The media, once again, were premature in writing off UKIP. They hadn’t anticipated the Tory manifesto, which leaves more room for UKIP to overtake on the right than you would normally find on the M4. It’s the most left-wing manifesto the Tory party has produced since the absurd Heath documents of 1970 and 1974.
Aside from Brexit and the welcome promises to pull out of the single market and the customs union, there’s almost nothing in it of interest to Conservatives. It isn’t in any meaningful sense a Tory party document, indeed, tellingly, Theresa May introduced it on Thursday as ‘my manifesto’. There was minimal input from MPs and none from the voluntary party.
This isn’t so surprising. There was no real leadership election last year. Theresa May is a centrist rather than a true Conservative and she backed Remain in last year’s referendum.
Whilst we are in a General Election campaign I feel free to criticise my own party’s manifesto for four reasons:
(1) I wasn’t party to writing it.
(2) I’m not standing as a candidate and therefore I am not bound by it.
(3) I supported Andrea Leadsom in last year’s leadership election and hold no brief for Theresa May, whom I’ve never even met, and
(4) The party got its panties in a twist over my bogus 2014 convictions and won’t even issue me with a membership card. Indeed Central Office is treating me quite rudely at the moment, although Theresa May was briefed by MI5 when Home Secretary and is aware that I was set up. There it is. I’m only a semi-detached member of the Tory party at the moment.
On page 37 the manifesto commits a Conservative and Unionist government to not repealing the absurd Human Rights Act 1998 during the Brexit process. That process is scheduled to last until March 2019, although the farcical negotiations with the EU are likely to have collapsed long before then; indeed they have effectively collapsed already. The government may yet come to its senses and pull out using Vienna, which would accelerate the process.
However, on the face of it, we are likely to be lumbered with the HRA for another 21 months. As usual this proposal, which makes a nonsense of the promise on page 54 to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands, has not been costed. It is in fact quite expensive, not least because of the impact of Article 8 (right to family life) on immigration.
What is worse, the manifesto commits the country to staying in the hopelessly out-dated European Convention on Human Rights for a further five years. This means that we will be subject to the full force of European Court of Human Rights rulings even after Brexit. The Convention is of course a different treaty to the Treaty on European Union, indeed it predated the Treaty of Rome by some seven years.
Whilst there has been much talk from my party about ‘bringing rights home’ it has been so much hot air. We are all talk, no action, on the ECHR. It’s a similar story on asylum, indeed the manifesto at page 40 is materially misleading. It asserts in terms that the UN is reviewing the equally outdated 1951 Refugee Convention. In fact there are no proposals to amend or replace it at all. If the Conservatives are re-elected, there will be no real change on asylum policy. Hundreds will continue to die each year trying to reach the UK and billions will continue to be wasted on asylum support. The commitment to regional asylum, whilst humane and sensible, is frankly just so much waffle.
The commitment on page 41 to protect the Armed Forces from the European Court of Human Rights cannot be reconciled with the commitment on page 37 to stay in the ECHR. Mrs May was Home Secretary and must know that Articles 2 and 3, which have caused most of the problems, cannot be derogated from.
Since they cannot be derogated from it follows that we cannot enter a unilateral reservation. Our brave forces will continue to be hammered by the Strasbourg Court without mercy. The only way to stop it from happening is to repeal the HRA98 and pull out of the ECHR.
There is similar incoherence on energy – the party wants cheap energy yet is still buying into the anthropogenic global warming hoax, which is driving up energy prices. It’s almost as if the several authors of the document never exchanged drafts. Perhaps it’s just as well that the media are scientifically illiterate!
I cannot part company from the section on defence without observing that the proposed defence expenditure over the next five years is shamefully low. My party, sadly, continues to be committed to a weak defence.
Denunciation of the ECHR is straightforward. All that is required is six months’ notice under Article 58(1). All that is required is the political will.
Staying in the ECHR also means no restoration of the death penalty in the next Parliament. That is because of the impact of the notorious Sixth Protocol, designed to increase the murder rate across the UK and Europe by limiting courts’ powers of punishment for murder to life. It’s been a huge ‘success’ and has cost the lives of thousands of innocent people.
Once again my party’s manifesto is incoherent, almost to the point of gibberish, with respect. On page 44 it talks about fighting crime, but the commitment to staying in the ECHR on page 37 means that we shall continue to encourage the offences of murder, manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm by having soft sentences. In practice capital punishment would at least halve the murder rate, as it did in Texas, which in turn would have a knock-on effect on GBH, as most murders are GBH gone wrong.
It was particularly silly to rule out a referendum on restoring capital punishment in the week that the Scottish child torturer and murderer Ian Brady died, at long last. He and his co-killer Myra Hindley waited, of course, until the disastrous Homicide Act 1957 came into force before starting their killing spree. The act watered down the penalty for most murders to life imprisonment and cleared the way for paedophiles to rape and kill little boys and girls without fear of being hanged.
Tragically, Brady and Hindley needed no second invitation. It is no accident that the murder rate started its long and grisly climb after the 1957 act came into force.
It looks as though Theresa May will win a handsome majority on 8th June. Since a Tory victory would effectively seal Brexit and should spell the end for the hated Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, who pretty much runs the country at the moment, this would be all to the good.
Mrs May however is not promising to solve our other pressing problems. It’s a weak manifesto, she will continue to be a weak leader, no offence intended, and her successor will inherit a divided country, mired in debt, with tiny Armed Forces and huge domestic discontent.