Rats of Hamelin by Kate Greenaway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dr Alf is right about the lack of costing behind these policies and the lack of direction. Sadly this applies to all the other parties policies as well leaving the Conservative Manifesto as the best of a very poor bunch. As picked up by Dr Alf, the Liberals have provided some rudimentary costings.
People who are old and the young need to be told about all the things that they should be doing to prevent heart disease, dementia and cancer, so that fewer of them end up needing care and needing to visit doctors constantly. They need to understand that the NHS is insolvent and that their NI contributions from the past were all used up 17 years ago and that the NHS has been funded out of Petroleum Revenue Tax and Lottery funding/ticket sales ever since. Mrs May should have disabused these people but chose to keep ‘schtum’, so that a significant number of them keep abusing the NHS with its “free at the point of need” mantra to the detriment of the genuinely ill and afflicted.
Productivity per worker is too low but Margaret Thatcher was always talking about it and leading by example with her own work rate even to the point of quoting from the King James version of the New Testament where it says “If a man shall not work he shall not eat”. Worker productivity has fallen under this and other Governments and has been too low for 150 years. Until now it has been bridged with immigration with those migrants doing the work that people here do not wish to do, cannot do and are not willing to be trained to do.
Under free movement and with the dole and PIP, people from the indigenous population have had an easy ride but with the public finances in the state they are in that easy ride is going to have to end. Mrs May chooses to say nothing about that either, so as not to frighten potential voters.
Worker productivity will not improve whilst top bosses deliver 15% pay-rises to themselves whilst the gap between average earnings and gross pay including bonuses and other emoluments is 450 to 1 but is just 25 to 1 in Japan and Germany, 2 of our major industrial competitors. 30 years ago the gap in the UK was about 30 to 1 but there has been no corresponding increase in board performance in 90% of cases and even less understanding of how to effect change /take people with you, motivate people to do more for less, as Dr Alf will remember from the days before he decamped to his more reflective and fulfilling life in Cyprus.
With all these manifestos, I feel a sense of unreality as none of them is costed, none of them risk assessed, and the official public finances still in deep trouble, with none of them focussing on export led delivery, board performance and the need to make hard choices about the bloated size of the public sector.
I would prefer the Conservatives to win this election but not by too big a majority, so that the important issues which are being avoided are put firmly on the agenda and start to be dealt with.
Mrs May and her three stooges, Fox, Davis and Johnson, are not strong enough to deliver us a good Brexit deal in 24 months, so may all need to be replaced with a modern-day Margaret Thatcher, with true intellectual and street fighting qualities…. Perhaps it is going to be a case of “cometh the hour, cometh the man or woman” but that search cannot come too soon.
This refusal to do anything about the Barnett Formula, foreign aid, the size of the public sector, productivity, people eating themselves to death and poisoning themselves as they do so, exports and torpor and greed in boardrooms will not go unnoticed as evidenced by the Chinese who have already bought large swathes of land around our major cities without planning permission and by the Qataris who now own more prime London real estate in London than does the Queen in her own right.
When I go to Cambridge to meet clients, visit my bank and engage in fraternal activity, I notice that the glossy Cambridge tour guide no longer comes in just English with a Mandarin translation but is in two versions, one in Mandarin and a second one in English.
People in the UK are not being told about what is going on here, or indeed abroad either, by Mrs May or Jeremy Corbyn who seems to still live in some mental construct of a Trotskyite universe with unlimited money available.
Mrs May still peddles the myth that by spending little on schools and with a few grammar schools here and there the best and brightest will get jobs and others will do so by osmosis. She knows the reality which is that most of the jobs will be automated out of existence and is therefore not interested in spending money on educating the great unwashed masses to do jobs which will not exist. That is why education funding has really been cut and nothing is being done about striking train drivers and why doctors are being permitted to leave for Australia as soon as they qualify.
Arrogantly, the people are being treated as “frogs”, ready for slow boiling and being hung out to dry. For another metaphor, remember the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin.