Why did we even have an election? Well I think it was because of Nicola Sturgeon.
She stated time and again how she had a mandate from the Scottish people but Theresa May did not have a mandate at all. Furthermore Theresa was hamstrung by the manifesto of the David Cameron administration that prevented her raising income taxes, and national insurance contributions while staying locked into the pensions triple lock.
Theresa was also persuaded by her advisers that with her approval ratings so far ahead of Jeremy Corbyn she could take him on, wipe the floor with him, increase her majority, and use her surplus ratings to slip in some extra taxes on her core senior voters whilst extracting more from their estates to help pay for end of life care.
Before 2005 UKIP was the party banging on about the disadvantages of EU membership and the flood of immigrants. This continual pressure on the major parties eventually forced David Cameron to include a referendum on EU membership in the 2015 general election.
So many people supported this view that UKIP support was high and David Cameron won with a clear majority and gave the people that referendum, at last.
In 2016 the people chose by a clear majority and with the greatest support for any proposition by the British people ever. Tories voted for it, Labour supporters voted for it, and even floating voters as well. UKIP had done its job. David Cameron resigned because he couldn’t in all conscience lead negotiations to remove Britain from the EU.
Then there was a contest for the leadership which Theresa May really coveted, though she didn’t really have a conviction about leaving (and still doesn’t). There was Boris who had been caught off balance, never having expected his team to win the leave/remain battle.
Poor Andrea Leadsom was not yet experienced enough of high politics, though she really had conviction about leaving. She was hounded out of the leadership battle by the left wing of the party together with the mainstream media. That left Theresa high and dry as the left wing leader of the Conservative party.
2017 Tory Campaign
Theresa and her supporters hadn’t prepared in advance for the general election and it was as much a snap for them to seize the moment of maximum poll ratings and to cobble together a manifesto after the announcement. The manifesto was a disgrace with issues poorly thought through and indefensible. It placed the next government under Theresa May on the ground formerly occupied by Tony Blair and noticeably left of centre.
When the storm hit about the government taking assets to pay for old age care and leaving £100,000 inheritance it was a blatant money grab. Quite correctly the core Tory voters rose in alarm and demanded a cap on the amount anyone should pay for their old age care.
Theresa kept ducking the question of a cap by saying that advice would be sought before a figure was decided. In other words she asked for a blank cheque to steal whatever they could get away with later on. I said to my wife that unless she puts a satisfactory maximum to claim from an estate she would lose thousands of her core supporters.
Indeed Theresa had to make so many reverses and u-turns that the department of transport is going to install a roundabout in front of No10.
The issue supposedly was all about getting a bigger majority to go into the negotiations with the EU from a position of great support from the British people. Strangely Theresa didn’t use that argument much and instead tried to make it a beauty contest between her and Jeremy.
Remember her going on about who would be able to be the better negotiator with the EU, her or Jeremy. Who would get the best deal from the EU. She even promised that if a good deal was not on offer she would walk away without one. Those arguments would have worked had she not needed to keep hedging and back-tracking on the manifesto.
2017 Labour Campaign
Jeremy for his part as a campaigner of 40 years or more was adept at standing in front of crowds and spouting conviction politics. He would debate with anyone and everyone.
The decision at the last minute to join in the Leaders Debate left Theresa high and dry. If she caved in and also joined in she would be seen as pliable and it would be yet another u-turn.
By not turning up she left herself open to the claim she was unable to defend her position against other party leaders. Paul Nuttall I thought was very brave to be involved in many of these media circuses against specially selected hostile audiences and against half a dozen outspoken hard left wing leaders. Against those odds he did as well as anyone could have.
Jeremy knows that a lot of young people are not good with figures or money. They are good at spending it but no good at saving it. Particularly those who go to university are not averse to running up eye watering debts for their tuition, realising that they might never have to pay it back. For other excess expenditure they also go to the bank of mum and dad, but otherwise resent the success of their parents in having accumulated money for their old age.
Labour also said they accepted Brexit (whatever that means) and would negotiate a good deal for Britain and wouldn’t walk away from the table until a good deal could be achieved, even if that took forever.
So the Labour leavers could again vote Labour, so would a fair block of senior Tory supporters horrified by what had been dubbed the Dementia Tax. As a final sweetener to the young people and those who had already finished university saddled with a huge loan, he would wipe it out with further harvesting from the magic money tree.
Hard left supporters as well as many young people just don’t understand realistic economics, especially taxing the top earners and Corporation Tax. The top earners are economically mobile and their wealth sloshes about around the World and they are adept at avoiding tax.
Trying to get more tax from high earners has to be subtle because a blatantly excessive top rate of tax is so often counter productive. They pay accountants to keep their tax bill down and they use the profits to further their business interests that actually creates jobs that in turn feeds the Treasury via employee income tax and national insurance contributions.
Similarly lowering Corporation Tax does reduce the amount the corporations pay but it encourages other corporations to invest in business in the UK which in turn provides employment, income tax and national insurance contributions to the Treasury. It is called growing the economy.
The Tories have reduced Corporation Tax from 29% to 19% and the tax paid has stayed the same. So more corporations are paying less each but the Treasury is still better off from employee tax and to prove it, the unemployment in the UK is at a historic low.
Coalition of chaos
So if Labour or any other of the loony left wing parties cobbled together a coalition it would immediately raise the higher rate of tax and if the LibDems were involved there would be a 1% increase in income tax for everyone else as well.
Corporation Tax would be returned to 26% and within a period of 2 years I predict businesses would move to Ireland or to the continent. The high earners would domicile themselves overseas and move their manufacturing and headquarters anywhere that the tax rate was lower.
With the expectation of high tax returns the coalition would throw money at the public services with abandon, would cancel all student debt, would cancel any new nuclear generating stations and pour more money into renewables, renationalise the railways and energy supplies.
Then the money would rapidly run out as tax revenues fell. Business moving offshore would cause unemployment to start rising rapidly. Loss of employee income tax and national insurance contributions as well as the loss of corporation tax from companies moving out of the UK would put us exactly back where Harold Wilson put us using similar policies in the early 1970’s. A bankrupt economy and mass unemployment will be the dream come true.
Theresa May came over as a politician without conviction and instead of being strong and stable was weak and unwilling to face the public or opposition leaders. She lost a lot of elderly core voters and lost most Labour voters who previously had supported her efforts to leave the EU and had voted for Cameron to achieve the referendum.
Many of my friends and family and writers on UKIP Daily had divided loyalties. They realised that Theresa May had a poor record of defending the UK during her term as Home secretary and was also not being firm on a lot of important issue regarding a proper exit from the EU.
As the gap between the parties narrowed it became more important to ensure the otherwise unacceptable policies of the Tories and their inept leader were heading for a lost election or a hung parliament. Voting UKIP was by conviction only and might even allow Labour to win seats by reducing the Tory support.
This made UKIP superfluous and possibly damaging to any form of Brexit if it cost the Tories the election. There was no real support for the LibDem call for a second referendum and I don’t think their 1p in the pound (actually 1%) on all rates of income tax was a vote winner either, even though it was honest.
If everyone wants more spent on Public Services then all should be prepared to pay more. It’s not the way to get elected though because although the majority want more spent on public services they all want someone else to pay it.
The Conservative proportion of the vote went up to over 42%, a figure that should have generated quite a majority but the Labour vote also went up to 40% as former Labour supporters of UKIP went back to their roots.
All other parties lost votes, even the LibDems and Plaid Cymru who got more seats but from a lower percentage overall. Caroline Lucas increased her majority in Brighton while across the rest of the country the green vote sagged.
I think the UKIP vote was not bad considering they were piggy in the middle and mainly picked up votes from those who didn’t want Labour to try to negotiate Brexit but couldn’t bring themselves to vote Tory.
Theresa May has blown it for reasons of personal vanity. She had a workable majority and wanted to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn out of spite. The election has empowered him and weakened her. The Tories are now in a precarious position with her as damaged goods.
No-one really wants another leadership election, and if they did go down that route the new leader of the Tories would be in a worse position than she was. They would have a minority government and no personal mandate from the people.
Brexit negotiations are going to be hopeless with a leader who is not strong and stable under intense pressure overseas and at home. We can take comfort that Labour didn’t win but neither will the Conservatives in 2022, if they can survive that long without a vote of no-confidence.
Theresa has apologised to all her candidates, those who won and those who lost but she owes an enormous apology to the nation for loss of confidence in her government, the weakening of the pound and the 52% who vote to Leave the EU.