Let’s stop pretending this election is a choice between liberal and conservative, left and right, “for the many” vs “for the wealthy few”.
Those choices got turned on their heads when the Tories unveiled their social care tax, which firmly placed the burden of social care on those most able to pay for it, a policy the Labour party would have probably loved to unveil themselves but knew they could never get away with in opposition as it would be bound to be a vote-loser.
So instead Labour were left in the position of labelling it a “dementia tax” and doing their best to demonise it, while at the same time promising free tuition fees to students.
Let’s take a look at who that policy will benefit, shall we? Currently, tuition fees are funded via student loans – but the loans only become repayable once the recipient earns over £20,000. So those who go to university, fail to find a well-paid job and continue to earn low wages, never actually repay the loans. Effectively, their tuition is free already.
Scrapping tuition fees will make no difference to these people – nor will it make any difference to those who don’t go to university in the first place.
The people it will help, are those who go to university and subsequently end up in a good job, with good career prospects, the bankers, the lawyers, the IT consultants who the Labour party currently loves to tell us should be bearing the burden of paying to keep the economy afloat.
No longer are Labour the party “for the many” – in their desperate pursuit of the youth vote, they have sold out to the aspirational few.
So what is this election really about? For me, it’s about Brexit, and it’s about the response to terrorism.
Sadly no party is yet offering a credible set of policies to respond to the threat of Islamist extremism – though it’s heartening to hear Theresa May finally able to speak the words “Islamist extremism” after the debacle of the ITV Leaders Debate in which Paul Nuttall was jeered at for using those very same words.
Jeremy Corbyn’s history of never having met a terrorist group he couldn’t get along with, does not inspire me with confidence in the face of an enemy who see themselves as engaged in a holy war with the intention of wiping out western democracy and implementing Sharia law across the globe.
And Tim Farron’s opposition to increased web surveillance powers to combat the spread of extremist messages, while rooted in solid arguments about civil liberties, displays a shocking refusal to acknowledge the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves – one in which ordinary British citizens are being radicalised largely via material that is easily created and widely shared by ISIS hate preachers via the internet.
So that leaves Brexit. Only two parties – UKIP and the Conservatives – are firmly committed to delivering Brexit, and of those, only the Conservatives have any hope of winning the election. So I’m hoping this election delivers the large Conservative majority that Theresa May was clearly hoping for when she first called it.
If it doesn’t, and if the worst happens and Jeremy Corbyn is confirmed as our new Prime Minister, then I think we’re in for an extremely bumpy road ahead, as not only do I believe he will fail to deliver on Brexit and fail to tackle terrorism, but all the lies and false promises he has been able to get away with in opposition will be shown for what they are, as he plunges our economy back into the doldrums of 2008. Not even the satisfaction of seeing his supporters finally recognise him for the charlatan that he is, would make such a fate worthwhile.