THE BLOG

The Tories Will Win Without Producing A Manifesto

25/05/2017 11:54

One of the most interesting thing about the General Election this year is that we will, in all likelihood, end up with a Government run by the one party which has not actually delivered a manifesto; the Conservatives.

Despite Theresa May's unveiling of an 84 page document in Halifax, which included plenty of free market intervention policies and changes to how social care is paid for, it neglected the single most important factor in this election: Brexit.

There was absolutely no mention of what Brexit will entail, what she will be negotiating on, and what the new deal could look like. Yet it is precisely this which will propel her back into Downing Street until 2022. She is adamant that all the details of the negotiations will be kept from everyone including her own MPs until the deal is finalised and put to Parliament as a take-it-or-leave-it package. Even the notoriously secretive European Union has balked at this utter lack of transparency. How must all the businesses feel as all their plans and contingencies will necessarily be put on hold until the Great Unveiling in two years' time?

Of greater significance perhaps, the document fails to address the future for the post-Brexit UK; there are as many as 50,000 EU rules which will have to undergo Parliamentary scrutiny as part of her Great Repeal Bill. Which laws, and which Directives do May's Inner Circle wish to keep, and which do they intend to jettison? How can any sane person plan for the future if we are not even given the smallest glimpse of what we can expect? These rules affect every single aspect of our lives, what chemicals can be used as fertilisers to prepare our food, in what conditions farm animals must be kept, the quality of the water we drink, the cost of our electricity, the hours that we are allowed to work, the price of our telephone calls, the amount of pollutants in the air, and on and on and on.

We are not being told whether or not we will remain, as non-EU Norway does, a participant in the Common Fisheries Policy, whether our energy and climate targets will be set by Brussels and we stay a member of the Internal Energy Market post-Brexit, or if our universities will be able to qualify for funding via the Erasmus+ programme.

The Great Repeal Bill will constitute the single largest constitutional upheaval in the UK's history and yet we are being asked to elect Conservative candidates with absolutely no understanding of how they will vote on individual matters, and all because Theresa May will not tell them. If the General Election in June 2017 is anything it is a leap of blind faith. The more that we look at the Conservative Manifesto the more apparent it is that we are being told nothing about the future of our country.

The secrecy of her plans make it impossible for any Conservative candidate in the election to be properly questioned in a husting event. We are even being denied the ability to scrutinise potential legislators. It is as though we are all being treated like children: "where are we going?" we ask, "I'll tell you when we get there," she replies.

How can this conform to any type of democracy that we should reasonably expect?

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