider the following, and as Amber Rudd wisely said at the BBC “debate” this week, the record of the Conservative Party in government:
- The annual deficit: In 2010 it was £153.5 billion, today it is £43.1 billion. Unlike Labour, the Conservatives plan to balance the budget.
- Tax Free Allowance: In 2010 it was £6,475 today it is £11,500. The tax free allowance will continue to rise even further under the Conservatives to £12,500.
- Unemployment in the UK was 8% in 2010, it is 4.6% today. The employment rate in Britain is at an all time high.
- The Conservatives have cut income tax for all, corporate taxes, and inheritance tax among many other tax cuts- resulting in a boom not only for existing businesses, but seen in the record amount of start ups.
- Under the Conservatives, the economy has performed very well- including being the fastest growing in the G7 in recent years despite inheriting a recession from Labour. In fact, the British economy on its current trajectory is predicted to be the fastest growing advanced economy for the next 30 years. Why risk that with Labour’s socialism?
However important the economy is, money is not everything. Labour are led by people who fundamentally do not like Britain. And I am not being hyperbolic. John McDonnell has called for insurrection in 2013 and has twice said he wished he could go back in time and assassinate Margaret Thatcher. Diane Abbott previously said the defeat of the British state in Northern Ireland would be a victory and that she couldn’t identify as British. Emily Thornberry felt the need to publicly mock a homeowner for flying English flag. And Jeremy Corbyn refuses to sing the national anthem but is happy to sing along to the Red Flag.
All of the above actions would be simple annoyances if one could be assured that Corbyn and his comrades would act in the best interest of Britain. If one looks at their record, there is no doubt they do not have Britain’s interest in mind. Consider the following:
- Jeremy Corbyn wants a united Ireland. Don’t believe me, click on the hyperlink to the news story from the Irish Times from 2015 after he became leader. He wants to Northern Ireland to cease to be a part of the United Kingdom. Some may argue that is a perfectly reasonable position to hold, probably unusual for a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but as long as he isn’t backing violence that should be ok. Well…
- Jeremy Corbyn was an IRA supporter. As was John McDonnell– who “honoured” the armed struggle of the IRA and their use of “bombs and bullets”. As was Diane Abbott. Corbyn was against the Anglo-Irish agreement of 1985, he invited Gerry Adams to the House of Commons shortly after the Brighton bombing, and he led a minutes silence to 7 IRA terrorists. He opposed the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement. A man who supported an organisation that launched bombing raids killing people up and down Britain now wants to be leader of Britain. A true Manchurian candidate.
- But Corbyn’s palling around with terrorists doesn’t stop there. No, he has called Hamas and Hezbollah friends. Hamas of course wages a terrorist campaign against Israel to this day. He has also celebrated the Iranian regime and appeared on the regime’s television station on numerous occasions. He has further hosted vile Anti-Semites. And under Corbyn Labour has become so well known for being anti-Semitic that currently the Jewish population is supporting the Conservatives over Labour by a wide margin of 77 to 13– despite the Jewish community traditionally supporting Labour.
- Corbyn also has no interest in defending the British state. He has previously called for the abolishment of the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent Trident, the abolition of the army, and the disbanding of NATO.
- Corbyn is not interested in the union. He has stated he is “absolutely fine” with the SNP holding another independence referendum and is willing to back an alliance with them to achieve power. I wonder if he favours Welsh independence too?
- Corbyn has previously stated that he is a Republican and wants to abolish the monarchy. Do you trust him to keep the monarchy if he gains power?
- Finally, for those of you saying, yes, yes, but at least he backs Brexit! Not really. He campaigned for Remain despite supposedly always being in favour of Brexit. Labour has not committed to taking the UK out of the single market, the customs union or European Court of Justice. Some in Labour still believe the UK could stay in the EU. Worst of all, Labour said they would not accept a “no deal” from the EU, meaning that they are open to being forced to accept a deal that punishes the United Kingdom, as some in the EU have called for.
Corbyn has supported Britain’s enemies, called for weakening its defences, and wants to break up the union. A British patriot voting for Corbyn’s Labour would be like a turkey voting for Christmas.
The Conservatives in contrast, for all their faults, are a patriotic party. They support the institutions of the country. They support:
- The union. They believe that Nicola Sturgeon has no right to call another referendum until at least after the Brexit negotiations. They have no interest in kicking out Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom but rather support the lasting legacy of the Good Friday Agreement.
- They support the monarchy, as do 80% of Britons.
- They are committed to meeting the 2% of GDP NATO defence spending commitments and will increase defence spending 0.5% over inflation each year. They have also built two new aircraft carriers.
- They are committed to the Trident nuclear deterrent and have voted to renew it.
- They have a twelve point plan for Brexit which includes leaving the single market, customs union, and the European Court of Justice. They want to do trade deals with nations all over the world. And Theresa May has made clear that they will walk away from a bad deal and are willing to accept trading with the EU on WTO rules.
The Conservative and Unionist party believes in the United Kingdom. The Conservative version of Brexit is liberating people and helping Britain re-establish itself as a global trading nation. In 1988, Margaret Thatcher famously said in her Bruges Speech: “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.” Don’t allow this to be the year where the frontiers of Brussels are (slightly) rolled back but the frontiers of the state are re-established again.
The choice has never been clearer. Vote Conservative.